Since graduating from the Academy of Art I have over twenty years of experience as a freelance and in-house production artist. Starting with my first love, comics, I developed my storytelling and drawing abilities on the demanding monthly publication schedules of print comics in the 1990s. After a short time on small projects I landed the Tarzan monthly at Dark Horse which gave me the chance to improve my drawing of animals and natural settings, along with over-the-top action. This was powerful training which gave me the confidence and focus I would later use to lead the story team on The Return of The King.
Before this I boarded TV animation for Bruce Timm’s Batman Beyond at Warner TV Animation. This was a great experience and I learned so much from the directors and artists there. Batman taught me the difference between panel-to-panel storytelling and motion storytelling, high tech futurism, simplification and drama, acting and pacing.
My first spot as lead story artist was on a very big project: The Lord of the Rings; The Return of The King. As my first experience on a AAA game project I was under a lot of pressure. I started as the only story artist on the project and by the time we were two months in I was leading a team of six. We boarded 17 full levels, 14 of which made it into the game. I worked 12 hour and over days for many months but it turned into one of the best playing games of that year, and stands out as one of the first games that EA made using Hollywood movie production techniques.
Director of the School of Game Design at The Academy of Art University
Simultaneous to my freelance work I taught courses in Comics, Clothed Figure Drawing, and others at the Academy. After over ten years of teaching experience I was offered the Director position for a new School at the University; prior to my tenure the game curriculum was a small part of the School of 3D animation and VFX. I developed the curriculum for game design and game art from scratch and hired all key faculty and personal. Under my leadership, the School of Game Design grew from less than 50 students in the spring of 2009 to more than 600 in the spring of 2012. I directly manage Lead Artists with multiple disciplines in 3D modeling, Character and Environment Modeling, Vector and Casual Games, Level Design, User Interface, and Game Production in multiple platforms. In addition I have hired a team of more than twenty part-time faculty who come from AAA studios in the Bay Area and around the world.