Who are you? Where are you based?
My name is Lacey Killion, and I am based in a very small town in Northeastern Oklahoma.
When and why did you first start making your art?
February 2020. Before the shutdown of the world, my 5-year-old son saw a perler beaded Shy Guy and decided that was going to be his Valentine to his Kindergarten classmates. Two weeks and 25 Shy Guys later, I was hooked.
What inspires your artwork?
Mainly my kids, but I am also a child of the 80’s. Perler beads are one of those art mediums I remember using when I was young, so for me it is steeped in nostalgia. It doesn’t hurt that everything I loved as a kid is embraced by my twins, allowing me to geek out while making my “watercolor” series.
Do you remember the first piece you made?
After the Shy Guy brigade, my next challenge was the Cat Mario clock. That was my first piece with any real size to it, so a lot of lessons were learned.
What's the biggest piece you've ever made?
“Watercolor Bowser” and my take on Brent Estabrook’s Stormtrooper have the same bead count, but the Stormtrooper used 77 different colors. Each was 80x80 pegs, so 6400 beads.
What is your art workspace like?
My workspace is my old dining room table. It’s currently in my office of my house and while it is not exclusively for perler beads all my supplies are within arms reach in multiple places.
What are the tools of your trade?
My Samsung S6 Tab with Infinite Painter and Photoshop. Primarily Perler Beads, 3M Painters Tape and my secondhand iron.
What's the most time you've spent on a project?
Building the pattern takes me the longest, a lot of adjusting and color correcting takes place before I even bead. Bowser’s pattern took about 8 hours and another 8 to bead/iron.
Can you talk us through your creative process? How do you go about planning and creating a piece?
Once my son has decided on what I am doing next, I look for images on the internet of the character. Typically, I focus on images that have limited shading, then I manipulate them to look painted with exaggerated highlights and shadows. Photoshop is used to pixelate the picture and then I make corrections as needed. While I am beading, I am always adjusting and making slight changes. If I am creating one of my “box top” pictures, I will complete and iron the character before adding/creating the edge pieces.
What are the most common questions you get asked about your art?
Can I get the pattern? How do you make it look like a painting? How do you do the sides? How do you hang it?
Have you had any art-related disasters?
Haven’t we all? I have a kitten now and I am low-key freaking out about what that means for my next project.
Do you have a dream project you'd love to make, but just can't justify yet?
I have a 40”x40” pattern planned out for Captain America I have been sitting on for a while. I originally planned to build it out of Legos but think I can get a better outcome with Perler Beads. One of these days.
What was your most recent project?
Steamboat Willie (Mickey). It was a birthday gift for my brother, and I was pleasantly surprised how it turned out. I hope to do more of the 3D wall art style going forward.
What are your favourite experiences you've had as a result of your art?
The challenge. It’s a medium that be used in so many ways and I love that. And with that we have a community of artists that are wonderful, not only in their support, but in their willingness to share ideas and insight.
Do you have any projects in progress or in the pipeline right now?
I am in full Halloween mode right now, but after that I hope to work on my next 3D wall pieces. I have had a special Mario one drawn and planned out for months now and am excited to get it started.
Do you sell your art? If so, how can people find it?
Not right now, I’ve never really been good at that kind of thing.
How can people find you online? Drop your social media handles, websites etc...
My name is Iain and my addiction is making pixel bead art. My main inspirations are comics, video games and movies.