Life By Design

An artistic side hustle becomes his legacy

By Jessica Laskey
June 2024

LeRoid David doesn’t consider himself a full-time artist. The world can only imagine what would happen if he did.
The Rosemont resident has been creating art since age 3, citing the Sunday comics as inspiration. He studied graphic design at San Francisco State, but never saw art as a main gig.

“I’ve always kept art at a hobby level. I treated it as my escape,” David says. “I did internships in college, but the feel is different. I couldn’t see myself doing it full time and working under a team of creative directors, so I’ve just always freelanced instead.”

Sometimes art and his day job overlap. During his 10-year stint with Tower Records from 1996 to 2006, he coordinated events for Bay Area stores and oversaw store design.

When Tower closed, David moved to hospitality and worked his way up from busser to restaurant manager while taking freelance design jobs.

As his family grew—he has four children, ages 3 to 17—and life got too expensive in the Bay Area, David and his wife moved to Sacramento. They bought a house in Rosemont, where David grew up visiting relatives, many of whom still live in the neighborhood.

In 2017, an art contest became an inflection point. One of David’s pieces was chosen for NBC Sports Bay Area’s inaugural Battle of the Bay Art Show, an A’s and Giants baseball-themed exhibition.

His work caught the eye of NBC executives, who commissioned illustrations for a series of cheer cards for game giveaways. The job was “a dream come true” for the dedicated sports fan.

That led to work with other teams, including the Warriors, Kings, Sharks and 49ers. Though David says “everything changed” after the pandemic, NBC continued commissioning him for digital pieces. The Giants hired him to design shirts for a community advocacy campaign and Filipino heritage night.

“As a proud Filipino American, to do something for heritage night was definitely an amazing experience to rep my community,” David says.

He designs beer labels for Claimstake Brewing in Rancho Cordova and other local breweries. He’s working with the city of Sacramento on a teen outreach project and was one of seven featured artists for the city’s Stop the Hate campaign for Asian American and Pacific Islander History Month.

He loves designing logos for small businesses, such as The Lumpia Company, an Oakland eatery that has a stand in Oracle Park.

“No job is too big or small,” says David, who works full time as a senior office assistant for the county public conservator’s office. “When I do a logo for a small business, I love seeing how happy they are. That right there gives me gratification and inspires me to continue to do art.”

Another inspiration is family. As he turns 47, David reflects on what he’ll leave behind for his children.

“I’m at this point in my life where I feel like the art I’m creating now is my legacy,” David says. “Hopefully as my children get older, they’ll see these pieces I made and they can say, ‘Wow, my dad did that.’ Art is a passion thing for me. Of course, I love getting paid for it, but now I’m very selective in the projects I do because I think about what my kids are going to see.”

For more information, visit David on Instagram @leroid.david.

Jessica Laskey can be reached at Follow us on Facebook and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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