Lee Trent

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Terre Haute, Indiana, USA

I've been making digital art for over nine years, starting with attempts to draw geometric shapes in MS Paint, like any bored middle schooler in a computer lab. It escalated pretty quickly though, and I've been making more intentional art essentially just as long. Through high school my work was usually abstract symmetries and geometries. I played with light and color a lot. Since beginning university my work has typically blended mathematical, scientific, and natural images. The more math I learn the more I want to be able to portray it, and the better I get with my image editing tools, the more math I find myself wanting to learn to explain the patterns that arise naturally in the process.

Berries Repeating
30 x 30 cm
Digital Art

Intentionally ordered and planned fractals are nice, but there's something organic about just translating, rotating, and scaling an image, and repeating and repeating and repeating. Sometimes what you get is uninteresting because it's too plain or too chaotic, but other times, that's not the case. I've made a lot of fractals from repetition of small images, but this is one of my favorites.

eVining Prayer
35 x 25 cm
Digital Art

The dragon curve is one of the first mathematical things I learned about that didn't directly have to do with numbers and arithmetic, and I loved it. I learned to write out the sequence of turns, draw it iteratively in two different ways, and build it from folded paper. I'm a little less obsessed now that I know about lots of kinds of math, but it still has a special place in my heart as the thing that made me love math for its beauty, and not just because it was a subject I wasn't bad at. Creating the curve as an oriented vine seemed simple enough, but the iterative process I normally use kept misdirecting the vine. It was a fun mathematical problem to solve, even if the complicated modified process was not so fun to implement.