7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #205: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Fabiola Garza Villalobos

h1 February 6th, 2011 by jules

St. Joseph and The Little Lamb
(Click to enlarge.)

It’s the first Sunday of the month and, therefore, time to welcome a student of illustration or someone otherwise brand-new to the field. Today, I welcome Fabiola Garza Villalobos. Pictured above is her depiction of Joseph with baby Jesus, rendered digitally and via graphite. Fabiola is a recent graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, and I’m happy she’s stopped by (with special thanks to Mary Jane Begin). I’ll let Fabiola tell you more about herself:

Fabiola: Hello! My name is Fabiola Garza, and I’m currently head of the Concepts & Props team at 38 Studios, a video game company presently situated in Maynard, better known as Curt Schilling’s company. My general title is Environment Artist, but that doesn’t really detail all the wonderful things I get to do on a day-to-day basis. So, let’s begin at the beginning, before this professional life began.

“A book cover inspired by the Russian fairy tale, ‘The Twelve Months’
(watercolor w/digital details and text)”

I was born in Mexico City and was raised all over the world, mainly Mexico, Colombia, Turkey and the United States. I always knew I wanted to draw for a living. My 5th grade journal details my plans to become a Disney Animator when I grew up, but an animation course at Ringling College of Art and Design one summer when I was sixteen soon cured me of that notion. I decided to major in Illustration, since I could draw for hours on end without frustration pouring over me. Animation companies were still on my mind, and the idea of working in Visual Development department became thrilling. (You draw a lot, and someone else does the computer and animating stuff for you.)

“An example of a portfolio piece (digital) geared toward animation companies.
This character, Luci, is inspired by the protagonist in the fairy tale
‘The Twelve Months,’ a story I’m using to inspire my present work.”

(Click to enlarge and see more clearly.)

“This (graphite and digital) is where Luci could live!”
(Click to enlarge.)

In 2005, I began my first year at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and I encountered so many talented people I was humbled, but propelled, to work hard. I was blessed with countless wonderful professors. Mary Jane Begin taught me color (and recommended me to this blog!), and Shanth Enjeti pushed my concepting ability until I nearly cried (in a good way). I made it through the four years in one piece, but senior year was stressful for everyone; the economy was bad, and few places seemed to be hiring. By mere coincidence and God’s mercy, I stumbled upon two very important opportunities. I landed an internship at Gambit Game Lab at MIT (I almost skipped the interview), and I had a portfolio review with 38 Studios. (I wasn’t quite sure if video games were my thing, but I thought, why not?) And I was offered a position in the Environment department. The internship at MIT prepared me for the workflow at 38 Studios.

“Sketch paintings (digital) I do for color practice”
(Click to enlarge.)

The atmosphere at 38 Studios is fantastic. I am one of many RISD students who work there now; we’ve been eased into the working world together. For the first year and a half, I concepted and worked in 3-D, but a couple months ago I moved into a full time concept position and was given a team of my own to manage! I feel so inadequate, but everyone is helping me along, as I learn from my mistakes. I also help the Character Team. I would do things for them in my spare time, and now they’ve let me schedule in official time for me to help. Unfortunately, everything I do is top-secret so you’ll have to settle with looking at my personal artwork until the game ships! The game is named Copernicus for now, but you can find more information on it at 38studios.com.

In my spare time, I doodle images based mostly on fairytales, the Christian faith, and anything else that holds my passion. I’m hoping to publish a little children’s book about the youth of Pope John Paul the second…

“The cover piece I did (digital) for the children’s book I am shopping around
about the youth of Pope John Paul II.”

(Click to enlarge.)

…but I’m also still hard at work on my dream to work at an animation company like Disney, Pixar, or Dreamworks. I hope you enjoy my drawings, and if you wish to keep up with my work you can stop by and follow my blog at fabisart.blogspot.com.

* * * * * * *

Many thanks to Fabiola for stopping by (I am particularly smitten with the book cover for Twelve Months), and best of luck to her in her career!

All images copyright © 2011 by Fabiola Garza Villalobos and used with permission.

