The Pixel Art of Joe Mihaloew

Many people have become drawn to the nostalgia of pixelated images in recent years because it has become trendy. For some the older video game systems and their look has become a trend that people brag about being interested in because it’s fashionable, but for Virginia artist Joe Mihaloew the attraction is genuine love.

“Personally, the draw for me is the nostalgia of childhood. I grew up with the Nintendo Entertainment System, and it was the coolest damn thing to me.” Mihaloew said, “Everything from the art to the soundtracks, it was just incredible what they got out of those old 8-bit ‘limitations.’”

His love of that look is reflected in the artwork that both Mihaloew and his daughter Julia currently produce and sell. It was his daughter that first drew Mihaloew to the artform.

“We ran across some Perler brand beads at a local craft store, and she wanted to give them a go. After seeing what you could potentially create with them, I decided to do a couple myself. We were hooked.”

Their use of the beads has helped them reproduce many classic looks from the nostalgic era of video games with great accuracy. But not just classic pixelated video games, they also apply their art form to current characters, logos, and pictures.

They’ve developed a system that allows them to produce image after image with the imagery, feel and colours of the classic video game look while keeping their work easy to identify and faithful to the image they are producing.

While they are still getting their entire operation set up they are (and have been) taking commissions for work and delivering finished images to satisfied customers.

As they get the finishing touches on their contact and promotional details (website, business cards, etc.) Mihaloew and his daughter are already planning to begin showing their wares at conventions and other outlets in the upcoming future.

For now, you can contact Mihaloew directly at to request information and commissions.



John Goodale is the author of ‘Johnny Gora’ (available through, and a number of articles here on His monthly column ‘Indy Comics Spotlight’ appears here and through his blog Indy Comics Spotlight

Indy Comics spotlight