Creating Beautiful Vector Art with Code

Meet Maks Surguy, design technologist creating generative art

Joanna Ngai
May 12, 2020 · 4 min read
** 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 makerspace
Website | 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.

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.

Rad Lines, a beautiful vector generator

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.

Workbench in an open space
Workbench in an open space

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.

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.

Notebook with sketches
Notebook with sketches

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?

JavaScript, PHP, Sketch, VSCode, lots of Moleskine notebooks, lots of pens, iPad with Pencil, Twitter / Github for social networking and inspiration.

Drawing with plotters
Drawing with plotters
Drawing with plotters

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.

EXA: The Infinite Instrument

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.

Art ❤ Code

Exploring the unique intersection of art and code through stories.

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