Waneella
Decade

The debut monograph from renowned pixel artist Waneella, showcasing a decade of her transporting and meticulously crafted artworks

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Overview

A pink-blushed evening in the city, ventilator fans whirring lazily, cars zipping across a distant bridge. Single-pixel dust particles, blinking into and out of existence in sunlight streaming through an open door. Leaves falling, water moving – in all its forms – puddles, rain, reflections. A plastic bottle standing up attentively on the pavement, convincing in its transparency. The neon gloop of a lava lamp in a stuff-cluttered room, glowing incense-stick tips – their wisps of smoke crawling up towards a King Crimson poster on the wall.

A pixel (picture [pix] element [el]) on its own can seem inconsequential. Yet, when gathered together in great quantities, pixels can be used to suggest entire worlds – brimming with life. Staggeringly, in each of her captivating artworks pixel artist Valeriya Sanchilo – also known as Waneella – uses an estimated 129,600 pixels. Waneella came to pixel art in 2013, when she became fascinated with the hyper-minimalistic, yet incredibly detailed, world portrayed in the game Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. She loved that, in pixel art, everything is suggestive, that the imperfections and simplicity imposed by the restrictive medium ‘leaves space for the imagination to make it look just perfect’. In this way, every scene is a collaboration between artist and audience. 

The majority of Waneella’s countless works have recast the background as the spectacle of the scene. It always puzzled her that backgrounds could be found everywhere in theatre, film and animation, but were never celebrated in and of themselves. She works mostly from her imagination, but also draws on a rich treasure trove of visual and musical influences – from Wong Kar Wai, David Lynch, Studio Ghibli and Liam Wong to Mazzy Star, Broadcast and Portishead – incorporating photographic lighting, subtle animation and ambient music into her pieces. 

Waneella’s first monograph is a must-have portal into the world of her pixel art, documenting a decade of work as well as exploring the technical detail and inspiration behind her astounding craft.

Specification

280 × 210mm
224 pages
Hardcover

Printing in 5 colours
Two paper stocks

How it works

If our funding goal is met before GMT this project will commence development. All pledges will be immediately refunded in full if the funding goal is not met.

Estimated delivery

Winter 2024

Shipping

Tracked worldwide

Most of the time I draw from imagination. To be more precise, I usually don’t know what exactly I’m going to draw. I just start with some lines and cubes, and then think about what it could be. It’s like solving a puzzle, but there’s no correct combination.

Waneella

Decade documents the past ten years of Waneella’s exquisite pixel artworks, from her early pieces to her major works. Moving chronologically, the publication provides an unparalleled opportunity to see the progression of Waneella’s craft over time. The artworks are interspersed with detailed step-by-step case studies throughout, showing works-in-progress that lay bare the mechanics of the meticulous process of creating pixel art, with Waneella’s personal insight and guidance.

Publisher

Read-Only Memory

Profile

Founded in 2012 by Darren Wall, Read-Only Memory publishes beautiful books on videogames and their surrounding subcultures.

The special edition of Decade is limited to 200 copies and is bound in a textured violet stock. The book case is stamped with clear holofoil and the pages elegantly Swiss bound so the page block is affixed only to the back board of the case. This edition is signed by Waneella, and is housed in a matching slipcase with a tipped-in lenticular 3D illustration.

In my childhood, I had many moments of being by myself, and this feeling of being alone in the room, being alone on the street, or entering some place without any people has its own magic for me. It might be sad or eerie, but also this is a moment of slowness, observation, research and freedom.

Waneella

Interspersed throughout Decade are several step-by-step case studies. In her own words, Waneella will walk you through each step in her creative process, detailing the underlying structure, rigorous perspective work and experimentation that goes into each piece. You will see Waneella’s incremental experiments with composition, lighting and colour scheme, as she strives to get the very best out of each scene. These exclusive masterclasses make Decade a must-have for anyone looking to create their own pixel landscape artworks.

You can find backgrounds in animated films, in games, in theatrical performances, but almost never as an independent topic. I really wanted to make something to fix that. There are background-art lovers out there and this art is for them.

Waneella
Meet the author

Waneella, also known as Valeriya Sanchilo, is a prolific pixel artist who began her creative journey in multimedia animation at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography in Russia. In 2013, halfway through her studies, she began to create pixel art – a change in direction she attributes to her fascination with the 2011 videogame Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. Since then, building upon a dedicated fanbase grown on Tumblr, she has become an established artist. Waneella’s captivating urban scenes, with their meticulous detail and 16-bit videogame charm, ambient YouTube animations with music by e.sanchillo and covetable prints have carved out a unique space for her in the universe of pixel art.

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