This weeks featured artist is the very creative Andy Cochran, creator of 8-bit Proverbs. Andy uses his love of classic video games and creates artwork that’s not only fun to look at, but can actually motivate and inspire you as well. Take a look at some of his pieces below and be sure to checkout his website8bitproverbs.com.
KD: Hey Andy, can you give our readers a little info about yourself and what you do?
AC: I was born in Louisville, KY and spent my childhood drawing, painting, and playing lots of video games. I studied fine arts at Maryland Institute College of Art and now work as a web designer in New York City. I’m currently working on a series of gouache paintings that pair classic video game sprites with simple maxims that I call 8-bit Proverbs.
KD: What inspired 8-bit Proverbs?
AC: I’ve always enjoyed wordplay and exploring metaphoric possibilities hidden in everyday objects. Familiarity and nostalgia are inherent qualities of 8-bit games. But you can turn that on its head to discover new meaning. 8-bit Proverbs are my way of ironically winking at moments from my childhood.
KD: How long does it take you to think of and create each piece?
AC: Although the actual painting only takes about a day (including long stretches of drying time), I spend weeks in planning. I have a text file full of ideas for how I might phrase proverbs. The particular wording is especially important, as each proverb is a double entendre. Each one highlights specific gameplay or mechanics, while phrased in a way that exposes an applicable real-life lesson.
KD: You said you’re a classic video game fan so I have to ask, what’s your favorite Nintendo game or series? Why?
AC: Various games are important to me for different reasons. Blaster Master was so awe-inspiring, from the amazing soundtrack to that vulnerable feeling of exiting your tank. Kirby’s Adventure beautifully pushed the NES to its limits. Adventures of Lolo is probably my all-time favorite strategy/puzzle game. Super Mario Bros. 3 is pretty much flawless. And my family endlessly challenged each other on Dr. Mario (my mom can totally beat anyone). But I’ve probably put in more hours on the first Dragon Warrior than any other game ever.
KD: What other art do you dabble in when your not working on 8-bit Proverbs?
AC: I do other representational mixed-media drawings & paintings. I play around a bit on my guitar(s). But these days I’m mostly writing CSS. I’ve recently been experimenting with a CSS-only method for scalable pixel art, in hopes of creating a framework for a web comic.
KD: Are there any upcoming projects or pieces you’d like to tell us about?
AC: I plan to keep making 8-bit Proverbs until I’m out of games. There are some popular ones in the works: SMB, Mega Man, Castlevania, Metroid, Tetris… and I’d be interested to hear if there are specific games that fans would like to see. So far, I’ve only made proverbs for NES games. But keep an eye out for some from the Master System, Atari, Game Boy, and Game Gear. If the handheld ports of Mortal Kombat weren’t so bad, I might’ve already painted “Always finish what you’ve started.”
KD: Thanks for the interview Andy! I really like your unique use of the 8-bit characters and scenes in your artwork. Where can our readers find out more about you and where can they purchase your creations?
AC: You can follow @8bitProverbs on Twitter or Facebook. I’ll be posting new paintings there as they’re completed. And I have prints available at 8bitproverbs.com.
Any artist interested in having their artwork on PureNintendo.com or in PNM can contact me at Kaelyn@purenintendo.com. We love to see anything Nintendo themed from fan art to sculptures to baked goods. You could be the next Pure Nintendo featured artist! Also to see artwork from artists featured in our magazine, PNM, please head to PureNintendo.com/magazine to subscribe! Thanks for reading.
Hello! My name is Kaelyn, and I LOVE Nintendo! I can't remember a time when I didn't play video games. Growing up with 3 older brothers it was hard to avoid them. Nintendo was always something that put me in a good mood, or taken me away when I needed a break from reality. My favorite series is the Legend of Zelda! I've always been into drawing Nintendo characters and seeing other people's video game themed art. I have a dream of one day meeting the great Shigeru Miyamoto, and one day working for Nintendo (Don't we all).