I’ve worked entirely from home for the past four years. I love it, and will likely never go back into an office again. That said, it’s not without its flaws.

My role at work is typically a solitary one, without much collaboration. Working in a vacuum, so original ideas have the opportunity to bloom, as opposed to being influenced or echoing what other artists around you are doing. It’s not unusual for me to go a day or two without speaking to anyone at work. Combine one of those days with one of the many late nights my wife has at her office, and I’ll go 14 hours straight without speaking a single word. It’s a weird feeling, and if I’m being honest, a comfortable one, but undoubtedly unhealthy.

I decided I needed community in my life. I don’t practice religion, so I went for the next obvious choice. A run club. I found a group that meets in my neighborhood every week, and met up with them for first time this past summer. It’s funny, but walking up to a huddle of strangers that first night, felt as nerve-racking as the first day of school. Unsure what to expect. But man, I’m so glad I did. It’s been an awesome, lasting experience. People there know my face, my name, and notice if I’ve been gone, and I can say the same about them. I found community.

Since that first run, I’ve met up with them nearly every week since and always look forward to it. Lesson being, get uncomfortable.






Finally got meet my nephew Preston in person, just as he passed his 5 month mark. Of course the first thing I did was look him straight in the eye and deliver this classic line from Uncle Buck. I can say with confidence that pictures and videos of his little arm and thigh rolls are no supplement to actually squeezing said little arm and thigh rolls. He’s a curious, handsome, and charming little man who took no time to steal our hearts. Looking forward to seeing this little guy again in a few months time for his first birthday and getting a good look at the Gulf of Mexico together.

Pumkin cannons. Dace floor destruction with Maya and Arthur. Kiss at The Bowl. FaceTimes with the newest Smith. Izakayas with out of towners. Watching a dog we considered not giving back. Showing LA to New York. Disney days. Donuts with Della. Introductory handshakes with Emmett. Green beers in Long Beach. This was fall and winter, or at least the parts where I remembered to take a picture. Really need to get better at that.

Halah by Mazzy Star.



























This is a slide from the pitch deck I created for my game, Greenfield. I share the deck with people trying to understand more about the project and its status. Greenfield has gotten a lot of attention since announcing it, landing somewhere in the mild end of the viral spectrum. It was unexpected, and if I’m being honest, alarming. It brings a layer of expectation that hasn’t been at all part of Greenfield’s development.

These are all good things though. This attention has granted me the opportunity to connect with and learn from other independent game developers, as well as attract meetings with publishers interested in the project. Seeing the caliber of some of the publishers in my inbox transports me to the twilight zone. It’d be like if you were making an independent film, and Netflix or HBO cold reached out to you because they’re interested in it.

Since the New Year I’ve been diverting a lot of my time and energy towards Greenfield. Going as far as limiting paying client work to 2-3 days a week, and once Greenfield is further along, possibly doing away with client work all together so long as it’s viable. All this is to say, posts on Six Foot Giraffe will be even farther and fewer in between than they already were. That feels bitter sweet to me but the reality is, if you’re up to bat, you gotta swing.

One of my best buds Drew E. Cohen, turned 40 in October and over twenty of us from all corners of the country descended upon Indio, California to help the man celebrate.

We swam, dined, karaoked, Halloweened, baby showered, competed in Beer Olympics, and raised our glasses to a guy who’s been asked to be a best man more times than anyone I’ve ever met.

Everyone came together and contributed in their own way to make it not just a memorable weekend the man of the hour, but for us all. Truly, one for the books.

I was glad to have contributed some of my finest artist works to date for the celebration, in the form of a book cover, a cake design of biblical proportions, and Beer Olympics team bandanas. A true career high for me.








Lastly, Kelsie wrangled everyone to contribute a fun memory or well wish for a book she put together for him. Figure I’d share my contribution here, becasue I meant every word, and the truth is worth preserving:

Forty… My god, I’m so, so sorry bud. We go back a long ways now, since 2009 I think. That said, it shouldn’t be too hard for me to pick one of our memories to share here, certainly a lot to choose from. But If I’m being honest, with so many favorites, it’s not easy picking just one.

