GABO wants you to practice PERFECT practice

GABO, also known as Gabriel Bautista is a Milwaukee based Illustrator who has worked for DC Comics, Image Comics and Oni Press. He is the artist for THE LIFE AFTER written by Joshua Hale Fialkov, published by Oni Press. He is a recurring artist on Elephantmen (Image Comics), and series artist on Albert The Alien (Thrillbent). He is also Eisner and Harvey award winning colorist for his work in Comic Book Tattoo (Image Comics), his color art can also be found in several issues of The Spirit and All-Star Western (DC Comics). He is the creator of comic battling site ENTERVOID.COM

STL SPEX (Rachel): What are your artistic influences?

I used to lean heavily on anime and manga, but then discovered MOEBIUS and various other hyper-detailed artists like Enki Bilal and Geoff Darrow. Those 3 artists influenced me heavily in the 2000s. Since the beginning of the 2010’s I’ve learned to look at real-life instead of other people’s perception of it to evolve into a stronger artist.

STL SPEX: What are your favorite tools and how do you use them in your art?

A few years ago I got tired of blowing money on fine liner pens (like microns, copics) and found an alternative called the ROTRING ISOGRAPH. The Isograph is a technical drawing pen with a wear-resistant, hard chrome-plated tip that is refillable with virtually any ink (except for acrylic inks) and it is an absolute dream. While they are a bit pricey, I’ve saved loads of money using these versus the microns that blow out after a few pages of heavy inking. For anyone who loves to ink or just hates throwing away money- I highly recommend them! 

I’m also obsessed with watercolor, I carry some sort of watercolor product on me at all times in case inspiration strikes and I need to throw down some color on a sketch.

STL SPEX: Can you tell us about your work on The Life After? What was it like to collaborate on that series? 

The Life After was my first fully published work where I was in charge of everything except the lettering and the writing. In the past, I had done a few pages here and there for anthologies or back up strips in other comics, but this was my first time working on a project that had no history tied to it. I feel incredibly blessed that I not only got to work with an amazing writer (Joshua Hale Fialkov) and a very insightful editor (Ari Yarwood) but that the book allowed me explore my imagination. I had close to 100% creative control on everything visual from character designs to color theory. 

STL SPEX: Some of your work involves ordinary machines with personalities – what draws you to this topic?

I feel like machines DESERVE personality. While machines might not be living, breathing organic beings– something about them inherently shouts PERSONALITY. You look at a sleek 2019 luxury car and it says something to you, if you could breathe life into it you immediately know what it would sound like, how it would act! Or take a garbage truck, inject some AI into that machine and it becomes a character. Animals, humans and whatever else organic– those seem too easy to give personality to– for me the real challenge is figuring out what kind of character a printer would have. 

STL SPEX: Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself?

This message goes out to those who want to start a comic, story, zine, animation, or WHATEVER– but lacks the confidence to do so. Remember when you were a kid? And you learned how to ride a bicycle? Remember how much you sucked at first? But then a few years down the road, you were shredding all over the neighborhood? That’s what art is. 

Practice does not make perfect, but PERFECT practice does.
I stream once a week on Twitch (galvosaur) and I talk about honing your skills all the time, if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a message! 

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