The process of creating video game sprites with tiny beads, often referred to as "beadsprites" or "perlers", has existed for quite some time now, and I have definitely jumped on the bandwagon a bit late here. For anyone new to the concept, beadspriting is typically the process of recreating classic sprites, or creating new sprites, using small beads, such as Perler beads, arranged on a grid board which is then melted together with an iron. Some artists have taken the process further, creating incredibly elaborate pieces, such as recreations of classic paintings, huge maps, and 3D characters.
When I first started making beadsprites I must admit I felt rather out of place when I read that the beads are a choking hazard and that I must consult an adult for the ironing step (apparently the bead manufacturer did not anticipate adults using their products, at least without the involvement of small children).
Most of the sprites I created were made as gifts for friends, and I turned a lot of the smaller ones into magnets by gluing magnetic strips on to the backs.
Please visit the beadsprite subreddit for more information on beadsprites. You will find a wide array of work, FAQs, techniques, and some very helpful people.
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Brian Riggsbee lives in San Francisco CA. He enjoys gaming, writing, creating art, practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, chasing adorable dogs, and spending time with his wife and boy.