I have long found generative art (that is, art created algorithmically using a computer) deeply inspiring. In the interest of having a daily art practice (which I have been missing!), I am starting a 100 day project!
What is a 100 Day Project?
The idea behind a 100 day project is to challenge yourself creatively for 100 days. For my 100 day project, I will be focusing on creating nature inspired patterns with code and drawing the resulting prints with an Axidraw pen plotter (mechanical drawing machine).
Most days of the week, I will post an update on the project to my Instagram (@dirtalleydesign) as an IG story or photo.
The 100 day project challenge is worldwide and takes place every year starting in April. You can view projects online by searching Instagram using the hashtag #100dayproject.
I will be joining the challenge late, but hey, better late than never!
100 Days of Generative Art Inspired by Natural Patterns
This project will be an opportunity for me to explore programmatically generating art inspired by natural patterns. My coding skills are a bit rusty so I will be relearning how to code, while also learning how to use my brand spanking new Axidraw pen plotter!
I imagine there will be a bit of a steep learning curve given I have never used an Axidraw before, and I haven't coded generative art since graduate school ended four years ago. Here's a glimpse of a fun project I did in graduate school in which I created a program that collaged photo collages resulting in interesting double exposure type images.
I will be creating one of a kind drawings with the Axidraw, all of which will be for sale on my website as they are created (I shall be optimistic my output will be interesting and fruitful!)
Every two-ish weeks, I will explore a different natural pattern and generative art concept. I will start off each week with some fun info on the natural pattern and the math behind the pattern, then dive into creating some art! I will also be documenting my progress on my blog.
Here is a rough schedule (subject to change at any notice):
Week 0: Setup Axidraw, Finish research, Play with old creative code sketches
Weeks 1-2: Hexagon Tiled Patterns (Beehive honeycombs)
Weeks 3-4: Stripes (Sand dunes, waves)
Weeks 5-6: Time Cycles (Moon phases, music, animal gaits, sun)
Weeks 7-8: Crystal Lattices (snowflakes)
Weeks 9-10: Fractals (trees, mountain terrain, flowers)
Weeks 11-12: Ripples (water splashes)
Weeks 13-14: Waveforms (sound, music)
Research for this Project
For the past few weeks in May, I have been reviewing many books as research for this project including:
The Beauty of Numbers in Nature by Ian Stewart
Generative Design by Benedikt Gross
Generative Art by Matt Pearson
Form and Code by Casey Reas
Stay up to date on the challenge by following me on Instagram and checking my blog for updates!
About Dirt Alley Design
Dirt Alley Design was founded just off a dirt alley in San Francisco in December of 2016 by artist Michelle Chandra. Inspired by the beauty of street grids, Michelle invented maze maps in which she transforms street grids into mazes.
My maze art isn't just decorative art for your home, it's a real puzzle maze you can solve (if you dare!) I think my maze maps are pretty cool, but don't take just my word for it! My maze maps have been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Print Mag and Vice, to name a few!