8 eye-popping examples of fractal art

A fractal is a complex mathematical equation or sequence that produces geometric patterns which can be zoomed into infinitely and will still produce the same picture. Basically. There are naturally-occurring fractal shapes in everything from fern leaves to galaxy formations, and their link to chaos theory has meant fractals are a fascination of those seeking some kind of meaning to the universe.

Back on Earth, fractals' beauty and infinite repetition means that some artists have been inspired to create experimental design work. Here, we've picked eight amazing examples of fractal art to inspire you.

01. Emergence

Inspired by a trip to Chiang Mai in Thailand, this short by Julius Horsthuis cleverly combines pairs of different fractal techniques to create weird and eerie landscapes that mix dense vegetation with huge, intricate structures. If you're interested in creating your own fractal imagery, he's also created handful of videos explaining his processes.

02. Fragments of Creation

Leafy fractal art with a purple, green and blue colour palette

James Alan Smith's fractal art is created using his own tools

Artist and musician James Alan Smith has been building and programming computers since the age of 7, and as well as creating award-winning software packages, he also uses his own custom code - along with standard graphic art packages - to create fractal and geometric artwork.

03. Hal Tenny

Fractal art of curved architecture

This amazing 3D illustration redefines what you can do with fractals

Fractal art doesn't necessarily have to mean abstract and psychedelic. This piece by Hal Tenny, entitled New Time Machine, was created using Mandelbulb 3D, a free application for creating detailed 3D fractal renders with an incredible assortment of imaging effects, and it was the winner of the Fractal Forums 2016 Fractal Art Competition.

04. Dr-Pen

Rainbow coloured fractal patterns

Polished Rainbow Bands is a gleaming example of 3D fractals

An art hobbyist and curator for Society6, Dr-Pen has been creating 3D fractal images for over four years. We love the vivid colours and clean lines of Polished Rainbow Bands, which he created using Mandelbulb 3D and then edited in Photoshop. Check out his DeviantArt gallery for a dazzling collection of his fractal work.

05. Fleur D'apo

Fractal art: Fleur D'apo

It's easy to get lost in this mesmerizing fractal artwork

This entrancing and colourful piece of fractal art is the creation of a Canadian DeviantArt illustrator by the name of mynameishalo (or, to use his account name, Jeff). Made with an apophymator script, this explosive and stunning image is available to buy as a hi-res print. What's more, if you're looking for artistic tips from this fractal fiend, head over to his DeviantArt page to find an in depth apophymator tutorial.

06. Water Lilies

fractal art

We love the colour used in Roger Johnston's fractal art pieces

These fractal flames were created by Roger Johnston and are an "extension of the iterated function system class of fractals". Johnston has been creating fractal art for years and stands as one of the most impressive and unique creators in the field. We love his gorgeous use of colour and intricate details.

07. Jorge Abalo

fractal art: Jorge Abalo

The surreal offerings of Jorge Abalo's fractal art is a marvel

Jorge Abalo is a self-taught artist who has been making art for as long as he can remember. He began working in digital art in the 1990s, and did comic illustration, design, 3D modelling, and flame fractals (Apophysis) before being introduced to Mandelbulb 3D in 2011. His work is a surreal and beautiful take on fractal art.

08. The Manhattan Project

Fractal art: The Manhattan Project

Jacob Ankey's fractal art is hugely inspired by nature

Californian DeviantArt illustrator Jacob Ankney creates some pretty incredible fractal art designs. We adore his take on nature and his ability to incorporate the fractal art style into flowers, trees and more. The colours and texture create a feeling of awe and what's more, you can buy the prints!

 Contributions: Jim McCauley 

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Sammy Maine

Sammy Maine was a founding member of the Creative Bloq team way back in the early 2010s, working as a Commissioning Editor. Her interests cover graphic design in music and film, illustration and animation. Since departing, Sammy has written for The Guardian, VICE, The Independent & Metro, and currently co-edits the quarterly music journal Gold Flake Paint.