“The EMPRESS of life”- meet illustrator: Gabi David.
Gabriela and I met at work and instantly “clicked”. Maybe because of our shared zodiac sign: Sagittarius. Maybe because we both live for creation, art and passion. I truly admire her talent. She is an amazing illustrator, an artist with great imagination and an impressive sense of color. Her work is witty, bright and eye catching. It reflects her character.
I joke she is my little sister from another mister. Our thirst for creation has led to an everlasting friendship beyond the workspace. With an impressive blooming career, take a look at what Gabriela has to say about feminism and style.
Hope you enjoy and get inspired!
- Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a Brazilian illustrator who has been in America for 5 years. I came here to pursuit my Communication studies after a frustrated attempt into the modeling world. But I ended up drifting towards design at the end. Who was I kidding? Creativity is what feeds my soul. My work is mainly focused on women empowerment (with a touch of humor), and lots of colors! I believe I drift towards women with loads of character, because they just play a huge role in who we are today.
- You are an illustrator, tell us when did you started your adventure with art.
Ever since I was little, I was just obsessed with drawing. Back then, I was never one for the sports. So drawing was my getaway. Drawing always set me apart. I was obsessed with cartoons, and even 20 years ago, I was always attracted to more modern and innovative aesthetics. My afternoons consisted on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon marathons. Along with my drawing pad, I could stay still for hours, lost inside my own head.
- Tell us a bit about the process and how you work on your illustrations?
I never was one for much brainstorming. Whenever I have an idea, it just strikes me, and I become obsessed with accomplishing it. I rarely ever sketch before hand. I know exactly what I want to create and then during the process I adjust it as it goes.
- What kind of programs do you use? There is any holy grail –equipment that you would highly recommend as an professional illustrator?
I work mostly on Illustrator. I have design background so I am familiar with Adobe Creative Cloud. But if I could marry Adobe Illustrator, I would. I think I already have.
I recommend the Wacom Tablet. I just go it. And what I can tell is: WHY ON EARTH I haven’t used this before?
- What inspires you?
Everything. Literally. Life is just the most unbelievable inspiring experience. I can and I do get inspired by the most random things.
- Do you have any idol: artist / illustrator that work you admire?
When I always spending time in New York I use to see this poster on every metro. It was just fantastic. It always mesmerized me. Months later, I figured out the name of the artist: Olimpia Zagnoli. She is a woman of character with great aesthetic and a feminist standpoint. She is a true inspiration.
- Any observations through contemporary women? Do you think we will move towards wellness and going back to the natural sources to feel beautiful, or on the contrary-> we will drift into plastic surgery solutions?
I feel optimistic. We are living on a very special moment with feminism right now. We are learning to be more proud of who we are, and what makes us women. I feel I have been embracing this shift like never before, learning to celebrate my feminism and caring less about unconstructive opinions. I am not against plastic surgery; the bottom line is what motivates you to do it. Are you doing it for you, or for others? Feminism is also about taking control of your choices.
- How would you define your personal style?
A mix between sexy and edgy, but in many ways I am still conservative and vintage. I am a chameleon you know, I just dress like the woman I want to be for the day. As long as I feel comfortable. I hate being suffocated by clothes.
- What’s your favorite piece of clothing/ accessory, that makes you feel amazing?
A scarf my mother had when she was my age. And my graduation ring (not the typical American one, just a simply beautiful and minimal ring, given to me by my parents). They are just emotional pieces to me. Other than that, I am not too attached to my clothes. I get bored easily. And I am not too careful with them either. Oops.
- What Gabi does in free time?
Free time seems like an urban legend lately! I am always trying to conquer the world. But when the brain is too fried to create, I try to step out and see the light of day. Free time is for discoveries.
- Who or what gives you strength?
My father. He has taught me what true selfless love is. He always supported me in all of my dreams. Always went out of his way to make his family happy. He is like a Superman. How can somebody love so much, you know? All I can do everyday is work hard to show him his efforts were not in vain.
- Any dreams, plans for the future?
I want to work for myself, so I can illustrate until my hands fall off. I want to go everywhere. I want to be able to come and go from Brazil more often, so I can spend quality time with my family.
- When you feel the happiest?
When I am free. I am Sagittarius. Duh.
- What woman inspires you? There is any you would like to meet?
My mother. She is the most beautiful woman in the world. She has so much style and taste. She has always surrounded me with beautiful things. (She is an architect and interior decorator) Every bit of creativity in my blood came from her. She loves colors, textures, and mixing up styles. I got it from my Momma.
I would love to meet Carmen Miranda. She is the first woman of my series. Of course I would have to get into a time machine. But hey, she is worth it.
- What women would you recommend for that interview?
Audra Hubbell. She was my design professor and she taught me everything I know. She is a young woman herself, but she is so knowledgeable and passionate, it really shows on her teachings. Never a professor was able to catch my attention (trust me, it’s not easy) like she has. Everyday she turns students into designers. She goes above and beyond, and she really really cares. She is definitely a game changer. Plus, she is just a bad ass. She even had pink hair at one point.
- Life quote?
Keep looking further.
You are amazing and true inspiration, thank you for your time,
Photos by Moi.