Gabriela Contreras is a surface pattern designer and illustrator that established her own company Gaby&Co in September 2012. At first, Gabriela drew illustrations of industrial buildings on her weekday commute in Los Angeles, this then inspired her to create her own pattern designs, prints and products. She now takes commissions, as well as developing her own surface designs and illustrations. Gabriela also graduated with a degree in graphic design and minor in photography. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Gabriela Contreras.
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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?
My style is colorful, happy and inspired by everyday life. I’m drawn to street objects and dilapidated city buildings that would otherwise be ignored. My aesthetic is simple lines and design.
2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?
My process begins with a mechanical pencil. I draw with pencil and darken the illustration with a micron pen. I then scan the drawing, open it up in Adobe Illustrator and convert it to vector. I follow by coloring it in the same software.
3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?
Lotta Jansdotter is an artist I highly respect. I have taken a print workshop with Lotta Jansdotter at her Brooklyn Studio. I admire Lotta because she has been designing incredible items for 20 years! I immediately fell in love with Lotta’s designs the first time I came across a notebook designed by her at a Target store. I also had the opportunity to participate with Lisa Congdon in a live filming of Become a Working Artist for CreativeLive.
4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?
My daily life! I post drawings and paintings of daily street objects I come across while I go on walks or travel. These drawings inspire me to make patterns out of them and print them on fabric to make items like zip bags.
5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?
My love of color, hand made drawings, painting and making motivate me to continue to grow and improve my career. My advice would be to start doing something now. Anything you are attracted to whether it’s design, drawing or painting. After you start, keep going. Make a lot of work. The more work you create, the better you become at it and great opportunities come your way!
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