I played a lot of pixel art games recently, including Undertale, Shovel Knight, Squidlit, Super Metroid, and Final Fantasy Adventure. Something about that type of aesthetic made me want to try designing a creature in more of a pixel art style. Characters can be so expressive with only a few small squares making all the difference in their expressions or attitudes, yet the fact that it isn't highly detailed leaves a lot to one's own interpretation while still being clear enough that you can read the emotions. It's part of the reason that I also enjoy polygonal art in games like FF7 or Banjo-Kazooie, though that's another 64 ballparks entirely. I don't think I'm alone in feeling this way, so I'm glad that pixel art has grown into an accepted art style over the years, rather than a technical limitation of the past.
Also, I realized that one fun advantage of designing pixel art is that you can upscale it to literally any size. My initial canvas was 42x42 pixels, but all I had to do was change the Resample setting to "Nearest Neighbor" when resizing the image to get sharp results at higher resolutions. I usually have it set on Bilinear to avoid weird digital oversharpening artifacts when downscaling in Photoshop, but this is the only real scenario I've found where the hard edges option makes the most sense instead, otherwise it looks like a blurry mess. Anyway, I encourage other artists to try making pixel art sometime, as it can be fun to work within certain visual constraints.