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Jos Vromans: Exploring the Intersection of Nature, Mathematics, and Art

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Jan 10, 2024

Jos Vromans started creating Generative Art before realizing that such a thing existed.

He arrived at Generative Art naturally, moving in its direction one logical step after another. ‘Natural’ is, as we’ll see, a crucial word regarding Vromans and his art – how he started creating it, how his process evolved, and the most significant influence on his work.

We had the opportunity to ask him some questions and are delighted to share what we’ve learned.

Applied Mathematics – Laying the Groundwork

Vromans studied Applied Mathematics at Fontys University in Tilburg. A surprising start for an artist – though not too uncommon for a Generative Artist.

His coursework included programming, and he was lucky enough to have a coding teacher who encouraged him to tackle several engaging topics and challenges from the get-go. In one meaningful instance, he suggested that Vromans implement a genetic algorithm. That experience taught Vromans early on that he could create a system capable of achieving incredible results using only simple logic and code.

That was also the first time he added randomness to code – for fun. “It might have been the first generative system I implemented,” he said in our interview.

The more he advanced in his studies, the more he realized the incredible breadth of possibilities math and code had to offer.

His degree would set the foundation for the art he would later make – but his journey as an artist didn’t quite begin during his studies.

From Web Development to Art

Vromans’ education and enthusiasm for coding led him to a career as a Backend Web Developer. He worked for Maykin Media for five years.

On one otherwise unremarkable workday, he found himself doodling on some paper. He decided to implement those doodles on his laptop and transform them into a system he could control – one where his original creation could change and evolve by adjusting parameters.

He researched how to use Python to “draw” – to output lines and images. From there, his process evolved organically by iterating upon his code and discovering that randomness, and even his own mistakes, were valuable tools when making art, leading to unexpected results. 

“I quickly discovered randomness as a tool, which came naturally when trying out variations of my code. And it was also the moment I discovered that mistakes can be very interesting when making art,” he said. “The output would be different from expected, which could sometimes be very surprising. That naturally evolved in a way of thinking to allow algorithms to do unnatural things, or deliberately change things in the code, to see how it affects the outputs.”

It makes sense, therefore, that Vromans doesn’t use pre-made programming libraries or other people’s coding techniques, relying entirely on original code. That, combined with his preference for algorithms based on simple code and logic, means he can recreate any of his past artworks and create them from scratch. 

Switch(es) to Full-Time

In 2018, Vromans quit his job to pursue art full-time for as long as he could afford it.

He took a detour for a few months in 2021 when he accepted some freelancing work as a Blender add-on developer, enjoying the opportunity to explore 3D software. Later that year, however, Fidenza was released, leading Vromans to find out about ArtBlocks. 

With that discovery, his life changed course dramatically once again. He learned JavaScript and has been making browser-based art full-time ever since.

Vromans’ work has been displayed at the Lobkowicz Palace in Prague Castle as part of their NFCastle exhibition, the Bridges Math Art Exhibition in Linz, Austria, at Vellum LA during their Immutable exhibition, and at Samsung’s event at NFT.NYC. It has also been featured in Euclides magazine and Steven Rutgers’ 'Gallery Venetiæ.'

You can check out, and of course collect, some of his work on Artblocks, OpenSea, Foundation, and other platforms.

What’s Next

Vroman’s approach to art – much like his approach to his career – is one of constant growth, mutation, and adaptation. It is not surprising that his goals for the future are as ambitious as they are diverse.

Coupled with his drive to learn and improve, recent collections have inspired him to delve deeper into color theory, composition, and historical art concepts while building on his expertise in computational geometry and mathematics. He also hopes to spend more time following new directions, such as architecture.

In true Web3 “building in public” fashion, Vromans has documented his algorithms, how they work, and how others may use them on his blog and YouTube channel. He also wants to delve deeper into specific algorithms and write detailed articles studying them – a task that has proven time-consuming and challenging, but one he believes is worth the investment, as he feels it would provide valuable insights – for himself and others.

Whether you’re a collector, a fellow artist, or a budding Generative Art enthusiast, Jos Vromans’ art and journey are worth your attention.

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