When I was in high school I used to make videogame sprites on MS Paint. I loved the challenge of composing and refining groups of pixels into the exact configuration necessary to bring a character or object to life. Good pixel art requires clarity and economy if you want to avoid muddiness and illegibility. Some of the best work I've seen in this style is made by the group of artists who call themselves eBoy. Their lovingly-detailed pixel art illustrations exude child-like exuberance and pop culture chic, along with brilliantly executed solutions for abstracting objects from the everyday world.
This piece is a cityscape of Berlin. Immediately you notice that it's drawn in a nearly isometric projection, which creates smooth, consistent lines from the pixels. It also allows you to see a lot of details simultenously that might be difficult to block properly in something drawn in perspective. eBoy takes advantage of this fact and populates their illustrations with loads of detail, which isn't too overwhelming due to the abstractions and solid colors. Their abstractions of clouds, vehicles and trees are geometric and very readable and repeatable, yet involve a maximum of detail for the medium. Although eBoy makes prints of their work, it's intriguing how their images are so ideal for the computer screen, which usually is at a disadvantage to print in terms of reproduction and use of color.
eBoy provides similar visuals for Fortune Magazine, Yahoo, and Amnesty International. It's fascinating how society has come to the point where it feels that videogame- and lego-inspired visuals are appropriate for magazine covers and anti-poverty campaigns. The children of the 80s and 90s now constitute a major consumer base, and we have things happening like Scott Pilgrim vs The World being turned into a movie.