Should it be the first memory I have of you? The time you became if only for a moment, my one true lord and savior, when you literally freed me from a locked parking garage I’d been trapped in for hours on end in the dead of night. You always knew how to make a first impression.

How about the countless shows we’ve been to, where on more than a few occasions people had to tell us to shut the hell up, because no matter how desperately we wanted to see a band, it seemed to sometimes pale in comparison to how much more fun it was to just shoot the breeze and catch up. And on the topic of shows, I have to mention the time that like a modern day Moses you parted a sea of moshing kids at the Troubadour to pick up my fallen glasses for me.

Maybe it’s traveling our country together, 18 states by my count. In nearly all instances, promising ourselves we’d turn in at the hotel at a decent hour for some rest so we wouldn’t spoil our trip, but sure as the Sun shines, we’d always break that promise. Whether the lethal blow was staying out till some ungodly hour, or was actually making it back to the room as intended, but fatally talking hours on end like two kids on a weekend sleepover. Sometimes a combination of both.

We’ve done our fair share of globe trotting outside our borders too. The first time I ever used my passport was of course, with you in Peru. Something I consider to be one of the greatest experiences of my life, and in hindsight, an adventure we were either too young or too hungover to realize just how dangerous it was at times. Then there was “No Rules” in Spain. Watching snow fall while we floated in warm waters in Japan. Cramming into a flat bed truck in Thailand so the locals could pelt us with water balloons for the New Year. Chasing whale sharks and mantas in the Maldives, and exploring a tiny deserted island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Aimlessly wandering the streets of Hong Kong, and after several hours of day drinking, declaring through an inebriated lens of optimism that we both “could totally see living here.”

Maybe it’s one of the smaller or more ridiculous memories. Watching you simultaneously hail three taxis out of thin air, when the rest of us couldn’t catch one for hours. The copy of Atlas Shrugged that mysteriously arrived on my doorstep. Crushing homemade beer towers in your front lawn like degenerates. You bringing a couch to my “Bring Your Own Chair” party in my empty apartment, and months later, you single handedly carrying that couch out of my apartment after I told you I couldn’t move it by myself. Thinking a shortcut on foot through Skid Row in broad daylight wouldn’t be that scary. Me having the best view in all of Coachella, sitting on your shoulders over 10 feet off the ground. Slayer almost ending my life. Our countless “Piano Man” karaoke duets (If Hell is real, it’s us rewatching those performances for eternity). And of course I can’t forget you helping orchestrate what seemed like all of Dodger Stadium to chant “Let’s go Kyle LET’S GO!”

Maybe my favorite memory of ours is one of the more predictable standouts. Standing up with you on your wedding day and having you stand up with me at mine. Or maybe it’s meeting Della and holding her for the first time.

I think you see the conundrum now. Can’t pick just one. There’s too many memories. I will say after all these years though, what I’m most thankful to you for, is just how far you’re willing to lean in, especially when my nature is to lean out and go it alone. You could’ve stopped inviting me out well before trying for the second, third, fourth, or fifth time that I dodged you. But unlike July 11th at Buca Di Beppo, you didn’t quit, and I’m a lot better off for it.

Yes you’re getting older, but just remember, we may be dying, but we’re not dead yet. Happy 40 my friend.



Just like that, my one and only brother Joey and his partner Olga, had a son. Turning my parents into grandparents, and me into an uncle. Technically and emotionally I already was an uncle, but this time around it’s by blood.

I’m excited to see our family growing. Excited for my mother and father’s dreams to come true. Excited to make this little person laugh and teach him anything I can along the way. Most of all though, I’m excited for my brother’s future.

Finding direction is a hard thing for any of us, and my brother is no exception to the rule. Over the years, it seemed like more often than not his compass pointed him adrift. But now, now he has his North Star. One that shines brighter and points truer than any compass needle ever could. This thought brings me a lot of peace, and I couldn’t possibly be happier for him.

Welcome to the world Preston James Smith. Looking forward to meeting you in just a few months time.






I have something cool to share today. But first, a story.

