Paul Madonna is an award-winning artist and writer. He is the creator of three series, All Over Coffee (San Francisco Chronicle 2004-2016), Small Potatoes (Universal Press Syndicate), and Quotable City (Nob Hill Gazette 2018), and the author of four books, All Over Coffee (City Lights 2007), Everything is its own reward (City Lights 2011), On to the Next Dream (City Lights 2017), and Close Enough for the Angels (Petty Curse Books 2017). Paul's drawings and stories have appeared internationally in numerous publications such as the Believer and zyzzyva, as well as in galleries and museums, including the Oakland Museum of California, the San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum, and the William Blake Association in France. His work has been made into murals for private and corporate clients such as Tacolicious, Google, and Starbucks, as well as printed onto chocolates, dresses, and hats. Paul holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, and was the first (ever!) Art Intern at MAD magazine. He was a founding editor for, has taught drawing at the University of San Francisco, and frequently lectures on creative practice, even when not asked.

Paul is available for private commissions as well as speaking engagements and presentations.

Contact Paul at: studio AT paulmadonna DOT com


• EVENTS - see below

Sign up for the mailing list


PRAISE for Paul Madonna:

"Absolutely stunning… an all new art form."    

    — 7x7 Magazine

"Deeply satisfying… Madonna’s prose is magnificent"    

    — Foreword Reviews

“Paul Madonna has created a gripping and deeply mysterious novel about the nature of artistic creation and the wayward, confounding path of inspiration. It's a gorgeous book, with its words and pictures striking up a dialogue that's sharp, funny, strange, and the fuel for a page turner. I want everyone I know to read it so we can talk about how cool it is. ”    

    — Glen David Gold, Carter Beats the Devil

"Miraculously exquisite... dreamy and surprisingly emotional."    


"Madonna captures snapshots in time as he explores the relationship between image and text... that's so gorgeously rendered in Madonna's precise yet fluid pen-and-ink style, it feels like it could be anywhere and everywhere."     

    — Publisher's Weekly

"Paul Madonna is a pen master. His work is difficult to categorize but that he was MAD magazine's first art intern may help explain his ability to capture human experience in its odd fullness."     

    — The Boston Globe

"Madonna's detailed but unfussy drawings bear the same human touch as so many of the buildings he depicts... a quality of life, a state of mind, predicated on the luxury of having an existence in which the only dramas to speak of are personal."     

    — Art Practical

"When his international images are paired with his sparse, poetic words, the effect is haunting. Though Madonna travels the globe, it's not the famous sites or wonders that catch his attention... and the experience of being in his world is mesmerizing." Top 11 books of 2011    


“Check out Paul Madonna's surreal guide to the city's zeitgeist, a sketchbook of "sideways" cameos in ink-wash drawings of San Francisco's eccentric architecture and streetscapes, captioned with poetry, haiku or overheard conversations."     

    — The Australian

"Simply delightful. I really don't like much out there, I really don't, but On to the Next Dream I couldn't put down. It was sharp, clever, honest and maybe the funniest book on eviction ever written."

    — Bob Eckstein, New York Times bestselling author

"About detail, willful eccentricity, an almost rococo approach to line, and a steadfast devotion to art for its own sake, beauty as its own reward. Paul Madonna's work gives itself fully to all of these notions."     

    — Dave Eggers

"Madonna has created a kind of San Francisco Realism, details so absurd, cruel, and beautiful that they can only come from our infuriating home. If Charlie Kaufman squatted in an illegal sublet in Armistead Maupin's mind, this would be the lovely tenant."

    — Joshua Mohr, author of All This Life

"The book is fantastic. Of time and tenderness. Beautiful drawings. Beautiful text. Ethereal and serious at once. The book is its own reward."     

    — Maira Kalman, author of The Principles of Uncertainty

"Paul Madonna has not only pressed graphic fiction way beyond its present boundaries, he has created a new and stunning art form where the stand-alone brilliant visuals and the hauntingly human words synthesize into a pure and irreducible aesthetic vision. This book taught me something fundamental and true and beautiful about the ineffable thereness and thingness of life. Everything is its Own Rewardis a work of genius."     

