“Glitches” is the third Plot Party prompt designed to inspire letting loose and embracing mistakes, errors, bugs and experimentation in the design and plotting process!

Enough talk, on to some example pen plots!

Line Misalignment: How About DON’T Register the Pens

Normally I would advise checking your pen registration when plotting with multiple pens. Of course, you could always NOT do that to wonderful effect, as in this work by Jeff and Evan of 90 Percent Art.

Pen plot by 90 Percent Art (also on Instagram @90percentart)

Mix Different Mediums and See What Happens

Most anything by Joel Cammarata involves glitchy mixed media experimentation including this pen plot on a thermal print by Adrian Hanft.

Example pen plot by Joel Cammarata (on Instagram @j.cammarata.art)

Or this unique pen plot “misprint!”

Example pen plot by Joel Cammarata (on Instagram @j.cammarata.art)

Broken Code: Computer Bugs Are Mistakes Too

Mistakes and errors can happen in code too, and often times the mistake is better than the original idea as happened with this work by Vernon Miller.

Example artwork by Vernon Miller (@aldernero on Instagram)

Vernon shared that this pen plot was supposed to be a hexagonal grid with varying sizes, but there was a 1 character typo which resulted in this rather expressive work!

Human Intervention: Introduce Error Through Collaboration with the Plotter

Nothing says letting loose like taking a perfectly flat piece of paper, crumpling it, and creating an abstract landscape as in this work by William Wilsey (made for the last Plot Party in July!)

Example pen plot by William Willsey (on Instagram @williamwillsey)

Flat paper is overrated anyway!

Example pen plot by William Willsey (on Instagram @williamwillsey)

Old Pens Die Hard

Have some old pens lying around?! Lots of fun effects can happen when pens are drying out as in this work by Michelle Chandra made for the last Plot Party. Fuzzy antiqued gold never looked so good!

Example artwork by Michelle Chandra, drawn with a dying gold pen!

Or swap out fountain pen ink cartridges mid plot to create an accidental gradient.

Example artwork by Michelle Chandra (@dirtalleydesign on Instagram)

Plot Party: Glitches Prompt Ideas Recap

  • Don’t check your pen registration and introduce line misalignment!
  • Plot on a mixed media work and see what happens
  • Explore errors and bugs in code
  • Intervene during the pen plotting process
  • Create a plot with an old pen for fun and unexpected effects

Images in this post were used with permission by 90 Percent Art (@90percentart), Joel Cammarata (@j.cammarata.art), Vernon Miller (@aldernero), William Willsey (@williamwillsey) and Michelle Chandra (@dirtalleydesign).

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About the Author

Michelle Chandra studied art, design and code at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. Her work has been featured in many publications including Gizmodo, the Washington Post and Engadget. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @dirtalleydesign.