Dan Cattell’screations of pixelated beings look something straight out of the Hollywood movie, ‘The Predator’. And like the alien in the movie, his pixelated creature is ugly too. The only difference is this creature is harmless.
It all started when Cattell saw a cardboard District 9 prawn cosplay online. This gave him an idea to do a Chozo for Metroid. After undertaking a proportions study in animation software, he made it to a grid and hand-painted it. This was his first costume.
However, this was just no ordinary rendering of Chozo, Cattell made it a point to abstract out the pixels a bit to make it appear different. He did so because he likes expressionism and art styles of the similar nature.
Since childhood, Cattell, born in New Jersey, showed interest in editing video game sprites in MS paint. To pursue his passion, he got enrolled in Rutgers University. He thought of participating in Otakon 2010, an annual three-day anime convention.
However, Cattell wanted a costume that was something really cool but at the same time not very expensive. So, he did what he does best. He used his own creativity to make something unique that people had never laid their eyes on. This was also his way of avoiding direct competition with his own favourite cosplayers.
When Cattell flaunted his pixel costume, it really made heads turn. More so, because it was hand-painted. He followed it up with a Samus pixel costume in 2011, where he painted the hard edges. This gained instant popularity online, much more than the last one, so much so that it elicited an interview call from Nintendo Power. Cattell didn’t let the opportunity slip by and used that publication to secure a research grant for a giant Ridley costume that was constructed to-scale with Samus.
Totally created out of Cattell’s fertile imagination, his pixelated creations are seen in some unusual situations with other cosplayers, dressed as comic book characters, superheroes, Hollywood stars and what not. One thing that irks Cattell is that people think he uses Photoshop in his photos. But, the modern smartphones, that have excellent video shooting capabilities, have come to his rescue and enables him to communicate what his costumes are all about.
Currently, Cattell’s fan following on Instagram is almost 4,000 and counting. It remains to be seen what photographs of his pixelated creature he uploads next to delight us all.