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Look Harder

The Generalife

One of my favorite places I've ever visited: Granada, Spain.

When it popped up in the pipeline as a potential Google Doodle celebrating the Granadas Millenium, I knew I had to do it. A fellow doodler was gracious enough to let me take the assignment off his hands, though it meant I had to juggle the deadline with a mildly interactive Father's Day doodle on the same day.

While the doodle acknowledges a festive occasion, I really wanted to highlight the amazing juxtapositions of the city itself: A majestic Moorish/Medieval stronghold among stuccoed Spanish houses. The expanse of the Sierra Nevada mountain range against the narrow winding alleyways. The city itself is at once wonderfully alive and sleepy with plenty to do or not do. In fact, you can learn about everything I did and did not do by visting (or not visiting?) my ancient but well-preserved sketch travelogue.


Chicago Tribune

Hey that's my picture in the Chicago Tribune!

It's part of a slideshow accompanying an in-depth profile on the Doodle team. Though it's an interview with mostly one member of the team (leader, Ryan Germick), it's well-rounded and thoughtful, and echoes many of the things that drives us creatively as a team and on an individual basis. Also, there are burritos.

And the writer uses Tom Sawyer to describe me.


In a behind-the-scenes discussion about this behind-the-scenes piece (so meta) the writer, Chris Borrelli, answers why it was so important to visit the actual Doodler area to do this piece:

That’s a good question, because this piece could be handled with a Q&A probably. And with a company like Google, you assume you will receive a bare minimum of cooperation, anyway. But they were fairly open to the story, partly because the Doodle team is so unique and what tends to be written about them is superficial and brushes right past the point that these things probably took a team and a lot of time and there’s a story behind the creation of this tiny thing so many people worldwide are seeing everyday.



Background paintings for the Maurice Sendak Google doodle. Fellow doodler, Jennifer Hom did a brilliant job leading the creative on this and doing all the heavy lifting, including the characters, animation, and the layouts and block-ins for these BGs. I was happy to do my small part and take the backgrounds to a finish.

I was even happier to use this opportunity to study Sendak’s work a little more closely. I originally planned to paint these backgrounds in watercolor, but due to the complexity of the project and the short timeline I had to work in, I opted for digital. Yet I still feel like I got to learn a thing or two about how he composed images and made sense out of the most amazing kinds of clutter, whether a dense jungle, buildings from the pantry, or the skeletal remains of a farmhouse ripe for a birthday parade.

Happy 85th birthday to a true master! You can see the fully animated tribute here:



Heart's Desire

A weekend sketch on Heart's Desire Beach along Point Reyes. It threatened to be gloomy and overcast, but the warm weather beat it out.


Doodleversary #3

Another one down! In no particular order, here's a look at just a few things I've doodled in the past year.

I worked with the Keith Haring estate to remember the late street/fine artist.

 A Fourth of July tribute and a special nod to Woody Guthrie on what would have been his 100th birthday ten days later.


Korean Thanksgiving, or Chuseok. It's a time for food but also a time to remember ancestors and loved ones. My grandmother had unexpectedly passed away that month, so I drew her and my grandfather here to remember them both in an uplifting way. 

I also did the Grandparents Day doodle for Poland. I channeled my inner child, using actual paper, scissors, and glue.

Speaking of old school, here's one for the Drive-In Theater: 

G is for Google graced by Gorey.


The anniversary of the Hartland Bridge. A few new visitors made their way to this sleepy town in New Brunswick.

Veterans Day 2012. A friend was talking to some of his co-workers and Google Doodles came up as a topic. He was really trying to drive home the point that doodlers – knowing one personally – work very hard... "like, nobody has any idea how hard these guys work." He is a Marine and Veteran. He must not be aware of how hard he has to work so that people like me get to sit around and draw all day. 

 Holiday, er, Christmas, er, Holiday doodle 2012...

Janosik, the Robin Hood of Slovakia.

Dia de las Velitas in Colombia.

The publishing of Moby Dick, an elusive white whale on a very accessible white Google homepage.

From a vast landscape waiting to be discovered...

...to a set of comfy pouffes waiting to be lounged upon.

I can list 42 reasons why this doodle needed to happen.

A fun cityscape in green for Saudi Arabia's national day.

Speaking of green, fancy a dance for St. Patrick's Day? See the animated version here!


The Lion Rampant sniffing the thistles on St. Andrew's Day in Scotland. 

So what's next? I'm framing up the next picture...

Thanks for looking!