Farewell and Thank You Los Angeles!!!

Hello Folks!

Happy Holidays to you all! I have some news to share today. My family and I have decided it's time to return home to the Bay Area to be closer to both our families and to move on to embrace new opportunities. The final move will commence tomorrow.

It's been an awesome journey in Southern California for the past 10 years. I want to thank everyone whom I had met for the past decade for their kindness, generosity, and knowledge passed along the years. My experience here in Southern California has been very fruitful and rewarding. I can't ask for anything more.

It's quite mind boggling to reflect on how much things changed for me through these years and how much growth was acquired as an artist. From the time when I just started Art Center back in 1999-2002 and then working in the field professionally until now really went by in a flash. Frak! Time flies when you're having fun. I certainly enjoyed all the challenges that were given to me. It definitely kept my toes busy.

The list is too long to name, but I would like to thank all my friends, foes, and colleagues for their support which makes my departure even harder. :( For some of you which I did not have a chance to catch up with, my apologies and we'll catch up soon. For all the followers of this blog, thank you for your support so far. This means alot and I extend my appreciation out to all of you.

In the meantime, stay warm for the holidays. Keep in touch!


Some More....

Some production design packets from Uncharted 2....



Here are some plein air studies in gouache, acrylic, and oil respectively.


Ratchet and Clank: A Crack In Time Concepts

Here are some very early blue sky concepts from the game I worked on last year before departing. I don't know if these made it in the final game.


Uncharted 2 stuff

Uncharted 2 is out so I can show some of the things I worked on. Since I came in late into the project, there's not much stuff worth showing. I did mostly concepts for outsourcing and some small tasks left over. Here are a few things below:
The top image was a pre-visualization on the gate to Shangri-la in the Gompa tunnel and it's animation mechanics below that.
The next two are sketches for one of the dig-temple doorway designs and the SLA crossbow ortho used later in the game.
The last two were most fun to do. These were some of the texture images were mimicking the cheesy Bollywood posters in the Nepal Warzone level. You have to look carefully in the level to find theseI had to make these look really bad in a good way if that makes sense.
(Yes, that is Rodrigo in the poster in case you were wondering)


Just for fun...

Something different from the same 'ole, same 'ole concepty stuff.


September update

Sorry I haven't been posting since the last month. Things at work are winding down for now. On the sideline, I've been asked to develop a tutorial with a publication and also involved with another art publication in Asia who is doing an article on my work. These things are keeping me busy at the moment, but more things to come my way soon. I also have to thank my buddy Stuart Kim for helping me facelift my website and for making it "visible" on the internet. God bless you Stu!
Two great games and two great companies which I had an honor of contributing on the last year and currently are releasing their games soon. Ratchet and Clank: A Crack In Time and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves will be out this fall. These two games should be good! Please check them out.
In the meantime, thanks for being patient with my slow posts. I'll have something up soon! ;)



Snuck a quick one in before I left work today. I didn't plan to finish it, but left some of the anatomy of how this began. Goodnight!


Stress relief

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. This is something for myself after months of crunch. Enjoy.


Blue Brush

I had some down time today. Here is a sketch from my desk at Naughty Dog during the lunch hour. (90min)

I had to get this one out of my system before going to bed. (40min)



5/30/09 70%

5/23/o9 60%

slowly working on this when I get a chance.....it'll be a few more posts. I'm spending about 30 min each time I get.



Here is an old demo from one of the classes I taught at CDA. It was a demo on generating thumbnails. I thought the shapes were working in the thumbnail and I decided to take a step further and see how far I can go. This is not at all finished, but I wanted to share how I usually start my processes. My goal is to go for a near photoreal render using custom brushes. I'll try to carry on this later to finish as time allows. Work has been crazy lately since I'm coming home late these days.


Update: In Retrospect

I apologize for not updating for awhile. After two months of unemployment, I started working again and it has been extremely busy. However, I would like to share my personal experiences of my walk in art and maybe it can help some of you out there who are going through the same thing at this tough economic time.

