I just discovered this new computer drawing application called Alchemy. Alchemy is design to help you generate ideas visually. As you draw either lines or filled shapes, the program takes your drawing input and distorts and transforms it based one one or more modules you activate so that what comes out the other end is a pseudo-randomized jumble.

The idea is that you can generate these distorted images and then, like finding figures in clouds or in the burn patterns in your toast, you see new ideas in the randomness. You can then export your jumble into another art program like photoshop or skechbook and refine the image into what your brain comes up with.

There are all sorts of distortion modules and generators to help you make images. It can even listen through your microphone as input. I've only played with it a little bit, but I can already say I'm going to be using Alchemy a lot in the future. It feels like a great way to generate shapes for things like character or vehicle/architecture design.

Here are a few things I made yesterday in about an hour. Sort of Fishy/Space Shippy/Something or Others: