Creating Beautiful Vector Art with Code
Meet Maks Surguy, design technologist creating generative art
** ART <3 CODE **Projects and stories from the intersection of art, code and everything in-between.`````````````````````Name: Maks Surguy
Role: Design technologist
Location: Seattle, WA
Likes: Woodworking, making toys for his kids with a 3D printer/laser cutter at a makerspaceWebsite | Github | Twitter
Without using your job title, what do you do?
I think about limits of technology and come up with clever ways to use existing technology to create experiences that might end up commonplace in a few years.
I also do some woodworking and have built quite a few things that are in or around my house. My wife is an architect, so she’d draw up something in CAD in 15 minutes and I’d spend 4 weekends making it real.
Which project that matters the most to you and why?
Out of dozens of my personal projects, the one that matters most right now is Rad Lines. I started working on it with very simple idea in mind: generate a curve, copy that curve and enlarge or rotate it by some amount, then do that N times. The result is almost always something that’s pleasant to look at.
This project is important to me because with a small set of adjustments, users can create infinite variety of vectors that are beautiful and trend-setting.
I made the project free and open source since the beginning with the hope that people will be able to find it useful.
Where do you do your best work?
I do my best work in my home office after I make myself a latte or a cup of coffee, in the afternoon.
I’ve noticed I often do my best work when I work with a designer side by side. We take walks, go outside of workplace to refresh our minds and together we do wonderful things.
What advice would you give to a beginner interested in your field?
I believe working on side projects is a good way to keep learning and developing your skills. It helps to make your resume stand out, when you can show initiative and action without anybody telling you what to do.
If I could do something differently, I would have started sharing my experiments earlier than I did. I believe it gathered the right audience and helped me progress faster in my career.
How do you deal with artist block?
I procrastinate. I do other things that might seem important. I go on Twitter or write down some notes / sketch something. I wait until the last minute and might take a shortcut, but I almost always finish what needs to be done.
I currently have a bunch of unfinished projects but it’s not because of artist block or lack of creativity, rather it is because I can’t do everything alone.
Something cool on the internet you wish more people knew about?
Eelslap and its creators. They’re amazing. I’ve met them in Stockholm after sending them a Tweet.
What’s in your toolbox?
What is something you want more of this year?
A project that inspires me is EXA, an immersive virtual musical studio. I want to learn more about Augmented Reality/Extended Reality and start making some interactive installations in that medium.
Another goal is to create a website where plotter and laser enthusiasts can find great tools and vector files.
Along a spectrum of art <-> code, where are you?
My bachelors degree is in computer science and I don’t have formal art education so I’d put myself closer to code than art. Yet for the past few years I’ve been creating art with code. I see unlimited potential in using code as a tool to create beautiful things that are worthy of talking about.