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Have you ever drifted off when you were supposed to be present? Maybe you started doodling and without realizing created something surprising?

Scribbled Daydreams aims to capture this experience. Each piece is composed of random doodles of a few styles, each drawn in it's own pen color. There is also a randomly generated thought attached to each. While the thought is independent of the drawing, sometimes, they seem to work together in a happy coincidence of generative art.

Scribbled Daydreams #7
"I wonder what my therapist thinks of me"

Scribbled Daydreams can be drawn using a pen plotter, and was released March 23, 2023 on Plottables, a platform tailored to such works and built on the Art Blocks Engine.

We did a pre-launch interview in the Plottables Discord, a transcript of which is available here.

There's something different about creating a work that can be plotted. Many people shared plots of their pieces, and this made me very happy.

Scribbled Daydreams #122 digital and plotted by greweb
"I wonder where the professor shops"
A4, Fountain pens. Diamine Amber, Turquoise, Soft Mint, Hope Pink, Onyx Black

Plotting, being a physical process, that takes skill and experience to do well, and seeing plotted outputs felt like a collaboration.

Scribbled Daydreams #197 digital and plotted by neffnet
"I need a new house"
Diamine Night Sky, Rohrer & Klingner Schreibtinte, TWSBI Forest Green, Robert Oster Heart of Gold, Monteverde Horizon Blue

In an example of the image and thought matching, you can almost see the flood in the one above causing the need for the new house.


I had been wanting to try a plotted collection for a while, and the subject of doodling really called to me, as I had already been exploring it with my previous work, Infinite Scribble. Whereas with Infinite Scribble I was very restricted to only the computation which could be done through a smart contract, moving back to JavaScript freed me to do more complex calculations.

I started with the base path drawing logic of Infinite Scribble and adjusted to create more dense, complex varieties of paths. What was surprising was that these repeating, clustered doodles often grew into more interesting shapes that I didn't expect. I felt less in control, perhaps more like a conductor giving some direction but leaving much room for the lines to draw themselves as they pleased.

Scribbled Daydreams was the first time I shared all the way through the process. It was a really positive experience, the comments along the way let me know I wasn't the only one who enjoyed the outputs.

Early on, I connected with Stephen who gave me invaluable feedback and encouragement and plotted a few samples.

Test plots by Stephen of Generative Artworks


Most generative collections come with traits that are descriptive and help collectors to find the pieces they like. It wasn't clear how best to describe these outputs. Since there was a variety of colors and styles, there was no specific categorization of the pieces. I could have perhaps gone with 'Line style 1: Curly' or something similar to describe the lines, but this didn't seem like it added. Similarly, I could have listed out the colors used in the piece, but I didn't think it was important the they be plotted with the same colors. I wanted to leave the colors out to allow people to plot with their own pens, however they preferred.

Ultimately, I decided to go with just one trait, a randomly generated thought. These thoughts are intentionally somewhat mundane and often related to food, chores, or relationships. This fit perfectly and was also an opportunity to do another smaller generative project embedded into the main one.

Scribbled Daydreams #176
"Can't wait for the beach"

The Tech

This project is implemented using pure JavaScript and SVG, with no external libraries. The code to create the artwork is 6967 bytes, and the code for the thoughts is 2572 bytes. Both are stored on chain.


Matt Jacobson and Stephen of Generative Artworks provided invaluable feedback and helped me learn so much about plotters. I couldn't have done it without them.

Also, thank you to RaptorNews and his ongoing encouragement and support, and for suggesting I explore plottable works, and connecting me with Matt.