A couple of months ago I replaced my profile picture on my social network sites for a 8 bit avatar. I found a video on Youtube which I used to learn and create my own 8 bit character.
This video teaches teaches you the basics and the results are awesome. However, I am spicing it up by using a picture to use it as a guide to get your avatar more like you.
Step 1: Place your picture
Step 3: Choose your background