Thursday, December 29, 2011


I quit my day-job a few weeks ago. I am now a stay-at-home dad. I'm also trying to get some freelance illustration done in between naps and diaper changes. So, I haven't been out hiding a lot of dinosaur paintings lately, but that all should be changing after the holiday break. Here's wishing you a wonderful holiday full of family, good food and fun!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Congratulations to Dylan Bartley (& friend) for finding Dinosaur #49!

The above is an article from the Gilroy Dispatch back in 1995, when my high school art class painted a mural on the side of the Fifth Street Coffee Roasting Company, now called Sue's Coffee Roasting Company. Here's the full article without the pieces blurred out: 


'Adam Davis, 17, thinks he'll enjoy cruising through town years from now and seeing his work a permanent fixture at the corner. "If it's not all graffitied up, or the building torn down, or new outlets get built"' Always the optimist.
I mainly used the mural as an excuse to cut classes. We were given passes to leave campus to work on it, and 9 out of 10 times I was leaving campus to "work on the mural", I was just playing hooky. I was never really happy with how it turned out, and thankfully, the mural has since been covered up with a new mural of a train.

This clue led to Christmas Hill park. When I was a kid, Christmas Hill park had the best playground around. There was a multiple level play area, built all around a huge tree, with at least three different slides coming off of it, and a tunnel behind the structure. I really wanted to incorporate this, but the entire thing (including the tunnel, which had to have been excavated) has since been removed. It has been replaced with a crummy sanitized playground that I can't imagine is nearly as fun for kids to play on. 
At the entrance to the park, hung in a tree, was a blow-up globe with dinosaurs all over it. on the north american side of the globe, written on the T-Rex:

"Meet Economuo at Amphitheater"
At the far end of the park, the Amphitheater bears a plaque commemorating "William N. Economuo". above that plaque, snugly tucked into an alcove, was the painting!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Congratulations to Evan for finding Dinosaur #48!
The above message decodes to "There was no there there", a quote from Gertrude Stein, regarding a visit to her childhood home in Oakland, which was no longer there. There's a giant sculpture on the Berkeley/Oakland border regarding that references this, and at the foot of the "T", there was the painting!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Congratulations to Mary Whalen for finding Dinosaur #45! 

Here's a run-down of the hunt straight from Mary:

When I saw the clue I knew immediately that it referred to a sculpture on Embarcadero but when it was posted I was at work and couldn’t leave. On the next day it still hadn’t been found. So when I finished a meeting at SF state early and had some time to kill before I gave my boyfriend and fellow dino hunter Eric a ride to the airport, I decided that I should go dino hunting. I’d had some bad luck in the past with not getting to the clue fast enough and I hoped 4th times the charm! Unfortunately I decided to park in the parking structure at the Metreon so I had a bit of a walk. Good thing it was a nice day. I decided to go down Market since I couldn’t remember where the statue was exactly. Once I got closer I saw it. . .should of gone down Mission...oh well. 

I wandered around the rocket looking to see if there was any marking on it, and then I saw this info thing that had some stickers on it:

When I looked closer I saw it, clue #2:

The clue was a little hard to take a picture of since it was so long. I decided to try to write it down and I wrote on an old receipt I found in my bag. My phone was being incredibly slow and loosing battery power fast so I called Eric to see if he could help out. He was trying to get work done and couldn’t really help right then. But that did the trick because my phone started working. I was able to figure out that the alphabet was shifted by 12 places and then spelled out “And in the veil of the light the city drifts anchorless upon the ocean”

This stumped me some. I sat there for a little while googling the passage and SF and anything else I could think of. All it came up with though was info about the poem. I figured pier 14 wouldn’t be on there and underlined if there wasn’t something to do with it so I decided to start walking out to the end of the pier. A little ways down I noticed that there were plaques close to the ground along the railing with passages written on them. Then I noticed further down that they were passages from the poem so I looked for the one that was in the clue and that’s where I found it, clue #3:


I pulled on the string and it seemed like something was tied to it. I didn’t think it was the painting though, too light. Once I got to the end I saw this: 

I knew I had seen a statue like that before, but couldn’t quite remember where. While I thought about it I decided that since it was such a nice day I should take some pictures and enjoy the view while I walked back down the pier. (Thanks Adam!)

I texted Eric again to see if he had any ideas. He hadn’t seen it before but suggested it was in a park near by. I figured it was in one of 2 directions and tried to google it but again my phone was not cooperating. I could see it come up on the google image search but that was as far as my phone would take me. So I started walking, the 2 areas it could be weren’t that far from each other so I could always walk back. As I was walking I thought I might ask someone. They told me where I could find the visitor center but not the statue. Then Eric texted me saying that it was across from the ferry building. Awesome, that was the direction I was headed! Then I saw it! But I didn’t see any obvious clue. I looked at the ground in between the heads and walked around them but didn’t see anything. 

I figured I better look closer before I gave up. The one on the left didn’t have any markings or anything on it but when I looked at the one on the left I fount it. At the base of the head was a little tag tied with a rubber band:


“Walk ~27 steps to the christmas tree”. I looked around and luckily there was only one tree that looked like a christmas tree. I ran to it. I hoped this was the last clue and that the painting would still be there!  And there it was! Hanging among some ornaments! YAY!

I love my new dino!

And it even matched my shirt!


Saturday, October 8, 2011


UPDATE: Dinosaur painting #43 has been found, but I'm not sure who found it. They did leave all these pinto beans behind though... (remember to email me when you find these, folks!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Welcome to the #Dinohunt!

