so, i seem to have a knack for finding the most difficult way to do things some times. i sketched these out on graph paper, then darkened on the graph lines that created the basic shapes. then i (with the help of the very patient Linda Hong) rebuilt them in Illustrator brick by brick. not the easiest way i'm sure. Jerome Lu also introduced me to the program Pixen, so hopefully that will speed up the next pixelated images i try to create.