The few people who get to live that long are not always in the mood for creating art. However, Hal Lasko is certainly an exception from that rule, despite his continuously weakening sight.
97-year-old Hal Lasko was diagnosed with wet macular degeneration, a disease that stops in midflight people from whatever they love doing. A cartographer during the World War II and a typographer (font designer) pretty much the rest of the time, Hal (known to his friends as Grandpa) thought that his days as an art lover and creator were brought to an end. At this point he discovered a piece of software that digital artists typically run away from, in the form of Microsoft Paint.
As his sight in the center of the field of vision gets weaker with each passing day, Hal rejoiced when he found out that MS Paint enables people to zoom in so much that each individual pixel can be seen and painted accordingly.
While modern-day graphic designers wouldn’t go close that piece of software, Hal doesn’t mind spending up to 10 hours a day drawing. He has a lot of patience, and this is exactly the thing that most people lack, irregardless if they’re artists or not. Considering the pixel art that he made, I think we can all agree that he couldn’t have spent his time in a better way.
Don’t think that he picked up MS Paint all of a sudden, though. His vision started getting worse a long time ago (which is totally understandable, given Hal’s age), and his first contact with Microsoft’s simple graphics painting program happened 15 years ago. Grandpa started working in this piece of software on a machine running Windows 95, so as far as we’re all concerned, he’s a professional in this area.
Hal Lasko’s pixel art includes anything from nature-inspired sceneries to abstract pieces and animal portraits.
Since my mother is a painter, I have a soft spot for these artists, and for art in general. On top of that, saying that Hal’s story is touching would be an understatement. In my vision, this is the way people should act and look like when nearing a century, but unfortunately that’s not always possible. I just hope that he’ll live long and paint as much as he can, as his art is literally breathtaking.
Check out the following video if you want to learn additional details about Grandpa’s touching story.