As a reminder, 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1). Last weekend, thanks to a friend’s invitation, I stayed at the beautiful Inn at Evins Mill in middle Tennessee and spent two days writing in silence. It’s a lovely place, and it occurs to me to note—for any Tennessee folks (or anyone in the Southeast), who might want to engage in writer-type or illustrator-type or whatever-type conferences—this place would be perfectly charming for such a thing.

I also very much enjoyed the company of my friend, who introduced me to one very addictive snack, all new to me (and THEY COMPLETE ME, I might add, as in I finished a bag of them this week in less than 48 hours)…


3). This April event at my library-school alma mater has been announced, and as you can see at that link, lucky ‘ol me gets the honor of introducing Richard Michelson. This will mark the first time I get to meet him in person, too. Nice. And then I get to hear him speak. BONUS.

4). A terrifically nice employee at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (can you say DREAM JOB?) sent me the catalog from their upcoming exhibit on Swiss illustrator Etienne Delessert (previously featured here at the blog). I wish I could be there, but the catalog is a wonderful read and includes a tribute written by David Macaulay. There’s also an interview with Delessert, conducted by Emmanuelle Martinat-Dupré, and I love this. (Emmanuelle has asked him why he paints angels.)

I don’t really believe in angels… However if they exist and not just, as the writer Nabokov thought, in the form of butterflies, then they would look like human beings, with wrinkles and bent backs, very different from the Renaissance paintings of angels, who look pretty with Botox or Photoshop. Also, one could have a really good conversation with them because their knowledge of joy and sorrow would be utterly perfect.

5). I spoke this week to some grad students in Education at Vanderbilt about the book I’m writing with Betsy Bird and Peter Sieruta. I enjoyed telling them about the book, not to mention the whole experience was informative and eye-opening.

6). Afterwards, I enjoyed the red wine I had and the company of my local children’s-lit colleagues at the February Nashville Kidlit Drink Night. But not necessarily in that order. (I like a good shiraz, but the people who come to these gatherings are way better. In fact, they’re super smart and fun, and I’m so glad we meet up every month.)

7). This news is NOT A KICK. I repeat: NOT A KICK. But their music has been—and always will be—one, so the kick is that. We will always have The White Stripes. In tribute:

Also, I wish I’d written this.

NOTE: Illustrator Sophie Blackall has an excellent new blog about her father’s life stories. No, really. You must take a look. So very neat.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

22 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #205: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Fabiola Garza Villalobos”

  1. It’s time for kicks!
    1) I have an audition for a film this afternoon. Wish me luck!
    2) Anticipation. A new episode of 90210 airing tomorrow night – aka Monday – includes one line spoken by me.
    3) Adjusting
    4) Keeping things under control.
    5) Working on my own website.
    6) Daring to dream.
    7) Reaching out.

    Welcome to Seven Imp, Fabiola Garza Villalobos! I like the style and colors you employ.

    Thanks to Jules’ recommendations, I read Ninja Cowboy Bear Presents the Way of the Ninja by David Bruins, illustrated by Hilary Leung, which I greatly enjoyed, and Maneki Neko: The Tale of the Beckoning Cat by Susan Lendroth, illustrated by Kathryn Otoshi.

    Jules: I’m glad that you had enjoyed your writing time. Congrats on the speaking engagement!

  2. […] Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast » Blog Archive » 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #205:Featuring Fabiola… blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=2074 – view page – cached It’s the first Sunday of the month and, therefore, time to welcome a student of illustration or someone otherwise brand-new to the field. Today, I welcome Fabiola Garza Villalobos. Pictured above is her depiction of Joseph with baby Jesus, rendered digitally and via graphite. Fabiola is a recent graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, and I’m happy she’s stopped by (with special… Read moreIt’s the first Sunday of the month and, therefore, time to welcome a student of illustration or someone otherwise brand-new to the field. Today, I welcome Fabiola Garza Villalobos. Pictured above is her depiction of Joseph with baby Jesus, rendered digitally and via graphite. Fabiola is a recent graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, and I’m happy she’s stopped by (with special thanks to Mary Jane Begin). I’ll let Fabiola tell you more about herself: View page […]

  3. Oh Wow! Thanks for turning me on to this talented illustrator! 🙂 e

  4. Great work, Fabiola! Wonderful!

    One big kick this week:

    I’ve put together a digital collection of 28 of my best poems for adults and children written over the past three years. It’s titled Crackles of Speech. Please email me at stevenwithrow@yahoo.com if you’d like to receive a free PDF of the book. Here’s one from the collection:

    Seagulls Glimpsed in a Side Lot
    By Steven Withrow

    They seem tipsy,
    these ransackers

    of rubbish,
    wind-whipped white

    blowsy with rain.

