Gabriella Maria Guzman
By day, I am an Art Instructor for adults with developmental disabilities, and it's honestly the best first job I could ever ask for! My class time with them is spent teaching portfolio skills, from portrait drawing and abstract painting to documenting work and getting them ready to take the real world by storm! By night, I am an aspiring Illustrator, Designer, and Youtuber with WAY too many career goals in mind. My free time is mostly spent making to-do lists so I can manage my dreams to write a children's book, become a famous artist, start a magazine, grow my Youtube channel, and have my own fashion line all before I'm 25. I can make you a nice drawing of all the panic attacks these dreams ensue! :)
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I have been studying Art in public magnet schools since I was 8 years old, so my entire education has been dedicated to learning how to change the world through creativity. After four years of studying at New World School of the Arts in Miami, one of the most highly regarded high schools in the country, I received a full tuition scholarship to Art Center College of Design and moved out to Pasadena to pursue a degree in Illustration! During college, I joined Student Government and also became Vice President of "Art Reach", a service club that uses art as a means to educate and inspire people of different communities. I created a collaboration between Art Reach and Tierra del Sol (an educational facility for disabled adults) in which 12 of Tierra's adults came to Art Center to be taught a series of classes lead by Art Center students. Classes included Fashion Illustration, Printmaking, Mural Painting, Animation, Character Design, and Bookmaking!
FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?
I find that a lot of people in my field confuse the term "professionalism" with "lack of personality". I think it's so important to be as relatable as possible with your coworkers so you can create an environment where everyone trusts each other and feels comfortable sharing new ideas! My twisted sense of humor has gotten me far in life because it acknowledges that I am human and that I make just as many mistakes as the next person. For some reason, that sort of honesty isn't as prevalent in a lot of professional settings, but I find that the more I laugh and smile with my team, the better we are at producing work we're proud of!
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
Right now I'm working on a children's book for adults in which God has an identity crisis and goes off to find his parents! It's definitely a challenge to come up with imagery and characters that can pose as God's superiors, but that's part of the fun! I'm also working on a series of T-Shirts and Skateboard Decks based on my ink drawings as well as getting my Youtube Channel, GabyPossible, back on track by building my set and writing new scripts. It's a busy time and I LOVE IT!
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
My style is very "handmade", if you catch my drift. I embrace imperfection, mixed media, and above all, my art embraces a short attention span. My style is all across the board, varying from realistic acrylic portraits to grotesque caricatures, and with my caricatures I try to emphasize my subject's supposed "flaws" as a means to broaden the spectrum of what is considered "beautiful". I can never stick with one aesthetic for very long because I feel like every new idea has to have an approach that's special for THAT idea. My taste tends to gravitate towards any art that looks like a cynical rainbow threw up on a canvas, and I think the exact taste can be pinpointed somewhere between the world of street art and children's books.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I wish I could focus more on my Youtube Channel. Since I just started my first full time job, it's been a big adjustment trying to work around the fact that I come home after the natural light is all gone and it's already too late to film a loud video in my tiny apartment! I'm saving up my job money to buy some new lights, and I'm always working on new video ideas during my lunch break to make sure that this setback is just temporary. I'll get back to you soon, my sweet channel!
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
I'm frustrated with the fact that the real world takes TOO LONG to bring ideas to fruition. Part of my job as an Art Instructor for the disabled is to come up with new volunteer sites my students can work at and also bring ideas to the table for field trips and classes for our curriculum, which is GREAT, but I get so frustrated when I am sparked with an idea and am then told that the idea MIGHT get actualized in 6-7 months because of "the system" that's in place. I just wish there weren't so many twists and turns involved with something as simple as bringing 3 students out to paint in the park next door! GAH. So much pain.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HOUR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
If I HAD $20 an hour to spend on someone I'd either ask them to clean my apartment or screen my calls for when my landlord dials to ask where the rent money is.....
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
If I had a time machine, I'd go back to see my high school self, and I would look myself directly in the face and say "Hey. First of all, I'm from the future. Secondly, yes I know that's awesome. Thirdly, you NEED to start loving yourself again. Right now. Don't spend the next 4 years thinking you're not worth anything. You're intelligent, beautiful, and girl yo hair is always on fleek. LOVE YOURSELF and believe in your abilities! Aight, I'm going back to the future. Things better be different!".
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
If I could talk to expert about anything, I would want to know everything about building a creative business from the ground up. I want to know what it's like to go from DREAMING about owning a magazine and a fashion line to actually working out the logistics and finding a team, a purpose, a budget, a schedule, and all the legalities in between. How can I bring people together for a common purpose, change the world, and actually make enough money for cat food? Tell me!!
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I'm looking for artistic Freelance Work or Part-Time opportunities that let me stay at my current job! I've made a commitment to the adults that I teach, and I don't want to leave them so soon, but I'd love to make work for you or help out with any projects that need an extra hand!
WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL CLIENT?
My ideal jobs would include anything from: Illustrating editorial images, Filming/Acting in a video project, Painting portraits, Drawing caricatures, Illustrating children's books, Designing T-Shirts, Logos, or Skatedecks, Sculpting clay creatures, Designing posters, Making pop-up books, Creating street-art imagery/installations, the list goes ON and ON.
WHAT IS YOUR RATE?
My rates really depend on the project as well as the client's budget. I'm always willing to negotiate. For example: If I were to do a series of 3 full-color, full-bleed, detailed caricatures with backgrounds for an editorial piece, that would probably be priced around 650-800 dollars because of the planning involved, the amount of pieces, and the hours spent making them. However, again, it depends on the client, their budget, and what they're asking for. A portrait painting could vary from 250-500, and a simpler logo could go for anything from 150-300- it all depends.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
If you would like to work with me, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I don't bite! Please include a description of the project as well as your budget and time frame. Thank you! :)
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Keep your dreams ridiculous.
This member profile was originally published in May 2016.