Character Designs for Papaya Restaurant




These were done for a Vietnamese pho restaurant called Papaya, located at the Renton Highlands center in Renton, Washington. They wanted something to set them apart and hired me to develop a fun concept and company brand.

They had no ideas in terms of a concept, other than the story be whimsical and cute. Our first meeting was in a Chinese noodle house near San Francisco. As we were leaving, I said "how about two little girls and their grandfather, who own a magic pho stand? The grandfather could be a powerful wizard who got tired of the wizardly existence and decided to fulfill his life's dream of becoming a cook. But his grandaughters, curious and entranced by his erstwhile profession, end up getting into all sorts of magic related mischief.

This way, the story was cute, fun, and fit thematically with the restaurant. They loved the concept and later I added three little sidekick characters-a hot tempered chilli sauce bottle, a sweet and loving Hoisin sauce bottle, and a flying sticky bun with a top hat.

Here is the art in the restaurant, which just opened last month:








This is one of the owners' daughters, whom the character is named after. Her mom says she requests her hair in pigtails every day, to match her cartoon counterpart. Cute!

9 comments:

Mark Simmons said...

That's awesome! Congratulations, and kudos to the noodle house for taking such great advantage of your talents. :-)

Betty said...

AWESOME!! great job, Gintah! this looks so good, we're definitely going to check it out next time we're up there :)

Frank said...

Dude.. ! cool beans~
i bet that little girl jus stands there like that all day.

Jelter said...

so cool! it's got to be rewarding to see your art get such great visibility and influence people!

lynnticular said...

That is so awesome! :D I love the characters and how neat to have your stuff in a restaurant! Go Gintah!

Chuck Pyle said...

These are so sweet and perky, Gintah, they look great and I bet the clinet was delighted. Really PRO stuff. chuck

Gintah Tran said...

Thanks everybody! The job was lots of fun and really pushed my style.

And as always, thank you for your advice, Chuck.

Trev said...

This is so cool! But who is this blue Niko character? If I go to the store will I find out?

Elizabeth said...

I was in the restaurant and saw the adorable pictures, they are great. I'm sad that there isn't a comic or cartoon to go with them, I want to see more of the magic soup man!