Fall 2018 December Student Feature: Gaby Pabon

Hey everyone! We’re on our last week of the fall semester, how time flies! Here’s another student feature, senior Gaby Pabon.

1.  Tell us about yourself! What’s your name, where are you from?

My name is Gaby Pabon and I'm from South Florida. I come from a Puerto Rican and Colombian household which makes for an interesting and colorful upbringing, I guess. It certainly contributed to my love of dancing, along with salsa and cumbia music.

2.  What brought you to KCAI? Why Illustration?

I put out an application to any and every art college in the US and took the offer of the one who offered the biggest scholarship. I actually almost applied to animation since I love both though illustration won in the end simply because I didn't have enough in my portfolio at the time to submit for animation and I was a transfer student.

3.  What do you like about Kansas City?

The change of environment. It's an adventure wherever I walk because it's so different from where I'm from. I for sure went through some culture shock when I first got here and actually cried in my dorm room the first week because everyone was so nice.

4.  What is your favorite snack?

Does a soda count as a snack or no? Because if it is counted as one, I would say malta, which is like rootbeer but to me is better. Other than that probably any deli sliced foods. I'm addicted to cheese.

5.  What medium do you prefer?

I enjoy all sorts to be honest. I find that I drift toward the more tactile stuff though. Right now it seems to be papercraft but I do love experimenting with mediums.

6.  What’s your favorite project thus far and why?

There were so many but one of the top would have to be the skateboard project just because it was so different from anything I've done before. Most of the projects assigned here were nothing I've experienced before. I just like trying new things.

7.  If you were not doing art, what do you think you would be studying or doing instead?

Medicine, probably. It seems to be the field most of my family members fall into. That or teaching but my mother (a teacher) forbade me from even thinking about that as a career. It was always 50/50 between becoming a doctor or illustrator growing up for me since I've had an interest in how the human body actually works for a number of years now. I have looked up medical videos and research papers for fun before. Not proud, but it's true.

8.   What do you like to do outside of class? What hobbies do you have?

Hang out with friends, watch movies, play video games, read comics or books, and dance. Most times I find that just doing things with friends that they enjoy and just seeing the happiness on their faces that they can share their likes with me is rewarding in itself.

9.   Who and/or what is an inspiration for you in art making?

Eric Carl for one and comics like Calvin and Hobbes or Foxtrot, however, It seems to be a lot of vintage 50s illustration if I'm to be honest with myself. It's not that it's intentional, it kind of just happened that way.

10. Do you have a go-to tool for sketching and idea generation?

Literally scribbling swirls on a page with a pen and I try to sort of connect shapes that I see from the squiggles into an image that I see in it; like a Rorschach test. The last time it ended up looking like a wiene dog. Or at least, that's what I do for a warm-up. I find that "inspiration comes to those who work", So I sketch like a maniac.

11. What type of art do you want to make?

I'm open to anything because a job is a job and you can always learn something new from the experience but if I had to choose one, I'd say art for agencies or a company. The dream would be freelancing comics though I find it is a difficult reality to obtain for personal health reasons. I have type 1 Diabetes which means I'm insulin dependent and that means without insurance, I cannot afford the substance that keeps me alive since my body doesn't naturally produce it. Comic artists don't exactly get benefits so agency work may be better. Maybe when I have a supporting job I can get into comics on the side. Who knows?