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Find Your Wings (and also – don’t copy mine!)


I’ve been meaning to post an update to this for ages. It turns out that the artist did totally rip off my design. However, when he found out it was mine he was mortified. The client had just shown him an image of the type of thing they wanted, and it was a picture of my design. He was incredibly, and sincerely apologetic and I totally believe it was an innocent mistake. So no need for naming and shaming and all’s good.

I’ve made 2 Instagrammable graffiti murals for Friars Walk in Newport. They were both sets wings , designed as ‘selfie spots’ for a cool shareable photo.

The first set was hand painted using spray paint and brushwork to create a fairly detailed patterned set of orangey wings. They were very much influenced by my bird doodles, which is my own personal version of art therapy. The wings were contrasted against a starry, space background. I was asked to add the #findyourwings hashtag by the marketing team at Friars Walk and you can check that out on Instagram to see all the wings around the world.

The wings proved really popular and were well used. It was great to see lots of people taking the opporunity for selfies and their pics becoming their new profile pics on their socials.

Unfortunately the wings were in a pretty wet location and whenever it rained they took a battering from water running down and also puddles at the base of the boards. Over a few years the ply started to delaminate and the paint started to flake, and the once beatiful wings started to look quite tatty.

In the summer of 2022 I was asked by the marketing team to produce a cheaper version than the original – so decided to go digital. I designed the second set of wings in Procreate on the Ipad and then finished them off in Affinity Designer. I was pretty pleased with the result even though I knew that the finished result could never compete with the effect of a beautiful hand-painted mural. The print quality was pretty good and the plastic printed boards were well installed by a local company. There’s a new tag #FriarsWalkWings but to be honest I’ve never checked whether it has been used!

So, the ‘selfie wings’ idea is not mine obviously. There are versions of it around the world. There are all sorts of unique styles and designs, displaying the creativity of their creators. I was really pleased with my designs and feel like I’d made a real effort to find a unique look. I suppose that’s why I was extra pissed off to find that a local artist was using my design (with some tweaks) and passing it off as their own. Perhaps I’ll post the image so you can make up your own mind? Maybe it was coincidence, maybe I’m being too sensitive, or maybe it was just plagiarism?