Gabriel Castillo

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Exchanges with Gabriel Castillo:

1. What inspires you to create digital art? Do you also engage with other types of media, and what are they?

I create digital art mainly because it’s what I know. I’ve done graphic design since I was in high school. I’ve also had a few jobs where graphic design was a large part of my role. So I figure why not take the skills and knowledge I’ve gained through that and apply it to my artistic ventures. 

I dabbled in ink and some charcoal. I was into acrylic pouring for a while too. I’ve come to fall in love with film photography thanks to school. It’s become something of a hobby now. 

2. Why do you concentrate on themes of loneliness, isolation and freedom?

The themes of my work are reflected in my own life. I would typically view these themes or feelings in a rather negative light. But incorporating them into my art helps me see them from a positive perspective. In a way, it’s kind of like releasing whatever is troubling me onto my workspace, giving them a new life kind of; essentially like therapy. Hopefully others can view my work and relate it back to however they’re feeling. 

3. How do you use color to convey the themes within your artwork?

Color is a large factor in my work as it makes up the background of my work, it helps create a sense of atmosphere for me. Colors can also evoke certain feelings and moods. I mentioned that I view the themes of my work in a more positive light. I feel as though my color choices are reflective of that. Someone can think of loneliness and associate it with more somber colors. But I tend to use brighter and even softer colors to sort of paint those themes in a different light.

4. How do you start creating individual pieces in your artwork, or do you work in series?

Most of my work is visually similar so I guess you can consider them an ongoing series. I kind of just dive right in when I start a piece. There’s no hesitation. I go one piece at a time as well. There’s also lots of trial and error involved. I try out some color combinations, different compositions, etc. 

5. Why do you reserve to using silhouettes in your work? How important is the figure in your work?

I find something interesting in just using silhouettes. They create a sense of mystery like who could that tiny figure be? The silhouettes can also be a way for a viewer to put themselves into the work. They’re faceless so they can be anyone. 

Those silhouettes are very crucial to my work. Without them my work loses a sense of drama, scale and atmosphere. You’d just be looking at a bunch of colors. 

6. What are some of you goals for yourself, whether it be applying for a professional role as a graphic designer or perhaps any other positions?

My biggest goal is to be a full-time artist. I want to reach a point where I can live fully off of my art. That could be anything. Selling my work, being in galleries, exploring the NFT space. I don’t wish to work for anyone else. That’s the dream right there. 

7. How do you see digital art developing in the next few years?

I think with the type of technology that’s being developed, digital art could have an interesting future. When you look at things like virtual reality the possibilities seem endless. We could see a future where you can be fully immersed in an artistic world by putting on a headset. Maybe that future is already here. There are already artists using artificial intelligence to make their art. It’s going to be exciting to see what comes next.

8. What are some of your influences and why?

Space seems to be kind of a subconscious influence for my work. I don’t really look at photos of space or any other references but the scale and large scope of it is really exciting to me. Although I’m not much of a spiritual person, spirituality is another influence. I don’t really believe much of it, the planetary energies and things like that. I more so question what would these things look like? How would these ethereal ideas be represented visually? 

9. What is your process when making your digital art work or perhaps any other art?

My process is kind of all over the place. Sometimes I’ll have a very specific idea I want to execute and other times a piece comes together as I go. Most of the time I see an idea in my head and kind of let it sit until I feel like it’s time to bring it to life. The end result may even look different than what I envisioned. 

10. How does the title of your work’s function, meaning what role do they play within your pieces?

The title of my works is highly significant. Finding a name is one of the most fun and frustrating aspects of the process. I like to try and encompass an entire piece all into one impactful word. Sometimes I deviate from that idea but I try to stick to one word. I won’t ever put something out for the public to see if I don’t have a name for it. Artists and our creations are like a parent and child. You can’t have your child out in the world without a name. 

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