If you want to see the beauty of Japan in moving pixels, look no further.
Meet the mastermind behind the beautiful gifs, Yuuta Toyoi.
Toyoi is not your ordinary illustrator.
When most of Japan’s young, talented artists must be toughing it out in cities like Tokyo and Kyoto, Toyoi unleashes creativity from his humble home between the mountains of Kumano, Wakayama prefecture.
And while many other artists find inspiration for their work in temporary moments of solitude, Toyoi has been living all by himself for a while — though in perfect company with his three cats.
Toyoi claims to have social anxiety disorder. He goes by the username @1041uuu on Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Patreon, where he is currently supported by 193 patrons.
Perhaps for the reason above, he had not given interviews until July 2017 to Nyalra, his friend at pixivision.
Toyoi uses two programs to create his pixel GIFs. He swears by EDGE2 for pixel art, while Adobe Lightroom helps him adjust colors.
What makes him even more interesting is his view of his own craft.
“The truth is, pixel art is an ugly form or art that comes in low resolution,” he told Nyalra. “Therefore, it’s essential to draw it in an easy-to-understand manner in order to make up for its ugliness.”
“Collect similar colors in one single color, simplify complex shapes. If you don’t do these things, the result will be an ugly illustration with meh colors.”
Toyoi started creating pixel art in middle or high school. He used Microsoft Excel and Paint at the time, drawing characters from manga and video games that he liked.
But contrary to what one might think, Toyoi was not always alone. He once worked for a company until one day, he started hating his life and biked all the way to Tokyo.
There, he became part of a creative project called the Geek House, where creators live under one roof. It’s almost like Terrace House, except that it’s not a reality show and everyone inside is a geek.
He eventually moved to Kyoto but faced one problem: a noisy neighbor. That’s when he decided to move between the mountains.
“I escaped to the mountains, where I started living in a communal villa owned by one of my acquaintances. Little did I know, monkeys and crows are noisy as well. They’re partying on my roof every night, so I basically switched from hitting the wall with my fists to hitting the ceiling with a stick.”
Living an isolated life is a brave choice, but what we truly admire about Toyoi is his authenticity that reflects in his work. His depiction of ordinary Japanese living in small, moving boxes makes viewers appreciate the simple things in life.
“I particularly enjoy when people appreciate the illustrations that come from my heart, expressed without too many frills.”
Needless to say, Toyoi is a talented artist who deserves more recognition. Check out some more of his work below:
Keep these awesome GIFs coming, Toyoi!
Support him on Patreon
and be inspired!
Featured Image via Tumblr / 1041uuu