Old Japanese Man Creates Amazing Art Using Excel (Wait, Excel?)

Microsoft Excel isn't only for spreadsheets. It can also be used to create art. Don't believe me? Just ask 73-year-old Tatsuo Horiuchi. He'll tell ya.

But why Excel? "Other specialised graphic software is expensive, and Excel came pre-installed in PCs," Horiuchi told Japanese website PC Online, adding that he found the program easy to use and more capable than actual paint.

The retiree said that he didn't use Excel at his job. "I saw other people neatly drawing graphs, and I thought it seemed like Excel could be used to draw art." Before he retired from his company, he felt like he wanted to do something new, bought a computer, and started using Excel. And in the last 10 years, he has established himself as a digital artist, showing his work in exhibitions.

Other artists have used Excel to draw and paint in, sure. However, how many of them are senior citizens creating traditional and stunning Japanese motifs? Not many!

堀内辰男のエクセルで描くパソコン画 [Tatsuo Horiuchi] エクセルで本格的な絵画を描く、油絵や日本画の画家が「仲間」[PC Online]


    Before seeing the second last picture, I thought he was doing it by zooming out really far and colouring the cells.
    This is less cool, and could just as easily be done in several of the other Office programs. Probably even easier with an actual free art program like Paint.NET

      All Microsoft Office programs share an identical set of VECTOR drawing tools. But only Excel has a limitless workspace, without enforcing page boundaries. You mentioned the free drawing Windows application, Paint.Net - which is an excellent BITMAP editor. But the gradients in Tatsuo's artwork, repetitive detail and large scale would be best served by vector drawing tools, not bitmap. Adobe Illustrator would be the expensive commercial alternative, but http://inkscape.org is freely available. My only question for Tatsuo is, how does he print these artworks?

      You say "could just as easily be done in several of the other Office programs", but when I look at what he's achieving I don't see how it is easy at all. It does look as though he has gone to quite a bit of effort to create what he has.

      Same. I thought he was doing them cell by cell akin to pixel art.

      But it's still impressive to see someone come along and paint traditional styles of works using shapes and what not. Especially creating something so beautiful in a program that was meant to record numbers. Most people wouldn't be able to paint something half as good as that in something like Illustrator.

    I use Microsoft Word....

    Microsoft Excel isn’t only for spreadsheets. It can also be used to create art.

    Can != should. Please take this phrase off the internet immediately so that misguided youths of tomorrow don't accidentally stumble upon it and get the wrong idea.

    [Just kidding - cool stuff. I can only hope he did this because it was all he had at his desk job though, and somehow ended up getting paid to paint for 3 billion years in an office job]

    Last edited 14/05/13 12:29 am

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now