Hidden Fractalist Interview - 2BORN02B

17 min read

Deviation Actions

Community's avatar
31.6K Views1 Collected Privately

Hello to everyone reading this journal! Before we move on to the interview itself, some of you may ask yourselves questions such as, ‘What is fractal art?’ or ‘Who are ‘fractalists’?’ Let me provide you with a very brief introduction.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, fractal is a curve or geometrical figure in which each part shares the same statistical characteristics as the whole. These structures can be found throughout nature, including in plants, minerals, and even in different states of matter such as gas (smoke), liquid (waves), or solid (snowflakes). In simpler terms, Fractal Art refers to fractals presented as an art form, created using fractal-generating software. Term "Fractalist" consists simply of the two words - fractal, and artist.

If you would like to know a little bit more, I recommend these brief, yet informative journals by C-91 and tatasz.

Ddyitjv Cc436ecb 957b 4835 Bd90 C165847be3de By El

Finally, welcome to the latest issue of a project called Hidden Fractalist, led by me, @LukasFractalizator. I initiated this project with the aim of discovering new, emerging, exceptionally talented and/or underrated fractal artists within the depths of the DeviantArt community. My goal is to shine a spotlight on these artists alongside other fellow artists from various artistic disciplines, as well as offering them encouragement, assistance, and support.

In today's issue I interviewed 2BORN02B, who's been on DeviantArt for over 17 years. Together, we've discussed topics such as artistic inspiration, growth, development, as well as personal achievements, and proving fractals can be much more than a simple hobby. Let's proceed with the interview.

Hello and welcome to the Hidden Fractalist interview! Could you please kindly introduce yourself to us?

My name is Mark Beatty. I’m 63 years old. I have had many jobs over the years, but the big ones are: social worker, IT Quality Assurance manager, and musician. I retired from the IT job (which I did for over 20 years) a year and a half ago. I have been a professional musician since I began playing paid gigs at the age of 15.

I would say that I am first and foremost, a musician. I have played in bands practically all my life. I even went ‘on the road’ for almost 6 years. My main instruments are guitar, and my voice. In my later years I’ve become known as a singer/songwriter. I started songwriting in my early teens, and to date, I’ve written more than 3000 songs in wide variety of music genres.

I am currently recording a 13-song album, which is being produced by 6 times nominated, and twice winning Grammy award winner, Greg Wells.

I have two great children (Lauren and Alex). Both work in the Toronto film and television industry – Lauren is an actress (even has her own IMDB page), and Alex works on the other side of the camera, with a goal of being a director someday.

These days I still run a part-time band, that does mostly classic 70s rock (and some of my originals too!). We generally play a few times a month at local bars, pubs, and restaurants.

For the first link in the interview, I think I’d like to post a non-fractal related link. This is a link to the song that introduced me to producer Greg Wells. This song won a local songwriting contest, and was eventually produced by Greg. Then, when Greg found out that I was going to record an album around the song, he reached out to me about producing the album. Have a listen please. (Click the image to be taken to the website)

Snmek obrazovky 2024-06-23 184618

How did you discover Fractal Art and why did you decide to get started? Can you tell us about your first steps?

I have always been interested in the arts. Nothing captures my imagination and attention like it. As I mentioned previously, my first love will always be music. Music comes very easily to me. At times it can pour out of me with a will all of its own. It gets so bad (or so good), that I sometimes need a distraction to get away from it. I never get ‘writers’ block’. I get ‘writers’ glut’. And so, I discovered fractals during a time when I needed to take a break from music. I was searching for a distraction. I remember stumbling upon a video about fractals – the math behind them, and how they occur all around us naturally. This was almost 20 years ago. They really got inside my head. So, I started digging, and found that there was software that could be used to produce stunning and artistic fractal images (back then it was Apophysis, Ultra Fractal, and Fractal Explorer). I tried all three, but I seemed to find my groove with Fractal Explorer, and have stuck with it all these years. And so, I guess you could say that I discovered Fractal Art quite accidentally, while randomly seeking for a new muse.

The link here is an early Apophysis piece, that is also a manipulation using Photoshop. I began manipulating fractals, long before the term ‘fractal-manipulation’ existed. I named it ‘Kafka’ because paranoia is a big theme in Kafka’s writing, and this looked like a bunch of watching eyes.


What media(s) do you work with? Do you have experience with other software? Do you make art professionally, or just as a hobby?

These days I have several fractal-generating programs on my computer and phone. And yet I am still solely enamored with FE. However, I also have a fondness for a phone app called ‘Frax’ – I love that it has an added tactile (screen touch and manipulation) component to it.

I also use Photoshop quite extensively. PS is mainly used when I’m creating fractal-manipulations for my other dA account: ‘iSubmit’. These are mostly symmetrical fractals that I create - starting with a raw fractal, that I then manipulate - using layers, plug-ins, and colour enhancements.

I make fractals as a hobby. But now that I am retired, I have been thinking about how to possibly market my work as another source of income. I will need to put some thought in to that still. But I know it can be done, because I’ve already had people reach out and get permission to use my fractals in music videos, and as album cover art. I probably will use one of my fractals for my own album, when it is done.

