Who are you? Where are you based?
I am Valentina, a.k.a. Lost In Pixelation, and I am an Italian based in Copenhagen, Denmark.
When and why did you first start making your art?
I have always been crafty and I love experimenting with new things and mediums. I started playing with beads in 2019, when I purchased a bit tub of the IKEA ones to use with my daughter, as she was using them in kindergarten. We really ramped up production of small ornaments at the beginning of the pandemic and I realised I loved the act of placing the beads on the pegboard and counting them on the pattern – I found it very therapeutic in a very turbulent time. Since then it has been become my main creative outlet and stress reliever!
What inspires your artwork?
A lot of my work gets inspiration from nature and art, especially stained glass. I love transforming cross-stitch into bead art.
Do you remember the first piece you made?
The very first one must have been a small Christmas ornament I did with my daughter – the first one with a bit more purpose would be a picture with a bit of motto of mine: “I’m not weird. I am limited edition”. It is 50cmx50cm and at the time it looked so huge and took such a long time!
What's the biggest piece you've ever made?
It is probably the last one I made – a depiction of the four seasons I made for my daughter’s school.
What is your art workspace like?
I normally work on the kitchen island, which is actually quite large. My tools and a small amount of all my colours are in a rolling storage that I can bring around. The big stash of beads is scattered around shelves and drawers in my home office.
What are the tools of your trade?
I work mostly with Hama beads, supplementing them with selected Artkal colours. While Artkal has a great selection of colours and the quality is better, I mainly stick to Hama for convenience (access and price are great for Hama in Denmark) and because I do not do a lot of shading (as I like the contrasting block of colours). I use a Perler straight tweezer which I absolutely adore – so much so that I own 5 pairs (just in case!). Then of course many many square boards and kilometres of masking tape. I have recently experimented ironing with the clear film from Artkal: it is nice because it is very large and let you see through the level of melting (it makes also the beads shiny, but I normally hide that side!). Finally, my beloved Easypress2 from Cricut for ironing – a recent gift to myself.
What's the most time you've spent on a project?
I am not sure to be honest – I tend to work on my pieces in the evening after my daughter goes to bed, so I split my work over several days and I do not keep count of hours. Maybe the lampshade I made for my daughter’s room – it has over 70 stars and it took quite a bit to make all of them, also because it was quite repetitive. But the result is stunning if I may say that myself.
Can you talk us through your creative process? How do you go about planning and creating a piece?
I usually do not make my patterns and instead I adapt cross-stitch patterns. So most of the preparatory work relates to the choice of colours to adapt my palette to the one of the embroidery threads. I pick pieces that speak to me and make me happy – I especially like things with a lot of colour!
What are the most common questions you get asked about your art?
How can I make them so big, how do I iron them, and how do I find the patience to do them.
Have you had any art-related disasters?
Nothing major, mostly iron-related problems, especially as I started ironing big pieces (with a very cheap iron!).
Do you have a dream project you'd love to make, but just can't justify yet?
I would really like to make a very large mural for my corridor with banks of fish swimming towards the end of the corridor (where the sea is) – but I would also need to convince my husband about the vision
What was your most recent project?
A small sign saying “Santa stop here” for my daughter’s room.
What are your favourite experiences you've had as a result of your art?
When I created my IG account I had no idea what that would entail but I was pleasantly surprised about the interactions I had and the wonderful artists I got to get in touch with. When people appreciate my pieces and tell me my work makes them happy that is just wonderful! Also, a high point has been to be featured on the official Hama IG account for my tropical fish piece.
Do you have any projects in progress or in the pipeline right now?
Nothing on the table at the moment, but I have a few ideas of what I would like to make… I have also a couple of commissions from family and friends to take care of.
Do you sell your art? If so, how can people find it?
I have not yet sold my work as I mostly made it for myself or as gifts, but if people would like to buy something they are very welcome to send me a message on my IG account @lost.in.pixelation
How can people find you online? Drop your social media handles, websites etc...
You can find me on IG: @lost.in.pixelation
My name is Iain and my addiction is making pixel bead art. My main inspirations are comics, video games and movies.