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Speaking to Vice’s The Creator’s Project, Italy-born, Shanghai-based illustrator Ailadi says “I like the combination of PETSCII 8-bit game aesthetic with subjects of common daily life.” She’s referring to her PETSCII series, an art project based around producing one new 8-bit gif per day, fittingly named after the character set from the line of 8-bit home computers Commodore produced in the ‘70s. “I mostly draw at night, just before going to sleep,” she tells Vice. “And the subject of it represents something about the day that just passed: something I did, I saw, that happened around me or in the news.”
This basis in reality doesn’t stop the gifs from having a slight surreal touch, however. “Perhaps it’s the 8-bit medium stirring nostalgia, but Ailadi’s often whimsical GIFs seem to take place in a slightly different world,” notes Vice’s Gabrielle Bruney. “A gentler, more amusing one, where a girl can pet an alligator seemingly without fear.” According to the interview, the project is being made in collaboration with 8-bit enthusiast Jamonbill, who Ailadi explains is behind the program she uses to draw and animate her gifs. As the program improves, she’s excited “to keep evolving and imagining new way [sic] of ‘petsciing’.”
Check out some of Ailadi’s gifs below. Damn if that alligator isn’t cute.