The link below is to one of my musical friends’ albums on Bandcamp. The album is called “The Venus Variations” and uses one of my fractals as its cover art. (Click the image to be taken to the website)

A1308497723 10

Do you have any inspiration here on DeviantArt, any favorite artists you would like to mention?

For me, inspiration is a personal thing. It comes from within. It is usually connected to some experience I’ve had. It rarely comes from viewing someone else’s artwork. When viewing others work my thoughts are typically something like this: “Wow. This is great. Powerful. Beautiful. I can’t do that.”

So, it’s admiration for another artist that I generally feel. Their technical skills and their ‘eye’ for framing a piece. The palette they’ve used. Use of negative space. The message they are trying to convey etc. Eye of the beholder stuff. I am also a bit of a title nerd – so if the piece has a great provocative title, I see that as a bonus.

Favourites? I’ve been on dA for over 17 years now, and have discovered many traditional artists, digital painters, and fractalists that I really enjoy and admire. Here are just a few in each of these 3 categories:

Traditional: Bernardumaine , liskaflower , borda , Slawekgruca , FrodoK

Digital Painters: arcipello , 25kartinok , shichigoro756 , Almacan , Gloom82

Fractalists: Senzune , Grin-agog , Esherymack , AureliusCat , HalTenny


Do you find that you become more proficient and experienced with each new piece?

Yes, and yes. I have really become quicker with FE lately. I understand what I can do, and what my limitations are with the program. I have also gotten better at reminding myself to check If I like where something is, and where it is going. And if they answer is No – then I abort immediately. I used to waste a lot of time pursuing a fractal, that in the end, I did not like, and would never submit. I’ve found this has been the biggest thing I’ve learned, and it is a rule I also apply when writing a song – if it’s not coming together quickly…drop it and move on…because for me, there is always something new on the horizon.

An additional aspect of my modus operandi is that I have no idea how others will react to a piece I’ve created. And in reality, their reactions are often the opposite of what I expect. So again, why waste time there? And so, I do what feels and looks good to me. And really, you have zero control over how someone else is going to react; so why fret over it?

I have a good friend who has this great way of looking at music - but the viewpoint really applies to all art. So, when he finds himself in the middle of a musical debate like: is this song good? - he will often state emphatically, “There are only two kinds of music.” This generally produces silence and blank, confused faces, as the others try to come up with the answer. But the answer is simple. And yet, most of us try to look for an answer that is complicated, because this is art/music after all!! And so, the answer is: Good and Bad. Eye of the beholder stuff. You cannot generally sway someone from what they think, as it can be a deeply-rooted and developed opinion. People like what they like. They dislike what they dislike. The debate – is just another time waster, regardless of how passionate the discussion can get.

The piece I have used here, is one that I feel I couldn’t have found/made in my early days. It took some skill, experimentation, patience, and intuition to get to the end result.

Igneous Rising

What is a favourite piece you made so far and why?

Now this is a tricky question. My favourite piece changes frequently. And because of this, I created a folder on my profile, that are my personal favourites.

But you are looking for one. The one I chose is symmetrical and silly. It is simple and devoid of colour. It’s pleasing to look at, and I’ve given it, what I think, is a clever and silly title. I also like it because it is quite different than many of the other fractals I have found in FE. So, it’s a bit of an anomaly as well, and one I felt looked better in monochrome/black and white. It looks hand drawn and half finished. It conveys hints of wonder, joy, and growth. It is one I come back to often and remind myself, this is why I am still using FE (even though it is a dead program – abandonware).

The Secret Life Of Zippers

Would you say that you have discovered your specific artistic style, the one that stands out from the rest?

I know what you are getting at here, but I’m not sure I have a style. I say this, because I try to post fractals that are quite different from my other recent submissions. I suppose, someone watching me, over a long period of time might say I have a style. They might be able to look at a new image without looking at who submitted it, and say to themselves, “Mark made that. That’s his style. I’ve seen him do that before.”

I try my best to avoid that, because I see it a lot in others work. It’s just a personal thing with me. I don’t like being pinned down. I also want to say that having a style, is not a bad thing. It’s just not something I personally am interested in, or put much thought in to. Having a style limits you, and squashes ‘Wonder’ – that search for something new and wondrous.

Having said all that, there are certain formulas I use more than most in FE. The following piece came from using that formula…

Before And After The Gold Rush

When you look back at your artistic self, would you say you grew as an artist? If so, in which aspects?

I have definitely grown. When I look back at my earlier work, it was somewhat amateurish and chaotic. I was still learning and honing my skills. For me, it took several years before I finally felt truly comfortable in FE, especially the technical side of it. It also took me years to get good at framing an image the way I wanted it, and using negative space. Let’s face it. An image can be quite stunning, but if it is rendered and framed incorrectly, you will lose a lot of visual impact.

As I grew, I found more images that were cohesive and pleasing to look at. The ‘emotional message’ in them was more prevalent, and I found people were finding them more relatable. I say this because I started getting my friends on Facebook commenting on them with, “This looks like….” They were getting way more involved in the fractal then they previously were. They were having fun with it, and letting their minds get caught up in the wonder of the image. They lingered longer than before. They let the image rattle around in their brains, long enough to develop connections and associations.

