Monday, October 8, 2012

Alternative Press Expo 2012

It feels as though it just happened a few months ago but the Alternative Press Expo is happening this weekend. I'll have my books and prints from last year available for sale as well as some new prints and pins. I'd like to design pins for every San Francisco neighborhood eventually but three are a decent start.

I'll be sharing a table with my pal, Traci Hui, as always. You can find us at table #501, which is very close to the entrance and easy to locate. Here's a map of the expo floor with our table marked in red.

Hope to see some of you there.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Godfather: Park Avenue

We had a lighter-than-usual workload on the Godfather: Five Families team earlier this year and decided to take the opportunity to bust out a unique new expansion. I suggested we make this expansion take place at night, as we were all getting burnt out on using the standard warm Godfather palette. I painted two racket buildings and the background plate for the neighborhood view. It remains my favorite Godfather release to date.

The only part of the background plate above that I didn't paint was the Estate Tile, which is the bright building at the top with the lit-up roof. That was painted by my intern, Mclean, and is actually a separate tile that grows as you upgrade your Estate. 

I don't like drawing attention to shortcomings in my work but I think it's important to say that there are areas near the top and bottom of the background plate that look bare or unfinished. These are areas the user interface covers. I usually don't paint these areas much (if at all) since they won't be seen by the player. It allows me to spend my time making other areas that the player will see look better.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Godfather: Greenwich Village & Capitol

Things have been pretty quiet around here as I've been moving and settling into a new apartment. I'd forgotten how much of a time-suck moving can be. The last couple weekends I've been going out sketching with friends on Sundays and have quite a bit to show from that but for now, here are some older pieces I did for Godfather: Five Families. I'll also share some work from our Brooklyn and Park Avenue expansions in the next few weeks.

Above: This is a racket building from the first neighborhood, which we've been calling "The Capitol". Tony's Auto Body is named after our old producer, Anthony. The sign spins in the game.

Below: This is Jefferson Market Courthouse from our Greenwich Village expansion. It's also a real building in New York City. I think this is my favorite racket building I've designed and painted for Godfather.

Below: This is the train station from the first neighborhood. It's not designed after any particular station. Below it are a couple thumbnail sketches I did for it.

Below: This is the train station from out Greenwich Village expansion as well as some quick thumbnails for it.

Monday, June 18, 2012


These are some designs that never got used for a children's game project in 2009. I figure they may be of interest to someone and I still don't hate them yet.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Alamo Squared

We've been fortunate enough (or unfortunate, depending on how you look at it) this year to have more warm, sunny weekends in the winter and spring than I can remember ever having this time of year in my lifetime of living in the Bay Area. How this plays out on our environment and water supply remains to be determined but it's been a godsend for my sketchbook. I've been spending a lot more time outside in my neighborhood, which always translates to more sketching.

Top: Sketches done from Alamo Square Park and sitting in the window of Cafe Abir. I'll probably paint the lower sketch next time I'm able to get a window seat again.

Bottom: An old sketch from a camping trip last summer. Oddly enough, I still like it. It was originally meant to be painted but it was just too damned hot outside to put in the effort and I wound up falling asleep with sketchbook in hand instead.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

New Yorkers & Co.

In January, I went on a five-day trip to New York City to gather reference with the Godfather team. Yes, this is three months after the fact but here are the sketchbook pages I drew while either in New York or going to/from. I unfortunately never had time to sit down and draw a cityscape there... most of these drawings were done while waiting for coworkers to arrive for a meetup. Or at a bar. Or a bar meetup.

Above: This was done at a bar in West Village called Marie's Crisis Cafe. A lot of professional and aspiring singers go there to belt out showtunes all night. Karla Ortiz and I got to sit right next to the pianist because the performers enjoyed our drawings. Karla wound up giving her sketchbook pages to the musicians.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Birthday Boy

I took my boyfriend to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for his birthday earlier this month and drew him and a couple other folks when we stopped for coffee in the rooftop garden.

Below is a page from a drink and draw session with some fellow Kabam artists.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 is GO

My new website is live, which means I can get back to spending my free time creating art. Be sure to update your bookmarks and links to

So as not to make this an artless post, here's a page I did last month from a drink-and-draw session with some Kabam coworkers.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Oldies of Young'uns

Nothing much new to post, I'm afraid, but I found these oldies from 2009 when I was fishing through some old files looking for things for my new website. I never got the official go-ahead to show these but I'm going to assume it's alright until I hear otherwise. The company folded this year and my designs were never used anyway. These were for a childrens' game.

I'm still chipping away at the new website but it's pretty closed to completion.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday Brunch

An explanation for the slow going-ons around here…

I’m in the midst of redesigning my website into something more functional and less embarrassing. I’ll be re-launching it within the next few weeks. Contained within will be an integrated blog but I will, in all likelihood, continue to post identical entries here. For a while, anyway. Regardless of whether or not I choose to continue my Blogspot blog, however, it will remain here for posterity. I’ve already imported this entire blog over to my new site, so my archives will be available there too.

Here’s a sketch I drew while sitting in the window of a café on last Saturday.

Below: Here's a sketch I almost like. It's one of my favorite houses in my neighborhood. I'd been meaning to draw it for almost three years by the time I got around to doing it last November. When I finished it, I hated the drawing for the way I got overly tight and detailed in the upper left corner (where I started) and the wonkiness of the ellipses. I actually like the wonky now but still regret the excess details. It's a reminder of the power of simplicity. I'd still like to go back and do a proper drawing and painting of it this year, though.

Hope to update again sooner rather than later. With the new website in hand.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Godfather: Five Families [First Neighborhood, Pt. 1]

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting some of the work I did on Godfather: Five Families. My niche on our team is environment art. I did all the landmarks and almost all of the racket buildings.

I painted the front of most of our buildings facing the light, but the Fat Cat Club was an exception. The Fat Cat is a night club but our game view is late afternoon so I put the entrance and signs on the shadow side so I could exaggerate the lights and still give it that night club feeling.

I went ahead and named the theater after myself. Because how often does one get the opportunity to do something like that? Forgive me this one vanity. And for those who play the game, here's a related factoid: Capelli Steel is named after our art director, Ken Capelli.