    They’ve slashed
    a fast-food bag

    and are swaying,
    slurping up

    a drunk’s feast
    of sopped leavings,

    hurling seasoned
    curly fries

    with mellow flicks
    of their beaks

    to the wobbling
    water’s edge

    of a sloshed
    storm drain,

    before scudding
    out of sight.

  5. Now THERE’S a new talent to keep an eye on! Wowser. Thanks, Jules.

    My writing kicks this week With snow and ice and an awful backup of revisions to do, that’s all I’ve got.

    1. Finished after four months my side of a novel revision I’m doing with son Adam. Called B.U.G., it’s a golem novel which Dutton will be publishing.

    2. Finished the last bits and pieces of extra stuff for LAST DRAGON my new graphic novel coming out this fall from DarkHorse. The full color illos are by the ever-fabulous Rebecca Guay (who you MUST feature here sometime.)

    3. Finished small revisions and a breakthrough on GRUMBLY MONSTERS, TUMBLY MONSTERS (Candlewick) so Kelly Murphy can get started on it.

    4. Had a new monster book idea in the shower. Managed to get out in time to write things down before I forgot them. My memory is all in my fingers.

    5.Wrote some more poems for my personal A Year in Poems project. A poem a day for a year. NOT as easy as it sounds.

    6. Wrote an editorial for the SCBWI Bulletin called “A Casualty of the Freelancer Wars” about talented writer friend who just died at 57 because she couldn’t afford health insurance. A true tragedy.

    That’s it. Writing IS my kick, so I guess it counts.


  6. Hi, everyone!!! Just stopping by for a minute because I’m busy with my thesis.

    Hope you all had a kickin’ week. =D

  7. I hope The Twelve Months gets publish, the cover is scrumptious.
    Jules, writing in silence, I would like that. What a gift to get away to write.
    LW, will have to see if I recognize you in 90210 tomorrow night.
    Steven, congrats on getting your poems out there.
    Jane, love this: “my memory is in my fingers.:
    Taire, good luck on your thesis.
    My kicks:
    1-3. SKYPE visit with Mitali Perkins on Monday morning with a class who read Bamboo People, It was a vist I won through twitter and it was full of awesomeness!
    4, Discovering a lovely wall tucked in a corner at school of art and poetry by 2nd graders. They were my poetry Friday offering.
    5. Finished rereading Friendship for Today by Patricia McKissack.
    6.Dinner last night with a friend who shares my birthday.
    7. Skype time with oldest grandgirl in which we play guess the movie.

  8. Fabiola’s art is lovely. I really want to read Lolek. There’d be a huge audience for such a book at my library, I know.

    Jules, I suspected this White Stripes thing was imminent, as Meg seems to have lost the heart for touring and Jack is so busy, but that was sad news for me this week. I’ve been listening to my CDs in the car as part of my mourning process.

    Little Willow, Luck! Also WOO on the 90210. I’m going to have to see if I can find a way to catch the ep.

    My big kick for the week was going ice skating last night. I haven’t been in a few years, but I got back some of my rudimentary skills over the couple hours we were there. And it does my spirit good to celebrate winter a little.

  9. I’m gonna go backwards here. Just ’cause.

    Adrienne, I think Lolek looks wonderful, too, and how many picture books do we have on THAT subject? ICE SKATING! Excellent.

    Jone, congrats on your Mitali visit. Very cool.

    Tarie, good luck.

    Jane, I will follow up on Rebecca Guay. Also: I think you’re the hardest-working writer I know.

    Steven, beautiful poem.

    Elizabeth, hi! And my pleasure.

    Little Willow, break a leg this afternoon! So glad you liked those books. Hope I can catch the show tomorrow night.

