Leroy Visits San Francisco

Posted on December 31, 2013.

In mid December, I had the opportunity to return to San Francisco and work under some of the artists I met on my first trip last July.  That first trip out there was about meeting people and seeing the industry first hand. This trip was all business.  Though I don’t think I want to work in mobile gaming, the artists at DeNA saw Carry On on ESPN and offered to help me put guide me in creating a strong portfolio.

During the days, Sarah Fuchs, the Head of Culture & Communication at DeNA, holed me up in a conference room so I could focus on my work.  Sarah introduced me Gary Laib, the Art Director at DeNA.  Gary spent an hour talking to me about quality portfolio work and showed me his portfolio.  After that hour of very useful information, Sarah who is vegan, witnessed me eat a meat lover’s pizza for lunch.

I also met Lori Friedenberg, who is a Performance and Development manager at DeNA.  She spent some time chatting with me, and at that point I needed that.  Senior Art Director Yukiko Arikawa took a look at my sketches.  On many of my sketches, my strokes were short and hard.  She could see my stress in them.  But the sketches I did while watching “Never Back Down 2” were loose, long strokes.  She really helped me see the importance of relaxing and letting things flow without trying too hard.

After Kiko’s therapy session with me, Sarah and I packed up for our trip to Zynga to check out the digs and meet up with Clive Downie, the former CEO of DeNA and current COO of Zynga.  Clive, Sarah, and I caught up more and enjoyed a nice San Francisco sunset.  Clive had to go to a meeting, so Sarah and I were given a tour of Zynga. Then I almost had a seizure from this tunnel of flashing lights in the entrance of Zynga.  But dinner that evening with Clive and Sarah was filled with better vibes, good food and great conversation.

On the second day of San Fran, I worked with another talented DeNA artist named Steve.  He went over my work gave me some advice on my frustrations when I draw. He followed by giving me a few things to work on for the day.  I spent the entire day drawing in that same room, sometimes alone, sometimes with Gary alongside me.  And one point, Lori came in with some music and had a little dance party.  It gave me a good sense of what it will be like to work a full day in an office setting.  A day of drawing, listening to music and sharing great company is a good day.  The people in DeNA love me, so I felt very welcome.

Later Sarah and I had dinner with a local radio host.  He had premier tickets to Anchorman 2. I had a great time, although I didn’t like some of the movie’s jokes. But Sarah’s laughter kept me laughing.  As Sarah walked me back to my hotel, I explained to her how much I needed this trip.  And after a good night of sleep, it was back to the office for a third and final day of work and time spent with inspiring people.  It was a trip of great learning and fun.  I am incredibly blessed to have this opportunity to make myself better before I begin interviewing for jobs.

Hope everyone has a great Christmas and a happy New Year!

Love you all!


One Response to “Leroy Visits San Francisco”

  1. Leon Ransom says:

    Mr. Leroy, (and I use the term mister with the utmost respect)
    Your strength is as legendary as the character Loki you idolize. I don’t mean your physical strength (though that is exceptional in itself). I am referring to your inner strength. Legendary…. My prayer for you is that you become that thing, that person who inspires a nation. The one who symbolizes just how faithful God is and how He keeps His promise. You have a gift son, and it is to be shared with the world. I pray that I get to meet you up close and personal. If you ever get to the Atlanta area please email me so that I can come see you. May you continue to be blessed by be a blessing.

Leave a Reply