Dear lord what was I thinking…

I have a habit of making things way harder than they have to be and this assignment was no exception.

Let me start by saying that I am very proud of my skills of intuition. Drawing, acting, dancing––these sorts of embodied actions have always come naturally to me.

This assignment, however, reminded me of how I used to break down in tears every other night doing math homework in high school. In this case, translating into numbers what I would otherwise intuitively know how to visualize makes head hurty.

I tried to employ what little I remembered of basic algebra and trigonometry in an attempt to save time when I was trying to figure out how to make the bow… but as it turns out I don’t actually know how to do that.


It was so much quicker to just intuit the points of each of the shapes out. I drew out a grid that I could reference as I was figuring out coordinates and that plus simple arithmetic turned out to be all the math I needed.

That little triangle was me remembering which coordinates go in which order.

My main challenge was figuring out how to simplify my reference image into basic shapes and colors that I could then plot on the p5.js canvas. I spent more time than I care to admit just typing in different coordinates and RBG number codes using trial and error.  It turned out it was way easier/faster/efficient to sketch out the visuals and decide how to attack each challenge on paper before taking the time to enter it all into the p5.js console.

Keeping the p5 Reference and open in separate tabs also really helped.

I’m also embarrassed to say that it took some trial and error to fully understand how to order my shapes, colors, strokes, and fills so that they appeared in the way I wanted them to. Once I got it all out and looking the way I wanted it to, I went back and cleaned up the code so that it might be more intuitively understandable when reading it:

I was able to pretty easily figure out which shape functions to use for each part of the image I was trying to recreate except for my smile. I spent a bunch of time trying to wrap my head around the arc function and the curve functions before Lucas was kind enough to offer the following suggestion:

Thanks, Lucas!

Anyway, here are some final thoughts that late night Mary wrote in her notebook with regards to all this:

September 17, 2017