Contestants Announced for Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment LA

I have three reasons to start the introduction of Sketchbattle contestants with a picture of Joe Louis.  First, The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment is billed as “THE Fight Club of Design”.  Second, the Sketchbattle originated in Detroit, a city steeped in history and well known as the place Joe Louis started his career.  And finally, as Sketchbattle Judge Bryan Thompson has often posted on social media, #designEVERTYTHING.  If you want to read about the Detroit Sketchmaster, check out the profile we did here.  But if you want to read on about the first set of LA Contestants (in alphabetical order to be fair), then we suggest you read on after the break.


Photographer van Vechten’s iconic image of Joe Louis

David Bang

David Bang is currently a student at the Art Center College of Design where he is pursuing a degree in Transportation Design and expects to graduate next year.  During his short career he has already interned at Subaru Research and Development and is currently interning for Honda in Torrance.  He is eager to learn more about the automotive design and feels his time at Art Center has helped him develop a strong design sensibility including a focus on proportion and surface treatment within deep concept development.  Check out David’s tumblr here and his portfolio here.

Daney Chhang

Daney Chhang started at Art Center College of Design back in 2013, which began his varied career in the design arena.  He is currently a interior design intern at Faraday Future but his first internship was as an Alias Modeler at Audi/Volkswagen.  His previous experience in animation modeling helped land other positions such as ASV where he worked on environmental designs for fortune 500 companies such as Lexus and BMW proposals.  This position designing environments and web site designs prepared him for an internship at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles as an advanced interior/UX/UI designer. You can see Daney’s portfolio here and his Instagram here.

John Frye

John A. Frye developed a passion for all things that have wings, jets, engines or wheels while growing up in Bend, Oregon and went on to study Transportation Design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. With experience designing vehicles for Hasbro,  Activision, and Boeing, John established a career at Honda R&D where he is currently Principal Designer, group leader of digital modeling group. Over nearly 20 years, he has been a part of the development of many models and showcars such as Honda JV-X, Spocket, Ridgeline, Element, Acura RDX Concept, Acura TL and NSX. John was designated design project lead on the 2003 Acura CL, Studio-E Concept, and 2005 Civic Si Concept. He spends his spare time collecting vinyl records, sketching like a man possessed, and eating ramen. John teaches the Concept Vehicle Design course at Concept Design Academy in Pasadena. Check out John’s portfolio here, his art here and his Instagram here.

Omar Gonzalez

Omar Gonzalez is defending his title from Detroit and looking forward to the challenge.  Originally from Mexico, he has been interested in the creative field since he was a young boy.  He started with activities, such as drawing, oil painting, sculpturing, everything related with art. Nowadays his interests have matured and he has a huge interest in transportation design.  “I’ve been seriously thinking on ideas about what is going to be transportation design in the future, and also I’m strongly interested to bring all of my thoughts into the real world. I hope along my path meet the right people with similar interests, in the correct moment, to make things happen.”

Sydney Hardy

An automobile enthusiast from an early age, Sydney Hardy first completed a Bachelor of Science degree then attended Strate, a French design school in Paris in 2009.  During his courses at Strate, he participated in different design challenges such as the BMW Design Challenge and Interior Motives, where he won an award for the Best Eco Interior in 2013.  Sydney had also the opportunity to intern in automotive companies such as Peugeot, General Motors and Porsche, before graduating in 2015 with the ambitious project of building a full scale model of an urban transportation vehicle.  Curious about new types of transportation, Sydney believes that cars should evolve and embrace the new society needs by returning to the fundamentals of good design, where every decision taken tends to privilege the user experience.  Today, Sydney works in the 5350 General Motors Advanced Design Studio in California.  You can find Sydney’s portfolio here and a summary of all his activities here.

Bryan Johnson

Bryan was born, raised and educated in the midwest, Ohio to be exact and is a bike builder cyclist and snowboarder and a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art.  Bryan started his career after after opting out of senior year automotive class and used that time to independently work on his senior thesis, an EV motorcycle.    Bombardier Recreational Products took notice and subsequently hired him as a junior designer.  Bryan career recently took another turn as he has taken on the challenge of transitioning into the toy sector.  Based in LA,  Bryan is a Senior Designer in the Maccano (erector set) cars, transportation division. In addition he has been maintaining a personal venture in Spectre Apparel with the primary clothing being that of vintage car and motorcycle graphics. You can find Bryan’s portfolio here and some of his apparel here.

img_3901Come back tomorrow to learn more about the activities at the Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment LA including famous charity guest sketchers and check out our judging panel here.  And don’t forget to buy tickets here – we expect a rather long line at the event and having your tickets in advance will shorten your queue time.  Also don’t forget we support students with deeply discounted advance tickets – where else will you get to see Bugattis and BMW Art Cars up close and personal for $5?eventbrite

Tickets for the 2016 LA event can be found here

and also on the website of AutomobilityLA

and The Petersen Automotive Museum.


About Frank Schwartz

Frank Schwartz is the founder of and Advanced Automotive Consulting Services, partner in The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment and serial entrepeneur. A long time automotive enthusiast, Frank started reading car magazines at the age of 8 and has spent 30+ years working inside the automotive industry. In his spare time Frank races with the Sports Car Club of America, spends time working on his numerous project cars and supports many local charities.
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