My journey as an artist is still very short and I still don't consider myself quite "there" yet. My art career started at Insomniac in 2003 and my experience there was great. But after 5 years, I left to look for something different and most importantly to expand my growth as a concept designer. It was a difficult decision leaving a great place, but it was a necessary one in order to grow. In September 2008, an opportunity came from Imagi to work on Gatchaman (G-Force). Since I was a big fan of the series, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. The short time I was there was amazing! I learned a lot by working with amazing artists Todd Uyeminami, Kevin Chen, Patrick Awa, and Yung-Lo Chang. This was a group of people you can come in and be content about going to work on a Monday morning. Going into 4 months, Imagi laid off the majority of the US staff and left only a small crew. I was out of a job, but I had no regrets on making that move over. Absolutely no regrets.

Two months passed since the layoff from Imagi. With the shaky economy, it seemed that alot of studios were( and still are) going through tough times which resulted in huge layoffs. The animation/film industry seemed to be affected more. During the downtime, I had some nice quality time with our daughter during the day and did small freelance jobs on the side. I also worked on some personal things which I did not have time to work on before. A few opportunities came shortly to interview and tour with some local and Bay Area studios and I met some amazing artists which I long admired since school.

However, a lot of thoughts were buzzing through my mind during the last two months. It was a very uncomfortable and scary feeling going from a busy everyday routine to having so much free time. You start to feel unproductive after some point. It also forced me to deal with what was going on in the world first hand after hearing thousands of people out of work. You never assume it can happen to you. It's ironic because I asked for a challenge and it came in a way that I least expected. Life plays you this way I find. I gained alot of perspective on things. Family and good health are more important than all the money you can make in the world. Being home gave me the opportunity to spend quality time with my daughter. She is a great baby, but it was definitely a challenge caring for her all by myself after my wife went back to work.

Despite the rough couple of months, I was really glad that things happened the way it did. Having two months off helped me reflect on life and look at things from a different perspective. As we all know, it takes a fall to stand taller. There will be a few of those ahead I'm sure.

I returned to the game industry recently. I joined the highly talented team at Naughty Dog as a concept artist under the direction of Robh Ruppel, who is a tremendous inspiration. It's a great blessing to be a part of that team. I'm currently helping to wrap up Uncharted 2. I was hoping to return to teaching at Concept Design Academy this summer, but with so many things going on now, I decided it's best to wait until things settle.

In the end, when things seems really bad, they eventually will work out one way or another if you let it. By sharing this, I hope to let people realize that we're all going through the same hard times together. Stay inspired friends and thanks again for the support on this blog throughout the years.


Exersketch Episode One

I'm currently working at NoJobo Studios where I spend alot of time doing "random" things. This week, I decided that I needed boot camp to keep my art circulation going. I was looking at alot of architecture references online and I was fascinated by some of the older areas in Hong Kong. I did use references for some of the more complex details. I wanted to savor the drawing aspect and then take it to the painting later on. Here it is so far in progress. The layout took more than a couple of hours. Enjoy! (btw...Nojobo Studios is a joke for No Job:) )


Sketch Medley

I'm reorganizing some old files lately and ran across some old sketches and ideations for props. A lot of sketches and drawings accumulated over a year. I didn't even remember some of these drawings I worked on honestly. That's how fast a year goes by when you're bombarded by work. I tend to shy away showing these sketches because there are so many great artists out there that do it better than I. Here they are anyways. Enjoy!


something old

I found this old painting I did during the landscape days. It was painted at the location on Reseda and Nordoff ( I forgot the crosstreet). This was done in acrylic on a 11 x 14 canvas. Good times!



It didn't turn up exactly how I wanted. It was a good excercise for the day nonetheless. Enjoy.


dug from the files

I'm finally starting to update my work once more due to the unfortunate event at Imagi. It was a great experience while it lasted and we had a great team. I felt I definitely grew stronger as an artist for the short period I worked and I learned alot from my peers. It's really a shame that things ended up this way because there were so much talent in that studio. I hope things will work out over there for the best.

I posted an old compilation of thumbs from Resistance 2 of some scenes that eventually turned into paintings. Good times. Enjoy!