Who are you? Where are you based?
My name is Richard, I’m an beadaholic from Sweden!
When and why did you first start making your art?
It all started 2016 when my son was about to turn 5 years old. He wanted money for his birthday present so he could buy beads, he was used to beading at his preschool. He brought some project home from preschool which reminded me of my childhood with beads but not something I was interested in. He got money as he wanted, we went to a store and bought beads and boards. I watched my son bead and I was thinking about what else you could do with beads. I searched on Google and found an Instagram-account: skoogsparlan. I quickly realised that you could bead everything from NES-games, I had a blast playing NES-games as a kid! So of course I had to give it a try! So I did, and that was it, I was hooked! That was my starting point, I then moved on to more advanced stuff like photographs and bigger projects. But as I love games (especially older ones) I mostly bead game-related stuff. I have to blame (or thank) my son for everything!
What inspires your artwork?
Tricky question, a lot of things inspire me. Other artists is a big inspiration to me, I’ve got a few favourites in this scene. I also get inspired by retrogames which is built on pixels, easy to make projects from a screenshot, many times it’s games I remember from my childhood. But I also bead characters from movies and musicians. After some times with beads you start to see things in beads and pixels. Walking past a mushroom in the woods: That could become a nice project in beads! I believe I’ve been bitten by the beadbug, Crazy illness!
Do you remember the first piece you made?
I believe my first piece was Bowser from SMB3. And some other small pieces as you can see below.
What's the biggest piece you've ever made?
My biggest piece… Depends on how you define biggest. By size I think it’s Guts-tank from Megaman 2, a NES-game. I did most parts myself but my son also helped with that project. It was on 25 boards. But I also beaded SMB3 World 1 Map in minibeads which was 20 boards but a lot more beads than Guts-tank. :)
What is your art workspace like?
Haha… Nothing to brag about! Sometimes I bead on my kitchen table, most of the times at a desk in my kids room. I have dreams about a cool workspace of course, we’ll see what happens in the future. At least I sit down now, the first years with beads I stood at a dresser and beaded.
What are the tools of your trade?
Mostly it’s beads, boards and tweezers. For my projects I use my computer, either to just take an image from an old game or to convert an image to a project using a software called Perler. Most of the times I bead, but I’ve also tried Diamond Painting, cross stitching and pixelart painting on canvas, all these techniques is based on pixels and requires some tools. But mostly, I bead.
What's the most time you've spent on a project?
The most time… That will have to be the SMB3 World 1 Map in mini-beads. I don’t really think about time while beading, it’s a timeless and relaxing activity for me.
Can you talk us through your creative process? How do you go about planning and creating a piece?
The first question I have to ask myself is what I want to do. That’s a though one. Cause most of the time I have at least 10 projects in my head. I need a picture to go from, doesn’t matter if it’s a photograph or a screenshot from a game. When I make a project from a photograph it’s important to have a good picture, sometimes I have to try different pictures in Perler before I’m satisfied. It works different with screenshots from games. I often have an idea of a particular scene from the game on my mind but that image can change during my work with the project. In these projects I match colors to the brand of beads I’m using instead of using a software to pick colors for me. Watching these projects grow is really satisfying. Last but not least I iron my pieces. That part isn’t that fun. Therefore it’s very important to find an iron you are really satisfied with. I have owned a lot of irons, now I’m down to four. (Yes, I’m a bit crazy when it comes to irons!)
What are the most common questions you get asked about your art?
Are those made of beads? How can you have so much patience? I think those are the questions I get most of the time. Sometimes people ask if they can have the pattern for my project or how I create patterns.
Have you had any art-related disasters?
Not really that I can think of. I’ve still got time for that. :)
Do you have a dream project you'd love to make, but just can't justify yet?
I have a dream-project. It’s on 72 boards (if I choose midi-beads), it’s Dr Wily's Castle from Megaman 2 on NES. I will make it... some day. :)
What was your most recent project?
Two NES-projects, Ice Climber and Ducktales.
What are your favourite experiences you've had as a result of your art?
First of all: I love creating things with beads. It’s a relaxing activity for me and I absolutely love creating art with beads from games from my childhood, being able to recreate this with beads is really satisfying. Plus I get a lot of compliments, a lot of people are impressed by what I do.
Do you have any projects in progress or in the pipeline right now?
I’m working on a Mario-piece at the moment, mostly characters from Super Mario Allstars. I will add some more characters as well. This project isn’t finished in my mind yet, we’ll see where it will land. And I have many other projects in mind as well, we’ll see what comes next. Here’s what the start looks like:
Do you sell your art? If so, how can people find it?
I do sell some art. So far it’s been mostly to friends from Facebook that knows what I do. I’m always open for orders.
How can people find you online? Drop your social media handles, websites etc…
Anything else to share? Shoutouts, words of wisdom etc?
Shoutouts to some of my favourite artists on Instagram:
My name is Iain and my addiction is making pixel bead art. My main inspirations are comics, video games and movies.