    — Robert Olen Butler, author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

“paul Madonna does amazing work, very precise but loose. He puts a lot of thought into waiting for just the right moment to stop looking around. These stripsare a reminder to stop now and then and admire a corner of a room, a window or a rooftop. There are lovely details everywhere, at any time, no matter where you live.”

    — Tony Millionaire, Maakies

“I can’t believe how Paul Madonna can make you feel so mighty to be human at one moment, and then so completely humbled the next. This is my favorite poetry book of the year.”

    — Beth Lisick

"Paul Madonna's On to the Next Dream is bleak, terrifying, hilarious and lovely."

    — MariNaomi, Turning Japanese

"For years I've been intrigued and charmed by Paul Madonna's careful and thoughtful drawings of overlooked nooks and by-ways of San Francisco. In his new book he now combines them with manic, delirious, and increasingly paranoid writings as he struggles with the all-consuming City dilemma of gentrification; of who came first, who gets to stay, which wave of usurpers is more 'real' and deserving than the next, and finally, what happens when someone decides it’s your turn to go. Beautiful and engaging."

    — Sandow Birk, visual artist

“This magnificent book is so many things—it’s illustrated with more than a hundred of Paul’s drawings from Thailand, Japan and China—and in-between those images is a killer literary novel. I have fallen really hard for this book, not only for its compelling characters, but in its themes of identity, love, the creative process, mental illness, escape, loss, how one moves through the world as an artist, and where ideas and creativity lurk.”

    — Melissa Cistaro, author of Pieces of my Mother


• SAT & SUN, NOV 10 & 11
   Code & Canvas
   151 Potrero Ave, San Francisco
   11am - 6pm, both days


• FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2018
   Paul Madonna & Glen David Gold Are Drunk
   What Better Way to End the Festival?
   The Bindery
   1727 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA
   7:30 pm

• FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 2018
   Association William Blake
   Lavardac, France

   Book signing
   1599 Tennessee St, San Francisco, CA
   2-3 pm

• SUNDAY, AUGUST 5, 2018
   The Written Word
   Art inspired by books & writing
   Studio Gallery
   San Francisco
   August 2nd - 27th, 2018

   Paul Madonna X Collection
   Goorin Bros Hat Shop
   1612 Stockton Street
   North Beach, San Francisco
   5 - 7 pm

   Comic Art Fest
   Burlingame Public Library
   Lane Room
   480 Primrose Road, Burlingame, CA
   7 pm

   Comic Art Fest
   San Mateo Library
   San Mateo, CA

   The Bindery (The Booksmith)
   1727 Haight St, San Francisco
   7-8 pm

   Castro Art Walk
   Local Take
   3979 17th St, San Francisco
   6-9 pm

   Reading & Signing
   Powell’s City of Books
   1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR
   7:30 pm

   Small Business Saturday
   Book Passage
   Ferry Building, #1, San Francisco, CA
   11am - 1pm

• NOVEMBER 4, 2017
   In Conversation with Paul Buhle
   Wisconsin Book Festival
   Central Library
   201 W. Mifflin Street
   Madison, WI
   7:30 pm

• SAT & SUN, OCT 21 & 22, 2017
   Open Studios
   3 Fish Studios
   4541 Irving Street, San Francisco, CA
   11:00 am - 6:00 pm

• FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2017
   Northern California Independent
   Booksellers Association
   San Francisco, CA
   6:00 pm

• FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2017
   Distinguished Speaker Series
   Lafayette Library
   3491 Mt Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, CA
   1:00 pm

   Master Class
   Kepler's Books
   1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA
   7:00 - 8:30 pm

   Reading & Signing
   Moe's Books
   2476 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA
   7:00 pm

   In conversation with Andy Weiner
   Book Passage
   51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera, CA
   7:00 pm

   Valencia, CA
   1:00 pm

   SFMOMA Bookstore
   151 3rd Street, San Francisco
   5:30 pm

   Book Release!
   The Booksmith, at the Bindery
   1727 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA
   6 - 8 pm