  10. Holy crap! Those Fabiola color practice sketch paintings alone are masterpieces.

  11. Flying by to say hello, on my way to the Codex Book Fair in Berkeley: http://www.codexfoundation.org/index.html

    It’s a celebration of the art and craft of the book, and there will be amazing and beautiful works on display. This is book fair week, so I am more than a little excited!

    Hope everyone has a great week!

  12. Congratulations, Steven!

    Congratulations, Jane! Don’t you love how ideas will pop up anywhere, at any time?

    Go, Tarie, go! Good luck with your thesis.

    Jone: Hola to the awesome Mitali! How was Friendship for Today? Sounds like you had fun with Skype.

    Jone, adrienne, jules: Thanks! It’s one line. It means so much.

  13. Good luck, Little Willow! And Tarie! And I’d be interested in reading a picturebook about the youth of John Paul II.

    1. For the first time in weeks, the family has a mellow relaxation day. I just finished my 2nd cup of coffee.
    2. Last night, I did some spur of the moment baking of cottage cheese dill quickbread. I had to use the cottage cheese, you see. I would like to do some yeasted bread, too. We’ll see if that happens.
    3. My family is awesome.
    4. Bert and Ernie Sing-Along on CD. Poor Bert just wants to take a bath in peace, but Ernie insists upon pushing a piano into the bathroom.
    5. Speaking of baths, remember when Bert is trying to give his nephew Brad a bath, and Ernie sabotages it with an abundance of bath toys? I won’t link it because I don’t want this comment to end up in spam. But it’s out there.
    6. I’ve got a fab new dress for summer.
    7. My daughter enjoyed her first swim lesson since last summer. She actually got into the water of her own accord. This is a Big Deal.

    Happy week, everyone!

  14. Popping by yet again for a short visit! This ten minutes before work thing isn’t really working for me…

    I love the illustrations this week, Jules! And stroopwaffel are yum. Have you tried laying them over your coffee mug so that they melt a bit before you eat them?

    How exciting to hear yourself on 90210, LW!

    Jone, skype is brilliant. I always want to bop people on the head who say the internet is destroying people’s capacity for social interaction, surely it is the opposite with internet services like that, and great websites like this.

    Jane you always sound so busy! Which is good for the rest of us!

    Farida, I have never heard of cottage cheese quickbread but will now search it out. Sounds fab.

    I have had a good week, lots of lovely things that I will try to share next week. But the biggie is: we bought a house! Or at least signed the contract for it, we get to move in in a month all going well. It is a wonderful place that I didn’t let myself get too attached to as I was sure someone else with more money would snap it up. It is in a quiet street with lots of trees, has shiny wooden floors, a lovely kitchen and space in the backyard for chickens. So I will soon have a place to set up my computer and have a proper routine and come back here more often. And I have stopped waking up in terror at night at the idea of actually spending my deposit money (I’ve been saving for so long I forgot the money had a purpose besides sitting in my account) and going into debt!

  15. Dan, that Fabiola. Talented, huh?

    Jill, I hope you have a great time.

    Little Willow, how’d it go?

    Farida, I figured you’d be interested in that book. Tell us about your fab new dress. Congrats to your daughter, too.

    Emmaco, nope, never tried stroopwafels that way, but you can bet I will now. Also: BIG CONGRATS ON THE HOUSE! That is wonderful news!

  16. Wow, thank you for bringing Fabiola to us, Jules. And how ironic you mention introducing Richard Michelson in April; I just two hours ago was looking up the feature on him on 7-Imps as I am going to write about Busing Brewster this week!

    My kicks:
    1. My daughter and son-in-law will present me with a second grandchild in August! William who will be 2 in April is very excited…wonder how long that will last?
    2. RIF has brought on a wonderful new VP for Literacy Services, a new position and I am really happy, really happy.
    3. We believe we dodged a major bullet at the office with as little damage as possible when a broken water pipe rather flooded the place over night. I am truly trying to remain very upbeat, can you tell?
    4.I am savoring the book SEASONS which I featured in Cover Story on a Monday recently but continue to look over many times. What a great book!
    5.Am excited about SALTYPIE which I only recently had a chance to read; we are always looking for good, current day American Indian literature…this one is a winner.
    6.Washington, DC has dodged the big snows this year, fine with me given Congress continues to meet and that means we have to be “on our toes” as we are in a precarious position as to our funding for RIF.
    7.Green Bay Packers just recovered a fumble, this is one happy cheese head!