I'd like to welcome anyone who is now following the hunt as a result of my promotion at the SF Zine Fest a few weeks back. Here's hoping you find yourself a free dinosaur painting, and have some fun along the way!

Just want to give a few tips before I post the next couple of hunts:

  • Follow me on twitter. I like to give a little notice before I post each clue so that you can get ready. Also, if you get stuck on a hunt, or you think a clue might have gone missing, its the fastest way to get my attention. 
  • Once you've followed me on the twitters, you can use the hashtag #dinohunt to let me know you'd like me to get on the ball and post a new hunt. I'm a brand new father, so I can't always get away to scheme new hunts. Knowing that you're out there waiting really motivates me! 
  • If you find a painting, congratulations! Please wait at least 8-10 clues before hunting down another one, although if you want to help a friend find one, more power to you! Actually, PLEASE tell your friends, and encourage them to hunt these down. I want to spead the dino-love around.
  • Remember that this is a totally DIY (or DIWO) production, made possible with funding from The Awesome Foundation. I don't get clearance to hide almost any of these clues, so the security guards / owners of the businesses where a clue might be hidden probably don't know I hid something there. They might not be to stoked on my shenanigans, so DO NOT approach these folks asking about dinosaur paintings. They most likely will have no idea what you are talking about.
  • Things you might need on your hunt: comfortable shoes (I try to keep all the hunts walk-able, though with my long legs, my definition of walk-able may differ from yours), a flashlight, a smart phone (I try to keep all the hunts solvable without one, but they do help), a camera (to take pictures of the clues. If you find the painting, I really like to see your pictures of the clues afterward), paper and pencil, your wits.
Thanks! Be on the lookout for new clues shortly!

Friday, September 2, 2011

CLUE #40 (FOUND!) & #41 (FOUND!)

Congratulations to Jason Schupp and Phuong Mai for finding Dinosaurs #40 & #41 at the San Francisco Zine Festival!

(this was actually the first painting I painted for this project)

(this one was the second painting I painted for this project!)

Phuong was actually right behind Jason the first day, so I had to create a second hunt the next day to try to stump him! I couldn't have him just walking in and whisking his way through the clues again!

 Upon arriving at my table, hunters were greeted by my t-shirt, emblazoned with a huge dinohunt symbol. When asked about the hunt, I showed this clue: 

This is an illustration of Chase No Face, done by Josh Ellingson, one of my favorite artists, who also happened to have a table at the festival! I figured a fun way to do this hunt would be to make it two-fold: You could either wander around the hall and find the art associated with the next clue, or you could take time solving the scrambled names (which were all randomly scrambled using numbers from the date of the festival). 

At Josh's table, hunters saw this: 

This led to Karl Dotter, fellow south bay transplant, UX cartoonist and toast enthusiast. At Karl's table was this clue:

The distinct style of this art led all the way across the hall, into another room, to the table of Michael Wertz, screen printer extraordinaire and fellow disciple of Nonchalance. Michael was busy being busy, so his clue was handled by the wonderful and talented Ondine LaBoeuf: 

The final stop on the hunt was at the table for Coco Lab, run by Yumiko Miyagawa. She's a DJ, she has this insanely awesome blog, and she is married to a fellow GNARBOOT. Yumiko not only turned over the painting to Jason (the largest one to date, I might add) but she also threw in the little knitted "baby" that I used as a clue!

Karl admiring Jason's painting!

As far as the hunt the next day went, I put it together on the fly and forgot to take any pictures. If Phoung sees this and has any pictures (along with maybe his perception of the hunt), I'll post them up for you to see!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Congratulations to Eric Forsberg for finding Dinosaur #39!

Here's a synopsis of the dinohunt from Eric:

I couldn't help myself... I went and found Dino painting #39. 

The night before I started the hunt, my fellow hunter, Phuong, and I were discussing the different clues that had been posted and he mentioned this one was a couple blocks from where I work.  So the next day after work I decided to mosey on over to the now abandoned Chamber of Commerce building on Bush st.  

On one of the boards covering the window I spotted a poster with creepy shadow behind a series of dots and a picture of something with the word "Polybius" on it.  Turned out the dots were in braille and after a quick translation it said, "play polybius at bonkers".  

After a little google searching I found out Bonkers was an arcade a block over, and Polybius is some urban legend arcade game... something about people who play it end up dying.  Despite the dire warnings I received from the internet, I proceeded to Bonkers to look for more clues and play some evil game.  

Once at Bonkers, I noticed there was no way I was getting in since there were about 3 padlocks and a gate covering the rather small entrance.  Luckily just under the mailbox on the gate, I found my next clue.  What I found was a long string of numbers and after some more research I eventually discovered Polybius is also a cipher that converts numbers to letters on a grid.  After a quick translation on my smartphone, I got the message, "the dragon was slain by saint george but he could not slay the dinosaurs".  

This one had me stumped for a while.  I was half hoping it would lead to the Saint George distillery in Alameda, but I knew it couldn't be that far away.  After many variations in the google search bar I finally discovered an alley a couple blocks away called "St George"

This had to have been one of the dirtiest alleys I've seen, and to be honest I wasn't looking forward to 'searching' amongst the piles of trash and piles of something worse than trash, but after spotting a dinosaur sticker I knew I was close.  After a couple strolls back and forth I finally spotted the prize on a ledge (thankfully away from the filth) and claimed a frightening dinosaur painting as my own.

(I was really surprised this painting stayed put so long. It was hidden right out in the open! -AdamD)

I'll try and slow down a bit to give others a chance, but these are just too tempting.  Thanks again for doing this!