Long gone are the days where we’d sit on our PC’s for hours, fascinated by the offerings of the humble Microsoft Paint. Since the birth of Photoshop and Instagram, we’ve said r.i.p to MS Paint and all of its outdated tools except for digital artist Pat Hines who uses the programme to create artwork today.

Steeped in nostalgia, he fine tunes his creations until they appear as if they could’ve been made using any programme and wouldn’t look out of place in any contemporary art gallery. The artist who displays his work on DeviantArt, a social network for artists and art enthusiasts speaks about the beginning of his passion for Paint and his views on digital art.

© Pat Hines

What is it about MS Paint that appeals to you?

The two aspects of Paint that appeal to me the most are its simplicity and its limitations. That, and the fact that very few artists work in the medium, making it relatively easier to get noticed.

© Pat Hines

Have you ever used more recent programmes such as Photoshop to create art?

I tried using Photoshop, Illustrator, and Corel Painter, but could not figure out an effective way to use them. I don’t know if it is because I’m not good at complex computer apps or if it’s just laziness, but Paint works for me and I really enjoy using it, so I don’t see any reason to switch.

© Pat Hines

What are some of the inspirations behind your works?

My illustrations are very much inspired by comic books, with the most notable influence being Hergé, the Belgian artist who created the TINTIN series. Other comic inspirations include David Mazzucchelli, Kevin Maguire, and Tim Sale. Inspirations outside of comics include the Russian illustrator Ivan Bilibin, and American illustrators Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, and Drew Struzan.

© Pat Hines

What are your thoughts on digital art, is it something that excites you?

Digital art isn’t something that I ever thought I would be into. When I was younger I always thought I’d work solely in physical media like pencil, ink, and paper, but after discovering how much I enjoyed MS Paint, I realised I would probably never return to physical media. At least not as my primary way of creating art. Digital, especially Paint, excites me because I always feel there’s something I haven’t done in it yet. I like pushing how far it can go.

© Pat Hines

Do you have any future plans of where you want to take your artwork?

I would love to have my work published to a large audience. As of now I’ve self-published my first novel, CAMP REDBLOOD AND THE ESSENTIAL REVENGE, which features a number of original illustrations, as an eBook, but I am very keen on seeing it in print. Aside from that, my plan is to keep writing my books and keep illustrating them. It would be great if I could do that as a full-time job, but I get plenty of joy out of it as a hobby.

To see more of Pat Hines work, click here.