The Professionals – #MSBEXP-LA Sofa Sunday

In keeping with the theme of Thanksgiving week, I was disappointed to learn that the Sunday after black Friday does not have it’s own name.  But luckily, I stumbled across a movement to call it “Sofa Sunday”, and to me that kind of fits with the image of the 8 professional designers entered in the Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ Los Angeles presented by BASF sitting back, confidently, and just waiting for the competition to begin.  Obviously, they are probably just as nervous and excited as the students, so here they are……..IMG_7504 Ingo Rautenberg Fotographie Destiny Driftmeyer

John Frye – Honda R&D Americas


John Frye is the defending Los Angeles Sketchmaster, and we are excited that he has chosen to sketch again to defend his crown.  Frye grew 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 herehis art here and his Instagram here.

Daney Chhang – Embraer Executive Jets

Earlier this month at SEMA, Daney Chhang won the title of Las Vegas Sketchmaster and has decided to compete again in LA.  Daney Chhang is from Dallas TX and has previously worked for Faraday Future.  He went to school at Art Center College of Design.  Chhang currently does freelance work through his design firm Daney Chhang Designs.

Dwayne Vance – Fly Racing

Hailing out of El Paso Texas, our third contestant Dwayne Vance is currently Senior Design Manager for Fly Racing.  Vance graduated from Art Center in 2000 with a BS in Transportation Design.  He is perhaps best know for his awesome series of books, Masters of Chicken Scratch.  This is Dwayne’s first competition, as he sketched for charity at last year’s Los Angeles event.

Jessica Kim – Netmarble Games

Jessica Kim is a LA based concept designer working in the entertainment media industry covering a spectrum of features, episodics, commercials, and interactives with a focus in pre-production. Her specialties include characters, environments, creatures, costume design, vehicles, props, with an emphasis in character design. She graduated from Otis College of Art and Design in 2013 with a BFA in Digital Media, and also has a background in fashion design. Jessica told us she loves going back to using traditional mediums such as oil paint, copics, ink, charcoal and carbothello– and carries her sketchbook in her purse everywhere. Traveling to new cities/countries to view new and interesting elements for inspiration and reference is a passion, so far she has managed Paris, Barcelona, Seoul, NY city, Detroit, and hopes to explore many more.  Check out Jessica’s website here.

John Narciso – TSW/Black Rhino Wheels

The second contestant from Texas, John Narciso.  Narciso attended school at Art Center and currently works for  TSW/Black Rhino Hard Alloys.  You can see examples of Narcisco’s work here.

Kayvan Naderi – Scenario Cockram USA Inc

Kayvan Naderi is from Los Angeles, and also goes by K-ONE.  Naderi was also a student of Art Center and currently works for Scenario Cockram USA Inc.   Naderi claims to be a Music lover / Coffee drinker / Explorer. “I naturally observe the spaces we live in, the products we use and want to make them better.” You can see Naderi’s portfolio here.

Matthew Cunningham – Warner Brothers

During his 13 years in advanced design and strategy, Matthew has authored numerous concept vehicles, products, and scenarios for motion picture studios, automotive companies, and other top-tier clientele. Classically trained with a modern edge, Cunningham developed his unique approach to design at the Art Center College of Design, and Pratt Institute, where he received degrees in Transportation and Industrial Design respectively.  Presently, Cunningham is designing vehicles for Legendary Pictures and recently completed work for the breakout HBO television show ‘Westworld,’ and Fox’s new police drama  ‘A.P.B.’, premiering in 2017.  Select Clients: Paramount Pictures , HBO, Universal Studios, ABC, BMW Designworks USA, Volkswagen Group,Toyota,The Aerospace Corporation, Mack Trucks.  You can see more of Matthew’s work here.

Wu Di – CH Auto

1127_1Unfortunately we are still waiting for background in formation from Wu Di, as he was an extremely late addition to the competition.  He currently works at CH Auto in China.  His sketches are awesome – this should be fun!


So there you have your 17 contestants.

Be sure to come back this week to read the rest of the story:

And don’t forget to make a donation in advance

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.MSBE Los Angeles presented by BASF v_7

Tickets for the 2017 LA event can be found here



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.
This entry was posted in Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s