From the Insecta Class and Apidae Family, we find the Species Apis Mellifera: the western honey bee. One of the more iconic aspects of honey bees is their hive, the hexagonal grid we call honeycomb; an efficient use of resources and space, and a beautiful representation of a geometric shape found in nature.
The humble grid has also been a mainstay of generative art from its earliest days. Code up a loop or two and see what you can do. What I've done with grids has been seen in many of my projects over the past year; in *Polka*, *Over the Air*, *Ode to Untitled*, and now *Mellifera*. Breaking from the rectangular and square grid, and embracing the complexities of the hexagonal grid, *Mellifera* creates patterns working within the points and sides of a hexagon while laying out those patterns across a honeycomb like structure.
While working through this series of grid based projects, one main area of study has been finding ways to move off the grid, at least in appearance. A recent move to a rural home has left me much more off the grid, and there's been a parallel through my projects. Increasingly, I've explored ways to make the overall aesthetic not appear grid-like, to have a more organic feel, all the while though still centering elements perfectly in their place across the grid. *Mellifera*, with its use of hexagons, imperfections, unique symbols, rotation, and negative space, is another step in this evolution, and the largest one yet.
While most of my work has embraced the digital and machine-like feel that computers and code are so easily capable of (again influenced from my appreciation of Roy), *Mellifera* moves in a new direction, introducing a more imperfect and human feel to the lines, shapes, and symbols. These imperfections change the overall aesthetic drastically and are a main component in helping break away from the grid, visually. While honey bees are incredible in their ability to create beautiful hexagonal geometric patterns, there's still a natural, lived-in feel to their creations, and *Mellifera* uses this organic quality as inspiration.
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