We’re overdue for some kind of general life update, I think. Weeknotes-that-are-not-weeknotes:
The health issues I referred to in May are still largely unchanged, though I’ve come to terms with it enough that I should probably stop using it as an excuse for lower productivity. (I do need to rest more than I used to, but I also feel like I’m spending proportionally less time making things than is warranted. I’m now tracking my time using a completely rewritten version of Momentum, so I should hopefully have more actual data to work with soon.)
We’ve also had a month of worrisome family medical issues (including two late-night ER visits) that have been weighing me down.
On the plus side, I got some lab results that finally motivated me to start exercising more and make real changes to my diet. I’m three weeks in and the lifestyle adjustments seem to be sticking. Fingers crossed.
The rising case counts and Delta situation certainly is discouraging. My faith in humanity in the aggregate has eroded significantly over the past year and a half.
In spite of a spectacular lack of public results, I’m still writing, slowly. (Much more successful at avoiding it.) In the middle of figuring out a process that consistently gives me a) results that b) don’t make me cringe.
I’ve been trying to keep artmaking to the weekends so I have more of a chance at making progress with my writing, but it doesn’t seem to be working as well as I’d hoped.
Another thing I’ve been itching to do is get back into making web-based art tools like Cirque (which needs a lot of improvement). Several ideas here I’m excited to work on.
The hiatus may or may not be over. New artwork: Mother in Heaven. I used Cirque to create the small circles, then did the rest of the vector work in Figma (which I’m liking much more than Illustrator).
I took out the turbulence filters, because they shouldn’t have been there in the first place (at least not the way I had them). Instead, I’m planning to build a tool that makes it easy to apply filters to SVG elements. It’ll be more generally useful, since the SVG input won’t have to have come from Cirque.
Manually placing circles is partway done. (Placing them works; editing and deleting them is next on the list.)
I’m also refactoring to clean things up and to make the imperative code more functional where I can.
As schoolwork starts to wind down, I’m finally starting to make progress on the creativity tools and HCI explorations I talked about back in September. This week I’ve also realized that graphical tools for art and design are what I want to focus most on. (I do still intend to explore textual interfaces, but they’re on the backburner for now.)
In the spirit of working in public, then, Cirque is a small WIP web app I’m building for making patterns via circle packing:
This is very much a rough initial MVP. You can tweak some settings, generate new patterns using a simple circle-packing algorithm, and export SVG (with the turbulence/displacement filters enabled by default), but that’s it. Some of the features I’m planning to build next:
Replace the settings text box with, you know, good UI (I’m also excited to explore color picker design here)
Add the ability to manually place both circles and anticircles (so artists are able to create intentional negative space)
Add a way to programmatically set the circle colors (probably via something like shaders, so you could say all circles smaller than a certain size get one color and the rest get another, or circle color is dependent on position or something else)