ProFile: Gabriel Bautista


GABO is an illustrator based out of Chicago. He’s worked for DC Comics, Image Comics, Oni Press and Thrillbent. He is an Eisner and Harvey Award winning colorist.

What made you decide to work in the medium of comics?

Speed. I’ve always loved telling stories, building new worlds with only a pencil, paper and the thoughts in my head. I had always imagined myself working in animation, creating cartoons to tell the stories I wanted to share, but as I got older I started to realize that animation, even though it’s an amazing medium, it was just way too time consuming. The idea that I could sit in a cramped corner of my little room and just draw an entire story in just a few days on paper was sheer brilliance to me, and then being able to share this new world with others by making photocopies of each, well I was sold.

What part of the process is the most challenging or frustrating to you?

FRUSTRATION = FLATTING. GOD I HATE FLATTING. (Flatting for those who don’t know is the first step in coloring where you lay down the basic colors on the page before adding shadows, tones, lighting, effects etc.) It is so time consuming, and well you know how much I love speed – I just need this thing to be done so I can present it to the world! So when I can, I find someone to do that for me.

The most challenging part of comics I feel is layouts. Figuring out how to put down on paper what the writer wants to see, and doing it in fresh and innovative ways. Layouts are the foundation of any comic. There have been times when I don’t draw them out first, but they still exist in my mind, you can’t get away from it!

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring comics creator, what would that be?

You can’t be a comic book artist if you don’t make comics. And you WILL NOT GET BETTER if you don’t do them. Learn to live with your work, the things you draw in 5-10 years will look so much better than most of the work you do now, so just have fun! LET GO OF PERFECTION. JUST DO.

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