Creative Coding Week 4 Reflections

I feel the need to reflect a little on what I have learnt so far. I have found this course really stimulating, but also quite overwhelming. It is a good introduction, which has exposed me to a lot of ideas and possibilities, as well as the coding side, and I’ve got absolutely loads of things to follow up on. I just feel I don’t have enough time and am a little overwhelmed by all of these possibilities.

That said, I’m already forming thoughts on avenues that I am interested in following and others that are not appealing or exciting to me.

I am not at this stage interested in experimenting with sound and I have skipped over the bits relating to that. I am aware that it’s possible to do things with sound and that’s enough for me.

I’m also not that interested in animated effects. Whilst the images that I have managed to achieve with changing the colours by position on the w3_05 example (see below) are pleasing, it’s not really doing it for me in any emotional sense. Perhaps that is the issue about art and intent? The images are aesthetic, but do not symbolise anything to me. Perhaps it is because I don’t really understand the code properly yet?

Variation on W3_05 with colour variation mapped to position

Variation on W3_05 with colour variation mapped to position

The things that have really excited me are the regular, geometric patterns, using a juxtaposition of control and randomness within constraints. This isn’t really a surprise, since these are themes that I have explored many times already.

I’m very drawn to the work of Vera Molnar and so I’m grateful for having had that brought into my consciousness.

The other thing that I am drawn to is colour and being able to manipulate it.

I want to learn more about using different shape functions and using noise and incorporating and manipulating images. I’ve not got through those sections yet in the week 4 course material.

The set of images below are another variation on the Vera Molnar squares idea. I had specific ideas for these and was able to execute them. I wanted to use a 2D array to create a set of x and y co-ordinates that I could do a number of things with. I am not sure that for my current purpose that I actually needed the 2 D array, I could probably used 2 separate arrays one for the x values and one for the y values but I was using it to learn how to manipulate the arrays. The reason I wanted to have all of the x and y values in place was to then pick one of the point (vertex) values at random to do something different with.


So in this set of sketches at each of the grid points a square has been drawn (centre on the point), but deviating from the precise point by a small random amount. Then a circle has been drawn with its centre exactly on the point with 2 points equidistant from the centre of the circle making it look like a button. The circle always remains inside the square. The fill colour of the circle varies by position. Then one of the circles has been selected randomly and made marginally bigger than the rest and white. Each time you run the code a different button will be randomly selected to be white. The other buttons all stay the colour they are according to position, but the squares will all be slightly differently arranged according to the random selection within a narrow range.

I find it interesting to look at this arrangement. There is an optical illusion effect. The buttons are all in exact geometric arrangement when you follow them with your eye you can see that, but if you just look they appear to be randomised too, because of the effect of the squares around them. The squares appear to be all haphazard, but they are lined up perfectly in their rows, only varying in the columns.


I played with various strokeWeight, and found a thicker line was more interesting to me. It reminds me of:

Overall I like this idea of uniformity yet variation being a metaphor for society. That we are locked in boxes by conformity, able to move within constraints, have our own identity (colour) and yet not really be unique, even the one that is by the narrow rules of the image different, still has a lot of similarities. The white button is still a button, it’s not a triangle or an elephant. I also had in mind race and the term ‘coloured people’ and ‘white people’ and there being different races yet all being people. And finally the association of the rainbow colour scheme being adopted by gay rights activists.

Buttons are a theme I would like to expand on some more. Buttons hold things together. They have a reference to older times and to women’s art, being based in textiles and not receiving the recognition in a male dominated culture. (Cute as a button, button moon). I’d like to explore printing some of these images on to fabric and then adding physical buttons perhaps in the position of a single random item.

Another aspect I really want to get to grips with is how to do lines that look more like they are hand-drawn (achieved through noise?).


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