Night Hike (with Company)
Inspiration: Jocular Sounds by Wassily Kandinsky
I was drawn to Kandinsky's work by the way it evokes a sense of lightness and a feeling of floating through the landscape. The colors and motifs remind me of living in the western United States. I approached it as representative of hiking in these dusty, desert areas. I decided to keep the general layout but flip the color scheme from light to dark. I wanted to incorporate a bit of whimsy, so I hid a few creatures in the shadows.
It took me a long time, but I had a ton of fun creating this sketch, and I have many more ideas I would like to incorporate. I became quite fascinated by the different effects one can achieve by changing the opacity of the background and changing when it is drawn (i.e. in the set up function vs. draw). I played with layering multiple background colors and degrees of opacity. This can create some pretty funky looking fade in effects on page load as well as wild color tones. In the end, I settled on simple black background with an opacity setting that creates a fading effect with the eyes, as opposed to immediately blinking out. I made one of those "happy discoveries" when I added an extra layer to where the dog sits, as I like the way it creates a lingering "ghost" sillhouette after mousing out.
The "for" loops also threw me for a loop, at least for a while. I crashed the program half a dozen times before getting it right. I found it really helpful to work in an online editor. Somehow, it feels less tragic when the program simply doesn't run, rather than completely freezing up. Also, I learned to tackle each effect separately and get it to work alone before placing it into my project draft. (I haven't done the math quite right for the right side border, but that is a detail I will go back and fix later.)
I really like using if/else functions, as I think options, especially when amplified, are what tailor the interactive artistic experience to the individual. The biggest challenge for me is to sift through all my creative ideas and identify the ones that I have the knowledge and skills to execute. Like learning to speak a foreign language: how do I say what I want to say using the limited vocabulary in my command? At this point, my ideas exceed my range of expression, but at least it is growing.