Vexels are layered raster shapes of solid colour or gradients/ solid shapes/ raster shapes with look of vector.
The word 'vexel' is a mix of words 'vector' and 'pixel'.
2. The difference between vexels and vectors
The most important difference is that vexels are created using raster layers while vectors are created using vector layers.
Rasters are based on pixels (little squares) and each square is given a fixed colour. When you expand it you can see pixelation. Shapes created using vector layers while expanding stay crisp and don't lose their quality.
Let me explain the difference on this example.
The image above is a vector. When expanding it to 300% it will still stay sharp:
If the same image was created on raster layers it would look blurry after expanding to 300%:
3. What is allowed and what's not when creating vexel art
vector layers are allowed in the creation as long as they are rasterized before saving the final JPG/PNG no airbrushing or painting to blend is allowed glows used to cheat blending, as opposed to using several layers or gradients, are not allowed brushes allowed only if you are using the stroke path method soft, feathered or photo brushes are not allowed photos overlayed over your finished vexel (or behind it) are not allowed photo textures, filters and layer styles (drop/inner shadows, inner/outer glows, bevels, satin etc.) are not allowed. The exceptions are gradient/colour overlays, stroke and patterns created using the pen tool or lasso tool photo backgrounds are not allowed no gradient mesh as this is not created using layered shapes
This is all still very confusing to me. I've used Illustrator's pen tool to make vectors for a long time but now that I'm using Photoshop I don't know what to submit under. Is work made soley using the paintbrush tool on raster layers (with or w/o filters: ex. harden, soften, darken) vexels or something else entirely???
I have a question though, vexels are basically vectors done with raster layers. And you can't "cheat" either, so my question: why would someone prefer do vexel art that will get pixelated, instead of a vector that will look exactly the same but has the advantage of being a vector?
Why are you not able to get the same effect with vectors? Because when enlarged it won't give effect? Vector and vexel seem very similar, but what you are saying is that to have a vexel, it will remain that shape-object and you will create new layers of those as you add new colours/shapes?