Common App essay - Pixel Art

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.


I zoomed in on my character with a few quick swipes using my drawing tablet pen. The blocky character was made out of perfect, tiny squares as if it had been built out of Lego bricks. But something was a bit off. I peered into the picture and tried to find what was wrong. Is it the hair? I had outlined the borders of the hair with a single pixel layer and wondered if that was throwing the image off. No, that was not it; I dismissed the thought and scanned for something else. I noticed only after flipping the image and changing the perspective that the gradients of the two eyes were too similar to convey their depth. With the color identification tool, I copied my eyes’ RGB values from a photo of my face and applied it to the two dots that represented the eyes of my character. Done. I zoomed back out and looked at my piece with pride.

This is pixel art, a form of digital art that requires the artist to carefully curate each individual pixel on their digital canvas. When I was young, I lacked talent in drawing, so I always took a role in researching or presenting for school projects because I knew my peers could do a better job on the visuals.

However, when I became indulged in coding and began to develop my own software, I...

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