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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.
(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.)
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.)
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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.
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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…
about the youth of Pope John Paul II.”
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…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.
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)…
2). … stroopwafels.
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?