Life, Art, Nostalgia

While panning for gold in all of my earthly belongings during a move last year, I found a notebook full of handwritten BASIC code.

This transported me back to memories of myself in high school programming on my TI-83. While I had forgotten my rudimentary programming methods, I do remember seeing classmates sharing cool calculator games they'd found with each other, searching the Internet to download some to play myself, and eventually feeling brave enough to try to create my own.

Most of the programs I wrote were variants of Snake. Some were playable, but my favorite was a randomized line-drawer that would move up, down, left, or right, and leave a trail behind it. I enjoyed tweaking the values and seeing how interesting the new output would be.

I took a few programming classes after this, the last one being during my freshman year of college. I never really felt like I "got it" and ended up barely passing with a D-. I didn't touch capital-P Programming for a decade.

I spent the rest of my college years focused on design, art, film, motion graphics, animation... And I did eventually make my way back around during my career; graphic design → web design → frontend development → JavaScript/React, Python, etc. I'm grateful for all of it.

Over the past few days, I've been playing with that old randomized drawing idea, but in React. There are a few in this blog post - scroll back up to see the progress!

I also created a page dedicated to this project with a couple of properties you can configure using query strings:

Pixel brush example 1Pixel brush example 2Pixel brush example 3Pixel brush example 4

If you see any cool randomized drawings, please share a screenshot with me on Twitter. I'd love to see them. Thanks for reading! 👋