San Francisco

We weren't going to go. It was one of those things where we nixed the notion of going on our family vacation immediately after the Big Bomb was dropped on us. We had been planning this thing for several weeks now, it was hard to throw all that preparation away. After a few days it was decided that maybe we can do a truncated version of our trip, maybe stay there for three days instead of a whole week. Yes, that's what we needed. A chance to get away.

And then, as luck would have it, one of Andrea's friends offered a place for us to stay for the entire week. So generous of Lesile and Riley to open up their home. So thankful to have good friends like them.

And you know, a week STILL didn't seem like enough time to get the full experience of San Francisco. We'll be back. That's a definite.

Below you'll find a few more of my shots of our trip, although Andrea does a much better job at capturing the soul of the City by the Bay. By all means check her on-going photoset. Beautiful images. You'll be thanking me.

Mt. Shasta
On the road trip, we passed by the beautiful Mt. Shasta in northern California.

She fell asleep like this
You know she fell asleep like this: with her finger on the button. I guess she's a true photographer now.

For our first big day, I didn't bring my camera, so I don't have anything to show for that day. But here's a shot of me with Harley Jessup at Pixar. Oh, yes. We visited the Emeryville studio and had lunch there. What a great treat.

Me & Harley
Harley, as you might recall, was the art director for Twice Upon a Time. He was the production designer for Ratatouille as well as for Presto, the new short film currently playing in front of Wall-E. To quote a fellow Pixarian, Harley's a class act. And he's absolutely right.

Oh, hey -- big ups to Sanjay, Erik, and the few others I had the great fortune of talking with during our visit to Pixar. What a remarkable place, guys. Thanks for the time.

On Tuesday, we took the ferry into the city:

ezra doing what he does best
Ezra doing what he does best: making his big sister laugh.

the Golden Gate Bridge
Your typical shot of the Golden Gate Bridge. And a boat.

sure he's cute
Sure he's cute, but tough as nails if you try and take his cupcake.

Taking it in

Vintage Streetcars
How cool is that? Vintage streetcars. This one was originally from Kansas City, and was in service from 1948 to 1988.

On Wednesday, we walked around the Mission District. So colorful. A couple of Andrea's friends (the very talented Mati and Kelly Rae) showed us a few hidden alleyways that boasted some amazing murals.

Ava looked at this mural for a long time.

Cool doorway.

I'm still in the process of uploading more photos from our trip. I'll post more of them here later on.

The trip was definitely a shot in the arm for us. We had such a great time that we vowed to come back right away. I really mean that.

There are more photos to see in my SF photoset and in Andrea's SF photoset. Enjoy!


I've been working on my portfolio website lately. Finally registered my domain name and will hopefully have the thing up and running soon. Things have been so-so with the new job hunt. Some slivers of opportunity here and there, but nothing's really solidified. I've done a few illustrations for Jib Jab, which was a lot of fun, and have done another illustration for the next Von Glitschka book (due out in early '09) -- but really, putting together a portfolio from scratch has proven to be incredibly time consuming and frustrating. I've been constantly changing the thing after each meeting or interview, which makes it even more time consuming.

I'm remaining optimistic, though. No sour grapes here, I promise. It's all a matter of finding the right opportunity at the right time. That's what I've always told people when I'd talk about the biz, and here I have to remind myself of this very thing. So, yeah. Need some storyboards done? How about some character designs? I'm here to help. I'll treat ya right. (How's that for some shameless promotion?)

More SF pics soon....


  1. Awwwh ( big sigh) Looks like you and your family fell in love. San Francisco is my love, the city I was born and raised in and I am so glad you guys enjoyed it. It's fun to look at your photos and see that we appreciate the same things.
    You are talented so I know that wherever you go next, those around you will be lucky to have you!

  2. I'm so jealous San Francisco and Pixar. Looks like you had a good trip. If you ever get a chance check out this short called Rex Steele Nazi Smasher, if you haven't already. It was a student film done about 3 years ago my Pixar Sstoryboard artist Alex Woo.

  3. Remarkable trip, Ward. Great photos by Andrea, kids growing up so fast.
    I'm headed to LA next week with a stop-over in San Diego. Too bad I can't see ya while I'm over that way!

  4. Thanks for the encouragement, laundrygirl. Much appreciated.

    gemini82 -- I've seen Rex Steele and I loved it. I didn't know that Alex is at Pixar now! Very cool.

    zealot -- RATS!!! Next time, my friend.

  5. Ward, I'm so glad you made it to SanFran despite your setback. That's awesome that you got to visit Pixar! I could totally see you there. Are you angling for that? You should.

    Anyway, congrats on the upcoming book. I got the last one with the textures. I was flippin' through it and lo and behold, an unmistakable Ward original was starring back at me. Awesome!

  6. I really am thinking of you guys man... It looks like y'all had a wonderful trip!

    Oh, and if you do ever find yourselves back in the ATL, we'd love to see y'all!

  7. came to your blog via facebook and i am glad i did. you have some great stuff here art-wise and photographically. the boy with the cupcake is enough to inspire an illustration already. thanks for that...

  8. Your photos are super charming. Thanks!

    (I remember being taken to S.F. by my family when I was a kid. Had some of the feeling you communicate here.)