A Day in the Life of Gabriel Alborozo
Where are you ?
I’m currently living in sunny Streatham having relocated to London a few years back. My lifestyle is reluctantly hermit like, but there is no way I would be able to share studio space. Mainly as I would be killed by everyone else within the day. My awesome wife is the one exception. She’s numb to it all now.
How did you get into illustration?
I can’t say I ever really ‘got’ into illustration. I began as a freelancer at 15 selling gag cartoons to places such as Private Eye and Punch, and since that point was always a pen for hire for anyone who needed the work doing. So over the years have done pretty much any kind of artwork you care to mention. Although in terms of children’s illustration, Its only been the last few years where I made the conscious choice to focus on that one area. Having said that, I am feeling a very strong pull back towards editorial work. Nice of change of pace.
What inspires you ?
Inspiration is a hard thing to put into words. As a cartoonist, the one question you get more than any other is ‘where (or indeed why) do you get your ideas. And the answer is ‘ I dunno’. The brain is always turning. Always. Everything you see around you, at any point, has the potential to have a story written around it. Its just a case of hitting that special one idea thats going to really catch light. I could happily write a story a week, but the hard thing for me is being able to focus for more than five minutes without leaping off to explore an idea about an existentially angst filled Mayfly or some such thing.
How do you work ?
With my work, I make a point of never, unless I can help it, looking at any form of reference material, or other artists work. The memory of something is closer to a drawn image than drawing direct from the thing itself, Everything I do, I try to keep as fresh and immediate as possible. I avoid sketchbooks, roughs (if possible) I never correct or erase. If its not working, then its trashed and begun again. I work fast, but for every image there are ten that didn’t make it.
All the preliminary work for me goes on in my head. The roughs exist, but they’re all up here ready to go. (I’m tapping my head now) Its a bit annoying that I occasionally have to show them two other people.
Currently I work entirely digitally. Which I have learnt is a bit of a can of worms. There are folk around who for want of actual experience of it, feel its in someway ‘less’ or ‘easier’ than more traditional media. Which is not only embarrassingly ignorant, its just factually wrong.
Digitally, I work in exactly the same way I did for the previous twenty years, but with less paper.
As the great man said, ‘its not the medium that counts, its the quality of perception’. And if you disagree with that, then I suggest you take it up with Matisse.
I’ll now put all my clothes back on and climb down from soapbox.
What are the pieces you are most proud of ?
The pieces I’m most proud of is very difficult. There are images from so many areas of illustration. There are a few here that are always guaranteed to make me hug myself and think ‘Gosh i’m super’. Not many though.
The two here are favourites as they make me laugh and are exactly as they were in my mind. Perfect translation which is like a lightening strike.
Why did you join Bright and how have they helped you ?
Joining Bright was a huge turn around. Mainly as they had (obviously) a vast network of contacts and very close relationships with world leading clients, and that saves an enormous amount of time that can then be spent creating. They are also incredibly supportive in so many ways, They’ve helped me develop and allowed me the freedom to do what I do best, which is to experiment and play, and to push the edges of what is possible in my work. Which is an ongoing and permanent exercise.
They’ve also been amazingly supportive and patient personally and have been understanding through various ‘episodes’ of mine. Specifically, Vicki and Kirsten. I undoubtedly infuriate the pair of them, but they have been roughy- toughies of the highest order.
In a dream role, what would you ideally be working on ?
To be honest, as of right this moment, I’m in my dream role. Or very close anyway. I have four of my own books being developed by two amazing publishers (Bloomsbury and Allen and Unwin) and they are exactly as I would wish them to be. It could only be improved by being able to develop some ideas I have for picture books for an older, if not adult audience. But time will allow for that.
What are your plans for the future ?
As for the future, much the same as the past. Drawing, drawing, bit more drawing, eat some sweets, then some more drawing. Watch a monster movie. Draw. Bed.
Hopefully with more cash though.