While most digital artists opt to use Photoshop or other similar digital imaging software, 77-year-old Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi chooses to work with Microsoft Excel to produce his beautiful works of art. His “paintings” are remarkably intricate works that mimic traditional Japanese paintings that offer scenic views of natural landscapes rich with cultural motifs.
The artist says, “I never used Excel at work but I saw other people making pretty graphs and thought, ‘I could probably draw with that.'” He adds, “Graphics software is expensive but Excel comes pre-installed in most computers… And it has more functions and is easier to use than [Microsoft] Paint.”
Horiuchi even dabbled with Microsoft Word, but found it to be too restrictive in its paper sizing. There is far more freedom for the artist to expand on his pieces in Excel. Since his discovery of the program's artistic functions and his ability to utilize the software's capabilities, Horiuchi has gone on to win competitions with his work, most notably taking first prize at the Excel Autoshape Art Contest in 2006.
Having gained worldwide praise over the last few years, Horiuchi has now caught the attention of Great Big Story. The artist invited GBS into his home, offering a behind-the-scenes look at his process.
77-year-old Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi chooses to “paint” with Microsoft Excel.
His colorful creations are remarkable works of art.
It's hard to believe that these lifelike illustrations were made on Excel spreadsheets, which are typically used to crunch numbers.
But here's a look at a Japanese landscape painting he made on an actual Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
Watch as Horiuchi invites Great Big Story into his home for a behind-the-scenes look at his process.
Tatsuo Horiuchi: Website | Archive
This article has been edited and updated.
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