I would also say I’ve developed a certain proficiency in choosing and editing the colour palettes I use, or create myself. I generally stay away from very vibrant and oversaturated colours. I almost always will mute or desaturate the colours. For example, a palette in FE is on a scale of 0 to 300. I am typically somewhere between 30 and 50.

I have two links below. The first is an older chaotic piece. The 2nd is a newer and more cohesive image.

The Thunder Machine
A Life Worth Living

The Thunder Machine (2006) & A Life Worth Living (2023)

What do you think is the hardest part about creating a fractal and why?

I’ve touched on this point earlier, but the toughest part for me is choosing which fractal to submit, and which to be cast to an external hard drive, rarely to be seen again.

At this point, I don’t have issues finding new images, or variations on previous images. The issue for me is that I don’t have to submit everything I make.

And so, the hardest part for me, is when I’m getting images ready to submit, taking a deep breath, then taking a long look at an image, and asking myself ‘yes or no?’. I suppose many would say this is a good problem to have – but it is a problem, and I’m not always the best judge of what is good or bad for the masses, because I am too close to it to be objective about it.

I see this played out after I submit. Pieces that I personally think are pretty special, produce little interest. And ones I don’t think will get a lot of interest, end up getting lots of interest….and even DD’s. I would say almost all of my DD’s (which have all been put forth by others), are not one’s I would say are even close to my best work.

For example, the link below is one of my DD’s that I really don’t care that much for.


Is there a goal you would like to achieve with both fractals and your artistic journey on DeviantArt?

I never really had goals per se, when I joined dA. But in hindsight, now that I’m 17 years in to my membership, I would say I feel good about where I am as a Fractalist. I have a small and loyal following and I try to be active with comments especially. If someone takes the time to write a comment, I feel I should always reply back.

I have way more DD’s than I probably deserve. I get featured/mentioned quite often. I keep FE alive by running the FE group now (even though it is pretty quiet).

Lastly, about 14 years ago, I started my 2nd account iSubmit, here on dA, just to house all my fractal-manipulations (and there are a lot of them!). I’ve even received a couple of DDs in that account as well. I created this account to separate my raw fractal submissions, from the symmetrical manipulations I was posting.

All in all, this is more than I could have expected. Like many things, I started this journey on dA, with only this thought in mind, “Let’s see what happens.” I expect nothing. And I am constantly surprised because of it.


What was your reaction when you received your first Daily Deviation feature?

Back then, I had no idea what a DD was, when I received my first one. So, I guess I’d have to say my reaction was a bit of confusion and curiosity. Once I learned what it was, I suppose I felt honoured and grateful. I also imagine, since it was so many years ago, I felt vindication for what I was doing, as my work was being recognized, and was now in front of a larger audience.

Nexus Perplexus

Nexus Perplexus by 2BORN02B , Featured by Sophquest , Suggested by JennDixonPhotography

Given April 17, 2008

"This unusual and attention-grabbing piece of artwork is just one of many cool fractals in the artist's gallery. He seems to have a unique perspective in all of his work. ~ The Suggester Writes: "This piece really caught my eye... Nexus Perplexus by ~@2BORNO2B has a pleasing color scheme, lots of detail, and a cool title on top of that! Besides, it was made in Fractal Explorer and stands out in a layered fractal world."

If you could describe fractal art in one word, what would it be?

Infinite. Fractals are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop. They can go on and on forever.

The Sum Of Parts

When we visit your gallery, we can browse through many eye-catching experiments with Frax and Fractal Explorer! What inspired you to work with these softwares?

I’ve touched on this previously, but simply, FE came intuitively to me. Many other programs did not, and seemed overly complex to me. Frax, is intuitive too, but because it is a phone app, it has a tactile element that really appeals to me. Being able to swipe, pinch, and spread is quite pleasing to my simple mind ha-ha.

Below are links to one of my personal faves in both FE and Frax.

Our Lady of Perpetual Pauses
The Imposter

Anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

If you’ve stuck with me thus far, I really must thank-you. I hope you feel like this interview was time well spent. I’m not here to waste anyone’s time.

I try to operate with equal amounts of seriousness and silliness. That’s what life seems to give us, whether we want it or not – so I just go with it. I hope this comes across in what I do here – whether it be a submission or comment.

Be kind to each other. Spread love. Journey along the high road.

Lastly, I will leave you with some fractal-silliness….

Herding Cats
Ddyitjv Cc436ecb 957b 4835 Bd90 C165847be3de By El

Thank you so much 2BORN02B for the interview and to everyone reading this issue as well! Have you come across a talented, skilled, but unknown fractal artist? Do not hesitate to send a suggestion via note, I'll be more than happy to interview them! Check the previous issue of my Hidden Fractalist project here: Hidden Fractalist Vol. XXXXI. - PJKfractals

See you all in the next issue,


Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
CPRKaaroo's avatar

Nice work and congratz on this feature ^^

Keep on making amazing art ! :D