Video: Blind Rocky River grandpa, 97, creates computer-generated art

by

comment

Hal Lasko, the 97-year-old former graphic designer known as Grandpa
  • Hal Lasko, the 97-year-old former graphic designer known as "Grandpa"

Check out this amazing video of 97-year-old Rocky River resident and World War II veteran Hal Lasko, known to everybody as "Grandpa," and try not to choke up. After his eyesight deteriorated, the former graphic designer started using Microsoft Paint because he can zoom in close enough to see his work.

The Pixel Painter from The Pixel Painter on Vimeo.


Directed by Josh Bogdan and Ryan Lasko, the eight and half minute video called "The Pixel Painter" shows how Grandpa "spends ten hours a day moving pixels around his computer paintings" to create "a blend of pointillism and 8-Bit art.

According to Lasko's website:

Grandpa was born July 28, 1915 in Toledo Ohio - he was one of eight children of Austrian immigrants. As he was starting his career as a graphic designer, he left civilian life to serve in WWII drafting directional and weather maps for bombing raids.

During life after his service he was a graphic designer in Cleveland, OH. Working on projects for companies like General Tire, Goodyear and The Cleveland Browns, he eventually retired from American Greetings in the 1970's. While Grandpa worked in a creative field - he wasn't able to fully express his artistic desires on the job - staying up late to paint at home and amassing his own collection of work. His earlier work ranges from colorful drip paintings to abstract design.

He says it wasn't until he retired that he was able to dedicate the time he craved to his art. In the late 90's Hal's family showed him Microsoft Paint - y'know, the one with the "spray paint"? Grandpa was hooked. His work blossomed and he painted on the computer all. the. time. No one knew how important this program would become to Grandpa until he lost some of his vision in 2005 because of wet macular degeneration. Since then Hal has also become legally deaf.

Despite these "setbacks" Grandpa wakes up everyday and is still inspired to create.

Lasko will be 98 on Sunday and to "celebrate," his website is selling prints of his work for $98, with 10 percent of each purchase donated to Veterans of Foreign Wars programs.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.