When I was a kid, I played a lot of video games. I rarely play any today, but have never stopped being fascinated by them. They sit at an intersection of some things I’m really passionate about. Visual art, storytelling and technology. When I enrolled in college 18 years ago (GOOD LORD), I naturally wanted to study game design. But as I learned more about the program, I started to believe the math requirement was beyond me. I was young, and let the idea that I didn’t do so well in school define what was and wasn’t possible for me. So I chose a Digital Arts & Design program instead. I still loved what I studied, and have since built a career that often puts me at the intersection of those passions I mentioned. It’s pretty cool, and I’m thankful for it. BUT… I never stopped wondering what could’ve been if I hadn’t quit game development before I even started it.

Then came the pandemic and lockdown and with that, some time. I used that time to finally start learning how to make video games. Turns out, it’s pretty hard. A lot of one step forward, two steps back. Even after years of working at it, it’s still hard. but I’ve sure learned a lot. Above all, I learned that making a video game is an amount of work not meant for a single person. Especially when it’s not your full or even part-time job. But man, it’s fun, and I love it. So I keep at it when I can.

But back to this cool thing I wanted to share… I made a trailer for a game project I’m developing. It’s called GREENFIELD. There’s still a daunting amount of work ahead that stretches farther than I can see, but I’m so relieved to finally have others see what’s been living only in my own imagination.

More info about the project here If you play games, you can wishlist it on Steam today too. More to come, probably not soon.

















Family in Florida. Friends in LA. Lazy rivers in Palm Springs. A train ride along the Pacific. A hurricane warning in Los Angeles. Endless bands in Chicago. This was summer.

Wooly Mammoth by Local Natives
































8 Planes. Countless bands. Easter in Palm Springs. Racing in Long Beach. Playgrounds in Seattle. Sunburn in Minneapolis. Toasts in West Hollywood. Nostalgia in Pasadena. A flipped kayak in Nashville. Near internet infamy in Boston. Too many drinks in Bel Air. Watching the kids get taller and friends go grayer. This was Spring and I’m tired.

We’ve Been Had by The Walkmen








































Just over 10 years ago, I was about to turn 27 and hunting for ways to keep myself on a trajectory of upwards and onwards. Best as I could figure at the time, that meant leaving behind a very stable and very loved staff position I’d held for 6 years, to set out on a freelance career of uncertainty.

I had doubts. In fact, I was terrified. I poisoned my mind with the thought that I wouldn’t be good enough to secure enough work to make ends meet, let alone thrive. Even my parents, who’s advice I still seek and value to this day, basically advised me against it for other reasons, and I can’t say I blame them. It didn’t make a lot of sense on the surface to them. I loved my job, the work, the people, the company, and I was making great money for the season in my life. It was safe, and freelance was a risk. None the less, I charted my course, gave notice to my bosses and mentors through a very shaky voice, and to my own amazement, I took the leap.

It helped that I had a clear vision of what a successful freelance career meant to me, before I even embarked on it. I wanted to work less, earn more, make more art (as opposed to only directing it), and position myself to work remotely should I ever choose to leave the sprawl of Los Angeles behind. Those 4 ideas, each one a different form of freedom, was what I sought in freelance, and the promise of those ideas made leaving a job I loved, turn from unbearable, to obvious.

Looking back a decade into it, it’s clear my freelance career took shape differently than I imagined it would’ve, but I met the destination I set all the same. Put modestly, freelance has gone well. Put bluntly, last year alone I took months of collective time off, earned more money than ever, spent the majority of my days making art, and worked entirely from my home office. I attained the ideas I sought all those years ago, and it didn’t take 10 years. Some came immediately, and some took longer, but for the most part, reaching my definition of success in my career, is old news.

So, I’m not celebrating reaching some metaphorical mountain top in this moment, that’s already long been true. What I’m trying to do, is preserve the memory that I once did something that absolutely terrified me, and that it worked out alright. That I swam instead of sank. That I took a risk, and that I not only lived to tell the tale, but am better for it. It’s easy to forget how brave we once were, when we’re standing in the shadow of new fears. So here I am, trying to remember, because 10 years sure seems like an awful long time to have not rolled the dice.

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