👾 Find Out How Galo's NFTs Make Pixels Dance

His art and professional research study how creative software impacts architectural design..

If you have been following the Tezos blockchain closely during the past few days, you might’ve heard about 8bidou.com… This new platform focuses on pixel art (8x8 and 24x24 dimensions only so far). It is very early, and the interface can be tricky to navigate, but it has sparked a new pixel trend that feels very refreshing.

Following that trend, I thought it was a good idea to share the story behind one of my favorite pixel artists - Galo. His art is not purely pixel art, as he is not manually drawing each pixel. Instead, Galo creates algorithms that produce special effects, and it feels like the pixels are dancing.

DANCERS #18 by itsgalo

Can you tell me a bit about your background?

My family is Ecuadorian, but I’ve lived in Spain, Scotland, and the United States. So I like to say I’m an international person. My background and area of expertise are in architectural design, but I have been coding and programming off and on since I was about 14 when I was introduced to HTML and Javascript. Right now, I am currently a visiting assistant professor at Texas Tech University’s College of Architecture in Lubbock, TX where I’m researching creative software and its impact on architectural design. My visual art practice is something I do on the side, but thanks to NFTs I have been able to devote much more time and resources to it.

Auto Painting #009 by itsgalo - One of his early works minted on April 2021.

How did you discover NFTs?

I found NFTs through social media in early 2021.

A few artists I’ve followed for years were sharing work they had recently minted and were posting about the different platforms emerging at the time like Foundation and Hic et Nunc. As my research is focused on creative software and digital media, I felt like I had to dive deeper into NFTs as they were (and still are) shaking up the way creative work is presented to the public.

CRASHERS #101 by itsgalo (animated)

What has been your biggest challenge creating pixel art?

I wouldn't necessarily call my work pixel art. Though I work through chunky pixelated imagery, my work is a bit different from pixel art because I do not place pixels on the screen individually. Most of my graphic work involves real-time quantization using GLSL shaders that produce chunky, downscaled, effects. Here, the biggest challenge is getting the pixels to be as crispy as possible. It’s rather tricky to downscale images precisely and achieves pixel perfection, especially when working at different resolutions, this is why sometimes pixelation “filters” produce unwanted artifacts. Producing shaders for different dithering algorithms and remapping colors has been the biggest challenge for me so far. GLSL is a tricky animal.

FOLLIES - 220216-01 by itsgalo - Part of the SCREENSPACE FOLLIES collection.

This article is part of the #30NFTArtists30days series, where I write a daily newsletter edition about a different NFT creator during March 2022. Consider getting a premium subscription to support my writing journey ✌️

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Who are your favorite NFT artists?

I have many favorite NFT artists. I’m constantly looking at the work of p1xelfool, Nicolas Sassoon, spacefiller art, Sara Ludy, Casey Reas, Anna Lucia, Andrew Benson, Rodell Warner, Liam Egan, Lisa Orth, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez and so many others…

SAMPLERS #1 by itsgalo - this collection is still minting (animated)

What are your plans? Any particular project you are working on right now?

I’m always working on a few projects at a time. I have an ongoing project called “screenspace” that is a collection of custom painting interfaces built-in Processing. These interfaces allow me to paint and process the painting with shaders in real-time to achieve weird and uncanny effects. These paintings are usually minted as 1/1s.

I’m kind of obsessed with the idea of digital painting (and its history). This interest also drives a lot of my generative artworks. I like to think of them as “automatic paintings”. I’m also working on more speculative architectural projects where NFTs can play a part in either documentation or the dissemination of architectural designs. This is through my architecture firm Office CA (@office__ca).

Screenspace Follies Study #005 by itsgalo

Don’t forget to follow Itsgalo on his Twitter account to stay updated with his latest drops.

Until next time,

- Kaloh

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