Programming For Artists: Learn How To Code In An Hour And Expand Your Creativity

This new step-by-step tutorial teaches you how to create fantastical art during your lunch break.

10 December 2013, 7:20pm

Programmer Daniel Shiffman guides us through the complex world of coding, simplified.

Have you ever seen one of those "Programming for Dummies" books at Barnes & Noble (or, ahem, and thought--wow, that looks pretty thick for a book for dummies? For those of you who'd like to learn how to code but only have say, a lunch break to study up, you can now check out this new one-hour online workshop and tutorial on, produced as part of's Hour of Code 2013 project. Created to introduce people to the joys of computer programming, this initiative launches just in time for Computer Science Education Week (December 9-15th)--and features a quick series of charming videos, offering the chance to learn the basics of code in less time than a trip to Home Depot. 

Using Processing, a platform that combines visual art with traditional elements of programming, the software is free to use, open source, and can be downloaded here.

Once you land on the site you can maneuver between the six chapters: Hello, a brief intro to the world of programming in the context of the visual arts, followed by Shapes, Color, and Interact, which show you how to create desired visual effects using code. The "hour of code' then ends with a Q&A and a farewell segment. 

To inspire you, check out some of the fascinating pieces created through programming:


Strata #3 by Quayola

"The Strata project consist in a series of films, prints and installations investigating improbable relationships between contemporary digital aesthetics and icons of classical art and architecture," says designer Quayola. "Like in geological processes, layers belonging to different ages interact with one another producing new intriguing formations."

Strata #3 - Excerpt from Quayola.

The Textile Room by P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S
, is an experimental media space composed of fabric swatches augmented by projected videos, further powered by Processing.

Textile Room 03 FULL from Metropolis Magazine.

Cell Cycle by Nervous System allows users to create their own jewelry at home.

Written and performed by Daniel Shiffman, with Scott Garner as web developer, the project also involved Jesse Chorng and Graham Mooney (shooting and editing), Scott Murray contributing to web development, and Casey Reas (whose past work we've covered extensively) creating the sample code and co-producing.

While we can't embed the tutorials here, check out for more info.