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Roareye Black

Showcase: Industry Interview: eBoy

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Interview Date: 15/12/2009

In recent years pixel art has become a popular marketing tool, thanks to a few specialist companies. eBoy, the company whom I’ve interviewed, are a Berlin based group of pixel artists who have made several key pieces of modern marketing artwork, such as the album cover for Groove Armada ‘Soundboy Rock’, the 2007 Makerfaire poster and even include work for companies such as Coca Cola, Adidas and Microsoft. A great example of pixel art as a retail item, and as an artistic showpiece, SSN tracked them down for an exclusive interview. All answers were given by the entire eBoy Team, which consists of Steffen Sauerteig, Svend Smital and Kai Vermehr.

SSN: How did the three team members (Kai Vermehr, Svend Smital and Steffen Sauerteig) meet?
eBoy: Svend and Steffen met each other at parties in east Berlin before the wall came down. Kai and Steffen met at MetaDesign (one of the biggest German design company located in Berlin). We played early network games like Doom and Marathon and tried to work together too … Kai quitted his job at Meta and the other two finished their studies so there was time to do something new.

SSN: Where did you learn pixel art?
eBoy: It developed while working on icons and screen-design and on Kai’s first project called OGdig’s which was a digital magazine distributed on floppy disks. This project with it’s aim to be created and to be viewed only on the screen lead to eBoy and the use of pixels as a main tool.


SSN: Where do you get inspiration from?
eBoy: Surfing the web, shopping for groceries, walking in the woods …

SSN: When did you decide to try eBoy as a sellable product and why?
eBoy: This was more like a slow process than a decision. We started with a poster to be sold at an exhibition at the Magma book store in London. We printed it as a offset poster to be able to sell it affordable for everyone visiting the exhibition. This sold surprisingly good over quite a long time so we did another poster. And after some more posters we decided to start with our own online store and tried different products.


SSN: Where did you showcase your artwork to begin with?
eBoy: Mostly online, the first Galleries came years later … but we love online. It’s what eBoy is about.

SSN: What reactions have you had from the Art Galleries your artwork has been shown in?
eBoy: The same reactions we get from showing it online … most people love to discover all the small and hidden details in our cityscapes. We like that everyone comes up with their own interpretation.


SSN: Do you believe pixel art is a growing and unexplored medium?
eBoy: Don’t know …

SSN: What direction do you think pixel art will go?
eBoy: We are curious …


SSN: What innovations would you like to see in pixel art?
eBoy: A dedicated and lean creation tool. And innovations that are surprising and we never have thought of.

SSN: What advice would you have for artists interested in learning pixel art?
eBoy: Start with small objects, be patient … save time by recycling your existing objects in new ways … build a database with all the parts.

Thank you to eBoy for the opportunity to interview you and to showcase your artwork.

All artwork on this page is copyright to eBoy (Steffen Sauerteig, Svend Smital and Kai Vermehr) and was taken with express permission from the artist’s website, for viewing purposes only. eBoy’s Official Website.

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