• Amanda Aszman

Designer of the Week: Danny Jones

When I came across Designer of the Week Danny Jones’ work, my first thought was Wow. From musically-inspired photo-realism to visually engaging objects, his creations are as diverse as they are beautiful. Perhaps the secret to this talented designer’s creativity lies in his dedication to learning new tools, techniques, and mediums for design work, or his embrace of multiple disciplines, or his willingness to make mistakes. Read on to learn more about Jones’ projects, challenges and future plans.

Name: Danny Jones / YASLY

Location: Northern CA

Design school attended: No design school for me, I’m a student of the internet. Also a student of making tons of mistakes. Also, also a student of YouTube tutorials.

How would you describe your work?

At the heart, I’m a designer, so I approach work in solving problems, but visually I can be all over the place. I used to be uneasy about that, but as of late I’m starting to really embrace having multiple disciplines and what that brings to my work. I’ve designed websites, apps, products, apparel, films, motion graphics, and branding. However, more recently I’ve really been focusing on designing/making things with 3D as a tool for animation, illustration, photo-realism and interactive experiences. I feel like I’m slowly finding my voice, with an emphasis on slowly.

Where do you find inspiration?

Ceramicists, rare objects, fashion, music, Japanese oddities, industrial design and VFX artists.

Who are some of your favorite designers or artists?

Virgil Abloh, GMUNK, Future, Six & Five Studio, Ash Thorp, Serial Cut, Beeple, Mike Cina, Young Thug, ShawnaX, Sight Unseen, Peter Tarka and Études Studio, to name a few.

A shot from Jones’ favorite project, one for Olderbrother.

Do you have a favorite among all the projects you’ve worked on?

Working with Bobby Bonaparte of Olderbrother out of LA/Portland was really fun and easy. I created a bunch of images around their mantra of “Playful Spirits,” and we just clicked, it wasn’t forced. Super buttery easy.

Is there a project that stands out to you as having been the biggest challenge of your career so far?

I’d have to say my biggest challenge is myself. I’m constantly learning new tools, techniques, and mediums to my design work. I have a love/hate relationship with that feeling of being overwhelmed/scared by learning something new. I think a lot of people are afraid to step out of their zone of what they’re good out and try new things.

Conversely, I can get too caught up in executing something so “new” that I lose sight of distilling the work into something simple and good. I think those layers are just a façade that stems from an insecurity to put my work out there in a simple form. Often times I layer things with complexity to mask those creative insecurities. I’m working on not doing that.

What do you hope to accomplish in the future?

Oh wow! So. Many. Things. In no particular order: produce my own short film, design tool, VR game and work on a feature film. I’m probably forgetting a bunch of other things, I’ve got a massive list somewhere with all these hopes and dreams.

What’s your best advice for designers today?

Nothing is new, everything has been done before, but it’s how you make it your own.

Tiling Textures for 3D Environments: A Course

Tiling textures, the use of repeated textures and patterns to add realism to 3D environments, is an essential component of 3D games and movies. In this course, you’ll learn how textures are created in Photoshop and applied in Maya. Course topics include gathering reference photos, creating texture tiles and texture sets, managing format and resolution, removing distracting detail, and applying textures to maps. In this instructor-led course, your work will be graded and critiqued by an experienced 3D artist.

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