Hand-drawn fractals

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/05/31/hand-drawn-fractals.html


Hmmm; this looks like it might also translate well to blackwork embroidery


maybe you could tattoo a pattern of navels across your torso.


These are not fractals. With real fractals, there is never an edge - when you zoom in on what looks like an edge, there is just more pattern, until you get to down to the molecular level. Infinitely thin fractals on a plane would not be quite two dimensional. Fractals in the real world (like clouds) are not quite three dimensional.

These are fairly simple patterns, with clear edges. Nice, but it’s false advertising.

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I was thinking along these lines as well, but after looking at them, I wonder what his process actually might be-

I love to do hand-drawn mandalas.
I sometimes hand draw a circle and go from there, but sometimes I use tools to make the circle and divvy it up as a guide.

M. C. Escher.

Edgar, you’re being too picky.
For any FINITE representation of a fractal curve it can be described as a “fairly simple pattern, with clear edges.”
Nobody ever draws a Koch Snowflake, a Menger Sponge, or a Dragon Curve beyond three or four iterations because pencils have a finite resolution.


If they were called drawings of fractals, that would be fine - they’re not fractals, but they’re representations of them. Like a drawing of the sea is not the sea.

These, however, are claimed to be “Fractals, hand-drawn by Sheldon Ebbeler”. Which they are not. Since many people have no idea what a fractal is, that’s misleading - more misleading than saying “The sea, hand drawn by . . .” which is clear only because everyone knows what the sea is.

It’s a matter of words and communication, not art - you can’t make a sea with pencil and paper, you can’t make a fractal with pencil and paper, but you can do a drawing of either one.

Use the right words to say what these pieces actually are. You’ll spark more curiosity among people who like them and wonder what the real thing is. How hard is that to do?

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