Fighting Dragons/Sifting Paint – Richard Weston

I suppose this day was going to come, the day where I was to post my penultimate blog post about my time spent with Richard Weston, architect and master mineraliser. I’ve really enjoyed my time with Richard, I’ve learn a lot about Photoshop, minerals and the whole ‘designing business’ that I don’t think I would have if I’d been in university; but enough serious talk, I’ll save that for my last post.

This week I was to battle dragons, and no there isn’t a whole Game of Thrones thing going on, my dragons were in the virtual world, and created by an eight year old, not very terrifying. I’m quite impressed with the drawings Sam created on Photoshop, I can’t even draw on Photoshop, I have to switch over to Illustrator. Anyway, since I had completed all my designs that should hopefully be winging there way over to John Lewis sometime in the future, I was free to help develop the app, and to create new patterns for a little boy with big skills.


The idea was Richard’s, because he loved what Sam had drawn so much he decided that he was going to make wrapping paper for him, but not any wrapping paper, paper with his own creations on. Once again, this is where I came in. I set about creating a tile so that Sam’s dragons could potentially be repeated forever, but the first one I started I couldn’t connect with, I wasn’t feeling the love and I was finding it increasingly more difficult to change and modify. I then decided, maybe it would be better if I made one massive design that would cover the whole sheet that was to be printed, but then I wasn’t feeling the love there either. I closed everything down, it was time to start fresh.  I again went back to creating a tile, but this time I was looser and not so focused on getting every one of Sam’s drawings onto the tile, but creating something that would repeat, without looking like structured pattern, and something and eight year old boy would love.

I had struck gold. I was into this design completely, ideas for the placement of dragons was coming at me from every angle, I fitted in the planets he wanted and even managed to cram about half a galaxy of stars in there too. I was so pleased with my design that I suggested to Richard that maybe we could translate it onto a card as well, Richard loved the idea so much that we made a postcard too.


In the moment I’m disheartened when I can’t connect with what I’m making, it’s those times when I just want to throw up my hand and go take a week long bath, but when I look back on them, I see how I’m able to manoeuvre around these issues and I’m really proud of myself. It’s not always going to be easy designing for someone else, I’m not always going to connect straight away. That’s when I need to step away, and start fresh.

Once the dragon design was completed it was back to transforming images for the app, except this time I was working with squeezed paint images instead of minerals. These were much more colourful and in your face, and Richard really thinks that they would work excellently within his app, and I have to agree, some of the paint images work really well inverted, and it’s my job to find them all.20151201_131456206_iOS




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