Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hilarious is my middle name

It's probably a little early in the season for this, but there keep being delays and problems with the project I've been working on, so as a short break I've added a bunch of Valentine fractals to the gallery. There were a few there already, but I've discovered that I had a surprising number from way back when. I think they were mostly made for an e-card site that a friend of mine ran for a couple of years. And then, in opening and rendering the parameter sets, of course I ended up messing with them and making a few more.

The standard Valentine heart is such an iconic shape that it's tricky to put into fractals. It doesn't take very much distortion before it turns into a liver or a spleen or something instead. And it's kind of inherently cheesy and mawkish, full of memories of grade-school Valentine parties with messily hand-glued paper doilies and those chalky, inedible conversation hearts. Or worse, the high-school version, where you might actually hope for chocolates-and-flowers romance, and of course that doesn't happen so you wear all black and spend the day being sullen and everyone makes fun of you. Ahh, nostalgia.

These days I find that I quite enjoy the campy exuberance of sticking fat red cartoony hearts into my pictures. I tell myself that it's out of character, but I think I'm probably mistaken.

This one didn't make it onto the main gallery, though, because it turned out to be a little too foil-wrapped and sticky. So it's going in the sketchbook instead.

Harlequin Valentine

Friday, January 1, 2010

A project for the new year

The Professor and I have been writing code for several days now, and have gotten most of a very rough version of my Exciting Fractal Project assembled. It's almost far enough along that it could be considered alpha-test, though beta is still some ways off.

Having gotten this far, I am now reaching the stage where I start to completely panic and second-guess myself. What if this is a completely stupid idea? I ask. What if no one wants to play with my internet toy? And the huge, glaringly obvious question of How do I prevent this from turning into a horrible snake pit bunch of tedious longwinded squabbling?

Because the whole point of this thing I'm building is that it should be pleasantly entertaining (or indeed quite silly), and should provide a small, steady dose of interesting pictures and a small amount of feedback on same. I don't want to build it and then have it turn into either a sad ghost town or a battlefield. Neither of those is the kind of fun I'm interested in, so I'm struggling with questions of how much participation is enough for people to be interested, and how much is too much, and allows loud shouty people to just take over. I worry that what I'm planning is the equivalent of going down to the bus stop and inviting all the hobos (and that dude who appears to smoke crack every day at lunchtime) to come visit me for tea.

But at least I'm working on it! Progress is being made. This is me reminding myself to dive in, and worry about hypothetical stinging jellyfish later.