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The Artistic Legacy of Microsoft Paint

Simple tools, don’t always mean simple results

The variety and complexity of digital design tools today can sometimes seem overwhelming, especially for designers who are new to all the different platforms. In this blog we share how a simple tool, doesn’t always mean simple results. We celebrate the use of MS Paint by three very different designers and artists.

Paint_2Source: WikiHow

If you were using computers in the 90’s you will remember Microsoft Paint. MS Paint is a computer program working with simple graphic editing.  You may remember using it to create abstract art or designs as a child, or it may have even been your first experience with designing anything on a computer. Since the 80’s, MS Paint has gathered a cult following, and this much loved free computer program comes with masses of potential.

Pat Hines

Author and Artist, Pat Hines decided to illustrate his entire book with MS Paint. Speaking to Demilked on his use of Paint back in 2017, Hines had this to say:

“I suck at Photoshop and other programs, and have worked exclusively in Microsoft Paint for over ten years… I honed my craft working long overnights at a hospital reception desk.”


PatHines_2Source: Demilked

Not only have incredibly talented artists and designers used this medium for stunning illustrations, there have been entire TV shows created with the software. It may seem simple, but there is a real beauty in taking such a limited software to create such complex art.

Click below to watch the Vox documentary on Pat’s art:

Miranda Lorikeet

Miranda Lorikeet is an Australian artist who grew up playing with the program, and when she started an office job as an adult, she would spend her lunch breaks on MS Paint creating these truly stunning, soft and atmospheric illustrations.

MirandaL 2

MirandaL 1

When asked about her work, Lorikeet said:

“I draw landscapes to lose yourself in, little make-believe universes to escape to. It’s about those moments when you are staring out the train window but in your head you are miles away. My goal is to capture that moment.”

MirandaL 3

MirandaL 4Source: BREVIKBANTER

Concha Garcia Zaera

Concha Garcia Zaera is an 87-year-old grandmother who was inspired by other MS Paint artists, deciding to put aside the expensive paint brushes, canvases and paints in favour of the software. Her paintings are incredibly stunning and it is a delight to be able to see someone from a different generation utilize this medium so well.

Concha 4

Concha 3


So in the future, if you are struggling with complicated visual software like Photoshop, just remember that with practise and dedication, you can use almost any artistic medium to visualise your ideas and designs.

Concha 2Source: Instagram


Thanks for reading!



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