Now without further ado, here is a great interview with ShampooTeacher.
When and why did you start doing Bead Sprites?
I started making bead sprites in October of 2008. I used to have a boring midnight job at a hotel so I just sat on the computer browsing images of things that I like. I'm not a huge gamer, but I spend a lot of my free time playing games. While searching Mario in Google, I saw LostMitten's 3-D question block and wanted one so bad. I figured it wouldn't be too hard to make it myself, so I made an order on eBay and got started.
What has been your favourite project to do?
My favourite project is my Super Mario 3 screenshot. I didn't even know how big it would end up being, I just loved that game and wanted to make something from it. It taught me to plan how big something is before starting and make sure there's some way to finish it.
What has been the most challenging thing about beading that you have found so far?
The hardest part is when you try and make something that's more difficult than your basic 8-bit sprite. When you try something like a photograph, you have to scale it down and make your best guess at which colour matches best which is really hard. It's definitely better to use software that does it for you. haha
Do you have any favourite coloured beads that you like to use?
Nabbi/Photopearls are my favourite because they have awesome colours that fill gaps in Perler and Hama to make shading look so good. I just wish my supplier carried them all. Photopearls Light Grey is probably the best one because it blends so well between Grey and White where before I had to use a light blue.
Do you focus strictly on bead art or are you involved in making things from other mediums?
I mostly make bead art, but I try and keep things interesting. I've done some cross-stitching on shirts and plan to do at least one stitched screenshot to mount on the wall. I do a fair amount of painting, but get frustrated mixing colours. I plan on doing some pixel art with beer caps soon as well.
When people come to your house, is your creations posted around? If so, what are people's opinions of them?
Of course my fridge is covered in magnets and I have a small room dedicated to my crafts with them all over the walls. Everyone loves my work when they visit. People find it interesting because bead art is not a well-known medium and no one I've met has seen that kind of art before.
Do you prefer to make old school video game images, anime/cartoon or do you make images from other sources?
I like making old school images for sure. They're a lot easier and they look so clean and sharp. I do enjoy the challenge of a large project every now and then, though.
For the Mario scene, is it all beads or are there some parts done with other mediums?
The background is a painted piece of "hardboard". It's not as heavy as wood, but a lot stronger than cardboard. But everything else is made of beads.
Is this the biggest you have ever done?
Yes, it's the biggest overall piece and the largest continuous ironed piece. The floor tiles with the trees is 4 feet wide.
Would you attempt to make one even bigger?
My wife would kill me. haha The struggle is when you go that large, it's hard to put it on the wall without spending a fortune. I got lucky to find that piece of hardboard at a hardware store big enough and made a makeshift frame on the back to hold it on the wall. If someone saw that one and commissioned me to do it, I would do another one or a different screenshot. It's kind of fun to work on something that huge.
You do a fairly good amount of large pieces, do you still do smaller pieces or focus on large projects?
I love spending an entire day making 20 or 30 fridge magnets. I'll usually make small ones for a few weeks and when the right large pixel art catches my eye, I'll get motivated and make it.
Just some of his fridge magnets.
Just some of his fridge magnets.
Your Yoshi, Mario and Bowser pieces don't look like the game ones, where do you get the images?
I got the images from AbyssWolf's "Get Ready to Brawl" project on DeviantArt.
Now, is is done with both beads and painting? Do you like making the mixed medium pieces, or would you prefer to stick to just one?
Sometimes painting a background is easier than doing beads because it can take less time and you don't have to worry about them melting funny or the overall piece warping. If it's for a customer, it's up to them, though. I'll mix whatever mediums I can if it looks good.
What is your favourite part about mixed medium art?
My favourite part is that it gives pieces different layers and catches peoples' eyes.
This was another great interview. Thank you to ShampooTeacher.
I have really loved doing these interviews. Next week, I will hopefully be back to beading my own art. Lots of projects on the way.