Who are you? Where are you based?
My name is Estela, although I am known as Mell or Mellocotton on social networks, I am a pixel artist, geek, lover of animals, cinema, video games and Dragon Ball!
When and why did you first start making your art?
I started four years ago, I wanted to have all the characters from my favorite anime on my walls, so I discovered the beads, they had been here for many years, only I found out very late that they existed.
What inspires your artwork?
My works are inspired by my favorite anime characters, but above all in color, for me the most beautiful thing about a job is when you put color and little by little that silhouette becomes real, it is a very magical moment.
Do you remember the first piece you made?
Yes, of course, it was Destello the star of Estela, from Mario Galaxy, a piece that today I have tattooed, since I have a special affection for her.
What's the biggest piece you've ever made?
All the transformations of Goku, I don't know if they were about 150,000 beads in total, but I hope to do a bigger one in the future!
What is your art workspace like?
I am lucky to have an exclusive room with two tables of two meters, to go doing several jobs at the same time, or while I do one, I iron the other, I also have a lot of stock of colors since it is necessary for me for orders and a TV where to watch the crime and investigation channel hahaha, although I mainly put music on, or I need silence, if I don't get lost more than usual :)
What are the tools of your trade?
A laptop with which to pixel the images, plates and colors, masking tape to remove the work without damaging the plates, greaseproof paper, a plate and some wooden boards to put weight on them and that they do not bend until they cool. For shipments, bubble wrap and cardboard sheets that I buy has measured.
What's the most time you've spent on a project?
With Mulan about 80 hours;)
Can you talk us through your creative process? How do you go about planning and creating a piece?
There are times that I am lucky and I am very clear about it, other times no image convinces me. When I find one that I really like, I always start to shape it from the outside, until it is closed, then I start with the color, the disadvantage or the advantage is that the program that I use, which is called gimp, does not give a number of pieces, neither size nor color, sometimes I have to disassemble large parts until I find the colors that I like, but that has also made me learn a lot from them, there are colors that at first glance do not seem to fit, but since they do . The issue of shading a pixelated image is also complex and I almost always have to modify it, since everything in pixel changes, but as I say all that has helped me to have more experience and patience.
What are the most common questions you get asked about your art?
How do I iron such big things, what program I use and where to buy the material. The most scary thing about all this work is always the iron, but this is to start with small things and get the temperature point of your iron. In addition, each person likes a different ironing.
Have you had any art-related disasters?
Having seven cats a lot, from getting to iron on the floor, stepping on the tape with my sock and destroying all the work, breathing deeply and getting angry just the same hahahaha, with the passage of time rebuilding a job becomes something common for us, but at the same time beginning hahaha we cry!
Do you have a dream project you'd love to make, but just can't justify yet?
I would like to make a mural on a whole wall of beads, with all the anime characters, who have contributed something to me in life, but now I do not have the time, nor do I have the years of experience to be able to do that project, in a future I hope I can have the courage and wisdom to carry it out.
What was your most recent project?
I want to start a giant 16 bit Goku, I also want to create my own sprite compositions. My last great creations Wolverine and Spiderman!
What are your favourite experiences you've had as a result of your art?
My experiences are not mine, they belong to all the people who support what I do, who send me a photo with a job that they liked. People who start in the pixel world because they have discovered it by what you do, I am only a small part of all this. A hug to all those children, great artists that are all over the world!
Do you have any projects in progress or in the pipeline right now?
-Yes, that 16-bit Goku, which I mentioned before and the compositions with the sprites!
Do you sell your art? If so, how can people find it?
Yes, they find me on Instagram, it's the only way, that I make a piece and sell it or accept orders :)
How can people find you online? Drop your social media handles, websites etc...
Facebook: Hamartist Mell
A big hug to everyone and thanks for this interview, great artist!
My name is Iain and my addiction is making pixel bead art. My main inspirations are comics, video games and movies.