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Japanese Artist Creates Stunning Anime Art with Microsoft Excel

When people ask Japanese artist Maruraba_2 (his Twitter handle) what drawing and design software he recommends, his answer is always ‘Excel’. Many take it as a joke, but only because they have no idea that his incredibly detailed anime art is created exclusively with the spreadsheet program.

To those of us who don’t work in accounting or simply hate crunching numbers, Microsoft Excel is extremely boring, but only because we haven’t discovered its true potential. To Twitter user @Maruraba_2, on the other hand, the spreadsheet software is an extremely valuable artistic tool that allows him to create amazing anime-inspired artworks. I have no idea how he does it, but all the digital drawings he posts on Twitter are done exclusively with Microsoft Excel.

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Stunning Japanese Paintings Created in Microsoft Excel

When it comes to painting, or even digital art, Microsoft Excel isn’t usually the first thing that pops into your head. Yet 73-year-old artist, Tatsuo Horiuchi, has been using it to create stunningly beautiful traditional Japanese artworks.

If you’re going to use software for artistic purposes, why not use something like the powerful and popular Adobe Photoshop, right? Well, Tatsuo Horiuchi’s explanation sort of makes sense – he says graphics software is too expensive, while Microsoft Excel came pre-installed on his computer. Plus, although he had never used it himself, before he retired from his job he often saw his colleagues using it to create graphs, so he thought the program could be used to draw art as well. In his early pension years, Horiuchi decided he wanted to try something new, so he bought a computer and began experimenting with digital painting. At first, he tried Microsoft Word, but he experienced problems with determining the canvas size to fit the printing paper, so he ultimately turned to Excel, which had a neat feature that automatically reduced the worksheet size to fit his A4 printing paper. Painting in a spreadsheet application was hard at first, but the ambitious Tatsuo managed to hone is skills, and during the last 10 years he has established himself as an original artist, with exhibitions all over Japan.

Tatsuo-Houichi

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