  17. Carol, congrats on that second grandbaby, as well as the new Literary Services position. I cross all fingers re that precarious positioning. And how about that Busing Brewster?

  18. Such rich illustrations. They are all quite lovely, but that first one of St Joseph and the little lamb really grabbed me.

    Jules – sounds like you’ve had a lovely week, finishing any day with anice shiraz and great company is quite a kick!

    LW – hope you broke a leg! I’ll try to catch you tomorrow night!

    Jane – love the image of you getting the monster idea in the shower then rushing to write it down. I once worked with a lighting designer in Santa Fe who always told us that “the purple cloud of inspiration usually visits me when I’m in the shower.”

    Lovely poem Steven.

    Hi Tarie!

    Adrienne – oooohhhh ice skating. What a great way to celelbrate winter!

    Hi Jill!

    Farida – cottage cheese dill quick bread sounds delicious! Hooray for new dresses.

    Emmaco – Congrats on the house!

    My quick kicks:
    1) Saw The King’s Speech on Friday. Love love love.
    2) Saturday morning helped my alma mater’s moot court team by judging a practice round to help them prep for competition. They were good, and it was fun to help them prep.
    3) Saturday afternoon got phone calls from four different far-flung friends. Good to catch up with them all.
    4) Running in the rain.
    5) Today was the annual Mudbowl, a touch football game with friends held ever year before the Super Bowl. This year did not disappoint. Lots of running, laughing, and silliness.
    6) Read “Me and Orson Welles” by Robert Kaplow.
    7) Remembering to take deep breaths.

    Have a great week!

  19. Belated blowing-through to say hey. Loved everybody’s kicks this week and REALLY loved Fabiola’s work! (I really, really hope that first “a” in her given name is a short one, because fab-iola! is how I think of the samples she’s offered here.) I’m with rm — that first one knocked me asunder.

    Jules, did you know that the stoopwaffel is the Official Food of Wikimedia, the folks behind Wikipedia et al.? True dat.

    I’m so glad you had a good writing retreat!

    I had a good week, especially with the writing. (One does love asides like that.) And plans for the 2011 Simpson SibFest proceed apace.

    Will just share a couple of links, with apologies if you’ve already seen these:

    * Favorite SuperBowl ad: the VW Passat commercial. (That’s the full version; they showed a disappointingly truncated version during the game.) As I told the friend who directed me to it, I’m not a parent and not even that much of a Star Wars geek, but the little boy I used to be REALLY got snagged.

    * This takeoff on “Memory,” from Cats. For people of A Certain Age (and the people who know them).

    Hope y’all have a good week!

    (Now running off to set up DVR for Little Willow’s line.) (It’s a highly specialized DVR.)

  20. Thanks, everyone.

    Farida: Kudos to your daring daughter! That’s fantastic. That bread sounds tasty! How was it?

    emmaco: Congratulations! We’ll have to throw you a virtual housewarming party here.

    Jules: It went well. I was so peaceful afterwards. Thanks for asking.

    Rasco from RIF: Stay upbeat…and dry. Congratulations to your daughter and her family.

    Rachel (rm): The King’s Speech is a lovely film. How nice to catch up with friends. Kudos for helping the team.

    JES: I too was sent the Memory video earlier this week. Hilarious. Thanks for the DVR tidbit. That made me smile. I needed that.

  21. Rachel, the Mudbowl sounds so fun. Sounds like you had a good week with friends, and boy, did I like The King’s Speech.

    John, thanks for the videos. Now that I’m feeling somewhat better (got some icky flu-like kind of thing), I shall watch. When’s the big SibFest?

    Little Willow, I’m really mad I missed 90210. I’ve been sick. How did it go? It didn’t get cut, did it?

  22. Wow. Fabiola’s work is breathtaking. I quite like St. Joseph and the lamb.

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