Pixel Arts & Lo-Fi Music: A Paradise of Nostalgia

Before you confuse the title, I’ll start by saying no, I’m not a Pixel Artist nor am I a creator of Lo-Fi music. I’m just an admirer of the art. The last time I’ve seen pixel art was during the ’90s when it was kind of the norm back then for video games, and to see it again today, being used by pixel artists to combine with the relaxing tunes of Lo-Fi music really gives me the mood. You know, the kind of mood word that millenials use today which means “I’m feelin’ it”.

Actually, I first discovered the Lo-Fi music genre a few months ago before I did pixel art, which was I did only recently- I mean the new pixel art thing that is not the video games. I discovered the genre in Spotify when I was looking for chill music to listen to while I write on my blog (like I’m doing as I write this).

Mind telling us what the hell you’re talking about?

Not at all. But I actually can’t describe it properly myself so I’ll let Google help me out here. Lo-Fi, or low-fidelity, is an aesthetic of music that captures the imperfections during recording and production, often with the sound being β€œlow quality” compared to contemporary standards. That is according to this article I’ve read. It talks more details about Lo-Fi music.

To give you an idea of what it sounds like if you haven’t heard of it yet, here’s an example from a Youtube channel which is no doubt owned by a Filipino, and I’ll talk more about that later on. Check the video below.

You feelin’ it yet? That kinda mood? If we’re the same kind of weird, you’d know what I’m talking about. You may notice that the music is just repetitive, same as the video, which shows an animated pixel art of a jeepney ride.

What’s so special about it?

Nothing. That’s the point, though. It’s nothing special, but just the repetitive music and video that doesn’t seem to make sense. And that’s why it’s weird, because I find it cool for some reason. I could watch the video without skipping until it’s finished. Crazy, right?

Okay, so, what about it?

Well, at first, it was just the Lo-Fi music that I’ve been vibing to. Then, I discovered this Instagram account, sabadontt (same owner of the Youtube video and channel above), that shares these amazing pixel arts about just the daily stuff that happens in the life of every ordinary people in my country, among other things.

Looking at the pixel arts, you wouldn’t think they were done with effort if compared to other digital arts. But that’s what makes them perfect, and I know they were indeed done with effort. They look amazing in a way I can’t explain. These arts look kind of low-quality (for lack of a better term) that they perfectly fit with so-called Lo-Fi music.

IG/YT user sabadontt made his animated pixel arts even more special by creating illustrations that are easily relatable to most Filipinos.

See what’s going on there? Nothing much, right? It just shows a lady eating inside a convenience store at night, and is backed by a chill Lo-fi music. This simple illustration kinda hits me with nostalgia. How? We all know this famous convenience store, and there are branches all over the country just like most fast food restaurants, so why all the drama?

Well, like I said, it’s the vibe. The illustration kinda throws me back to my call center days (or nights rather) when I used to have lunch at convenience stores during the wee hours and they’re the only place that’s lively mostly because of other call center agents.

And the fast food restaurants, too.

Even each ride on the way to work that I so much dread even to this day, I remember them like it was yesterday. And even though there’s no way in hell I’d wanna be in that position ever again, these illustrations still bring in the nostalgia as if it’s supposed to be a beautiful memory.

Hell nah.
The more you look at these animated pixel arts, the more you see how detailed they are. The artist obviously pays a lot of attention to his surroundings and include them into his art.

Have you ever watched the sunrise and the city from above? I don’t remember a time when I’ve done something like this, yet this post illustrating a sunrise in Baguio (a.k.a. Summer Capital of the Philippines) still makes me feel nostalgic. How’s that even possible? Well, I’ve been to Baguio once but I never watched the sunrise the same way it’s shown here. Maybe it’s just the thought of simply being in that place that gives me the feels.

What is it about this ‘nonsense’ that I admire so much?

First of all, I think it’s the love for arts. I’ve always loved to draw since I was a kid. Unfortunately, creativity didn’t feel the same for me. That’s why I’m kinda envious of these artists who could express themselves the way I used to dream of doing it, especially this particular pixel artist.

How I try to express my daily experiences and thoughts through writing, he does it through animated pixel arts. It kinda makes me jealous that he’s getting a lot of love for the talent, imagination, and creativity that I wish I had. But it’s also what makes me admire his works, thus, making me a fan of his art.

I love how these illustrations are so simple and yet a single look at each of them can tell a lot of stories, depending on how you’d relate to those situations. Just like how a painting could look confusing or nonsense to some people, but a masterpiece to others.

Maybe I would never be able to explain clearly this kind of sad feeling and nostalgia that these animated illustrations and Lo-Fi music are giving me, but, at least, the comments of other people on each post tell me I’m not the only one. And I’m good with that.

***

I hope the artist wouldn’t mind me sharing his works because I didn’t ask for his permission before posting this.

To finalize this, here’s my favorite video.

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