Who are you? Where are you based?
I'm Squarepainter and I'm based in Philadelphia.
When and why did you first start making your art?
I've been an artist my whole life and always loved old video games so it was a natural progression to merge the two.
What inspires your artwork?
Nostalgia is at the root of my inspiration. I try to paint those moments from games that we all remember and take us back to a simpler time.
Do you remember the first piece you made?
I do! I painted Mega Man in 6 different poses on bristol board and mounted them on cardboard. I still have it to this day.
What's the biggest piece you've ever made?
I did a huge 48"x36" piece from The Empire Strikes Back in 2015.
What is your art workspace like?
Right now a complete mess haha. I have a small apartment so my game room doubles as my art studio.
What are the tools of your trade?
Acrylic paint, small flat brushes, palette knife, ruler, t square, mechanical pencil
What's the most time you've spent on a project?
Its hard to tell since I spend so much time laying out my pieces in Photoshop first before I even get to the canvas. For just straight up painting a piece definitely the Empire Strikes Back.
Can you talk us through your creative process? How you go about planning and creating a piece?
I'll get an idea for a painting and then start mocking it up in Photoshop to see how big of a canvas I'll need to fit it. From there I box off and grid out the areas where different elements of the piece will be and then paint in the black or whatever dominant dark color there is for the outlines. With the rest of the colors I generally work from dark to light and build up layers of paint.
What are the most common questions you get asked about your art?
Always about how long it takes and the process that goes into.
Have you had any art-related disasters?
Way too many to list haha. If you're one pixel off it can throw your entire design off. I did a huge Maniac Mansion piece back in 2012 when I was still learning and ended up having to repaint literally half of it because I painted a side of the canvas just one pixel higher than the rest.
Do you have a dream project you'd love to make, but just can't justify yet?
I have some layouts that would be around 10 feet high and wide but I dont have the space to work that big. I've been asked if I'd paint a big mural on a building and thats something I'd eventually love to do.
What was your most recent project?
I just finished a 3 canvas set of the items from Mega Man 2 but I'm sure I'll have newer pieces done by the time this interview goes up.
What are your favourite experiences you've had as a result of your art?
Far and away getting involved in the convention scene. I've met some of my best friends from it and so many talented artists.
Do you have any projects in progress or in the pipeline right now?
I'm always working on multiple pieces at a time. Like right now I have a Sonic piece and Shyguy piece on my easel and some commissioned work.
Do you sell your art? If so, how can people find it?
I do! All my work thats currently for sale is at squarepainter.storenvy.com. I also signed to a gallery recently to sell my larger and more complex pieces but thats still in the works.
How can people find you online? Drop your social media handles, websites etc...
I was lucky enough to secure the Squarepainter name on all of my social media but I'm most active on instagram and twitter.
Anything else to share? Shoutouts, words of wisdom etc
A big shoutout to you for doing this interview and continuing to inspire me with all of your own work. Also aside from painting I also play the bass in the band Rex Viper. We currently have 2 songs done and are on the Cinemassacre youtube channel so please go check those out!
My name is Iain and my addiction is making pixel bead art. My main inspirations are comics, video games and movies.