Gabi is a San Francisco based art director, designer and illustrator. By day, Gabi collaborates with SF-based companies to reimagine their brand identities and stories, and by night, she spends time around the city and in her studio sketching and creating personal artwork. Recently, Gabi’s personal work has focused on humorous musings on the mundane, and psychological explorations of her friends’ thoughts.
Q&A with Gabi Anderson
What does Honesty mean for you as an Artist?
I think these days honesty, to me, simply means making work that is vulnerable, derived from real experiences, emotions or thoughts. Most importantly though, it’s work that isn’t created for the filter of social media. I often find that if I get caught up in how I’m going to promote my work on Instagram or other channels, it feels inauthentic.
Share a short anecdote about something you haven’t been honest about.
One thing I’ve continually struggled with being honest about over the past few years is learning to say no. I tend to not be honest with myself about my bandwidth to take on more and more projects, and therefore am not honest with others occasionally when I say yes to a new gig.
What does a day in your studio look like?
I wish I had full days in my studio throughout the week! Because I work full time in-house as an art director, my studio time tends to be sporadically spread throughout weeknights and weekends. My process tends to vary a lot if I’m working on personal work or freelance. When I am working on a freelance project, there is a lot of research involved, brainstorming/sketching and then finalizing the work on my computer.
My personal work tends to vary more in process. My studio is fairly dark and secluded so I actually don’t find a lot of inspiration there. I tend to sketch a lot outdoors or when I’m doing errands like laundry. I also take a ton of notes and keep lists in my sketchbook and on my phone related to ideas. Usually then once I have an idea that I’m excited about, I’ll have my most productive times at my studio.
What have you been inspired by lately?
Process! I’ve used the same process for creating my work for the past 7 years or so and have been itching to change it up. Recently I’ve been exploring more mediums and trying to loosen up a little bit with my work. That’s one of the things I love having a studio for – I have a space to be messy with paint and other materials without having to worry about it too much. It definitely provides a great sense of freedom for experimentation.
I’ve also been really interested in aspects of life that are more mundane and perhaps not “Instagram-worthy.” I’ve been sketching those aspects a lot recently in my sketchbook. If not for anything else, it’s been a great exercise to stay grounded and thankful for the little things in life!
Any honest advice for someone in our community who wants to start their own crafty idea?
The hardest part is getting started. I had an art teacher once who used to say that the “scariest thing for an artist was a blank white page.” It’s so true. She used to suggest stepping on your paper or messing it up somehow to make it feel less precious. Your project doesn’t have to be perfect at first so don’t be so precious about it - get something out there and you can perfect it as you go along.
Thanks to Gabi for creating these rad stickers for our community!
CM/SF’s Creative Spotlight looks to highlight local creatives by collaborating on a fun project centered around the monthly theme. There are tons of local artists, makers, and creators in our city who are doing rad things – we want to spread the world and spark our community with their creativity!
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