About Me

Azulej.io, drawing and sharing beautiful tile art

Posted: June 27, 2020

In between jobs, I did a 9-week web-development bootcamp in Lisbon. The final third of the course taught React, and capped off with a pair project combining everything we'd learned in the program. My project partner and I made an interactive love letter to that distinctive Lisboan architectural feature, the symmetrical azulejo tile.

Azulej.io is the result! It is, at its heart, a drawing program. By producing eight symmetrical lines with each stroke of the pen, users can quickly generate intricate and visually satisfying patterns like those seen across Portugal. Designed for accessibility, mobile and desktop users alike can easily make and share their work. It even lets users preview their art on actual Lisbon buildings!


But Azulej.io is more than just a drawing app, it is a social network of sorts. With the power of React and some neat image-hosting APIs, the site lets you view, sort, rate, and comment on other user's designs with ease. If you're feeling inspired by someone else's work, you can even remix it! Build on someone else's design and the site will automatically credit the original artist (in addition to crediting you, of course).

Azulejio Lite

If you visit URL azulej.io now, you'll see Azulej.io LITE instead of the full version. React is gone; Cloudinary is gone; the social aspect is gone. The whole backend disappeared. Why? Well, I sacrificed them out of love for the project. I want the core drawing piece to stay online indefinitely, and that means ripping out the backend parts that would otherwise require periodic maintenance and upgrades. I re-wrote the app from scratch to be a pure front-end application, one that I can host anywhere and not rely on commercial APIs. I love this little drawing doodad, and I hope to share it with as many people as possible.