I designed the patch for them, too, working tightly with Col. Raja “Grinder” Chari, a native of Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Similar to the other patches, Grinder and I worked closely together deciding on elements to include in the patch. I drew a bunch of thumbnails of possible designs, some selected below.
Once the crew discussed the variations, I had a better idea of what to focus on. Then we poured over which elements would suit the crew’s needs.
Sometimes talking a few times a week, I would get re-inspired by something Grinder might say, and added even more possibilities. For a time there were too many ideas and this only served to slow the process down. Frankly, it led to some confusion.
You may’ve experienced this yourself when working. Many directions and ideas can slow progress. Only when you concentrate and eliminate everything that isn’t necessary, does the process gain speed again.
So we began eliminating designs. We also wanted to do something different than the other crews’ patches, but also maintain a direction. To make them all distinctive, but familiar. For example, on this one, we developed a full-figure dragon, with the body reflecting the shape of a three, and the tail wrapping the border three times.
It finally got down to two designs. A tough call as they loved both of them. But the crew came through and made the hard decision, as would be expected from NASA astronauts!
They’ll be launching this Autumn, so watch for the patch on the suits, walls, gantry and other places around the pad. They will carry the patch into space with them.
Can’t tell you how exciting it is to have a piece of my art go along.