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Originally Lospec was going to be focused solely on pixel art. As I thought about what makes pixel art unique, I realized there are multiple other art forms that share many of the same characteristics, and deserve the same appreciation that pixel art gets. There didn't seem to be a collective term for these art forms, so I call them digitally restrictive art. I hope to include resources for all these types of art, and hopefully bring together a community of people who create and appreciate these art forms.
The goal of this website is to slowly add more and more useful tools over time and fulfill some of the long standing needs of artists, hopefully making the process easier, more accessible, and more fun. I hope to help new artists more easily find the best software and learning resources, as well as create invaluable tools that even experts can benefit from. As the site grows we can take on more ambitious projects to fulfill the needs of the community.
In the early days of computers, memory and storage space were a valuable commodity. Old hardware had very little space, every possible bit had to be conserved. Screen resolutions were small, and could only display a limited amount of colors. Music was stored as a sequence of notes rather than a single audio file. Games and programs had a maximum amount of space they could use, and they had to work within that restriction. Games made for the Atari 2600 could only be 32 kilobytes in total, including graphics, sounds, programming, levels.
Some people might view these restrictions as inconvenient, something that can only hinder your creative process. But there are many benefits to creating art within restrictions. Sometimes they simply help your get over art blocks by giving you a place to start, or help you use a consistent style throughout a piece. They can also force you to think in ways you might not have before and find creative ways to represent your vision. Your goal changes from "how can I best depict this subject" to "how can I best depict this subject within these limitations". You start thinking about the design, and level of detail. You are forced to simplify and prioritize, and consider the piece as a whole. It changes the whole creative process and forces you to think about your art from a new angle. The process of creating pixel art is completely different from even similar art forms like digital painting.
Some artists may impose restrictions upon themselves purposefully just to take advantage of these benefits. Some restrictions are just a result of that art form, like the canvas size of a painting or material of a sculpture. In Digitally Restrictive Art, the restrictions are brought on by the fact that they are stored digitally and is usually based on how the data is saved.
My name is Sam Keddy. I've been making pixel art since I was in middle school, over 10 years ago now. I started by making simple sprite edits and small tiles, posting them on a spriting forum. Soon I found Pixel Joint, where I spent a lot of time viewing, critiquing, creating, discussing and learning about pixel art. I've learned a lot along the way, and while I know there's still a lot I could improve on, I have many other hobbies as well. I also got into web design at a young age, teaching myself using online resources. And with creating websites came the necessity to learn graphic design. I've created many websites over the years, including at least 10 variations of my personal website, but none have I been as passionate about as Lospec. I want to use my collection of skills to make the Lospec the best it can be, and I hope it never stops growing.