Who are you? Where are you based?
My name is Chris, people know me by Samplesgeekart. I am currently based out of the United States specifically Las Vegas, Nevada.
When and why did you first start making your art?
I found myself making a bunch of pixelated art on Microsoft paint. When looking up basic designs I found that people would make the same designs out of beads. When my truck broke down I decided I needed a hobby to keep me busy and out of trouble and tried many different things but I kept revolving around pixel art so I ordered Perler Beads for myself and haven’t stopped since. That was roughly 6 or 7 years ago I would say. My comic/manga canvases on the other hand was inspired by a video of a street artist making a canvas and spray painting on top of it. I figured I could do the same and put my perler work as the center piece.
What inspires your artwork?
Usually my work is inspired from my favorite games, animes, or tv shows, something about the nostalgia of it brings joy to me.
Do you remember the first piece you made?
The first piece I ever made for someone was a glow in the dark iron man from the capcom vs. marvel game.
What's the biggest piece you've ever made?
The biggest piece I have finished as of now is the Night King from “Game of Thrones”. This piece was 3ft tall by 2.5 ft wide. The Night King will pale in comparison to future projects though.
What is your art workspace like?
At the moment… chaotic as I am in the process of moving lol. Typically I have a long table I work on, I have a nice rolling cart from a craft store that holds all of my materials needed for whatever project I am working on at the time. I keep my beads organized in clear bottles/jars (.99 flavored waters work perfect for this) and I keep my comics/mangas organized in different folders, drawers or containers.
What are the tools of your trade?
For my bead art I keep it pretty basic. Beads and boards, parchment paper and clothing iron are a given as these are needed to make a piece but there are a few other things that I recommend as they can help save time or make a much more refined finished piece. These include tweezers to fix any minor mistakes or to make minor alterations, Perler’s bead dispenser device which is used to place a single color down quickly and lastly the most important tool needed for this kind of art is masking tape! Masking tape is used mainly to keep large pieces together, it helps prevent boards from warping and it provides a steady even flow of heat to bind the beads together evenly. Comic art is also pretty basic. The reading source, scissors and x-acto knife to cut the reading source, any size canvas, Mod Podge Matte to bind the reading source to the canvas and foam brushes to spread the mod podge evenly.
What's the most time you've spent on a project?
The most time ive spent on a project would have to be 12-15 hours give or take.
Can you talk us through your creative process? How do you go about planning and creating a piece?
Most of the time my pieces tend to be commission based which puts a lot of the control in the customers hands. The customer and I spit ball ideas and what we think would be the best way to make something work.
What are the most common questions you get asked about your art?
For me the most common question is how do you have the time and patience to do something like that? Music… good music to zone out too can make a world of difference when making pieces for me.
Have you had any art-related disasters?
Too many to count unfortunately. The biggest one that comes to memory is when I first started I made a huge Link from ocarina of time (one of my first pieces) and as I never melted a piece so big my inexperience caused the piece to fall apart in my hands as I picked it up. Usually my most common art disaster is accidentally bumping the boards and the design goes everywhere and you have to start from scratch.
Do you have a dream project you'd love to make, but just can't justify yet?
I have a dream piece I would love to make for my art/game room. I would love to make an old school samurai with cherry blossoms falling around him but it will have to wait until I have some free time for myself. Hopefully this can be soon.
What was your most recent project?
My most recent project I am working on is a set of two pokemon on 12in x 12in canvases. The pokemon are a regular colored Umbreon on one and a shiny Umbreon on the other.
What are your favourite experiences you've had as a result of your art?
Just seeing peoples reaction to the art in general. When someone orders a piece and lets me put a creative twist on it and to see their genuine reaction is priceless. One moment comes to mind when I did a small craft fair, a younger girl maybe 8 or 9 had her mom buy a Zelda piece from me and asked how she can make something like it, I gave her four of my own personal boards and a few bags of beads and explained to her and her mom how it works. Seeing her huge smile and eyes light up is probably my favorite experience with my art. The thing I love about bead art is almost anyone of any age can do it as long as you have a little bit of patience.
Do you have any projects in progress or in the pipeline right now?
I have a few projects in the pipeline right now, these include a few big game pieces and if things work out I have an opportunity to make a large mural/portrait for a company.
Do you sell your art? If so, how can people find it?
I do sell my art. If you find yourself in Las Vegas, Nevada you can stop by the Retro City Game stores in town to pick up some pieces or you can send me a direct message and I will get back to you in a day or two.
How can people find you online? Drop your social media handles, websites etc...
At the moment people can find me on Instagram and tiktok @samplesgeekart. Be on the lookout for my discord dropping soon, details will be revealed on my Instagram when it is ready.
My name is Iain and my addiction is making pixel bead art. My main inspirations are comics, video games and movies.