Today we’d like to introduce you to Mauricio Abril.
Mauricio, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Before I became a professional artist I graduated from UCLA with a degree in Molecular Biology. At the time art had been so removed from my life that the last time I had drawn anything was when I was 10 years old. I did enjoy drawing as a kid, but as many kids are prone to do, I just never thought that I could actually be an artist. It wasn’t until a few years after finishing my degree after having decided not to go to grad school that I rediscovered my long-lost love of art.
While working Quality Control for a Biotech lab I took my first drawing class ever and soon enrolled in several night art classes in order to develop my skills so I could develop a portfolio for art school. I soon ended up trading Westwood for Pasadena when I started attending the Art Center College of Design for their Illustration and Entertainment Design program.
A few years and another bachelor’s degree later I eventually graduated and began working as a professional concept artist. My work spans the fields of video games, theme parks, children’s publishing, and film for clients such as the Walt Disney Company, Simon & Schuster, Coca-Cola, Universal, Hasbro, and others. In my personal time I also like to create original stories in the form of picture books, illustrated novels, and short animated films.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I like to describe my art as ‘art for kids and kids-at-heart.’
There is a certain bright-eyed wonderment that we develop when we’re young that is often lost or beaten out of us by the time we’re adults. My art tries to capture certain feelings and emotions that echo those original ones we once had (or still have) which often manifests itself via depictions of childhood, imagination and play.
Every piece I do carries a different message depending on what originally inspired it, but if there was a universal message in my art it would be that the world is what we make of it, and the fuel to do so is found in our imagination.
Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
I think the only general advice I can give (without knowing a student’s specific situation) is: measure twice, cut once. That is to say – you’ve got to do your research and take your time to figure out the best options for yourself before pulling the trigger.
When I made the decision to take art classes in order to create a portfolio for art school, the only option I had was to enroll in said classes and they were not cheap. Nowadays there are so many resources online like demos, tutorials, etc. that are either more affordable or free. The new challenge is that students now have to wade through all of the mediocre ones or the irrelevant ones in order to find the really helpful ones.
So, take your time to figure out what your path might be. Email other artists, and don’t be afraid to ask for guidance. Of course, you may not always get a reply or the kind you want, but if you’re respectful and genuine about it your odds will be better, and you’re more likely to get some really good advice.
And of course, remember that even with limited financial means to buy gear and software, the foundation of art is drawing. So, get yourself a bunch of pencils and a stack of paper and draw away while you figure out your next move.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
In today’s increasingly socially connected world the easiest way for people to find my work is probably through Instagram, Facebook or Tumblr.
They can also find me on my website (www.mauricioabril.com).
They can support me if they’d like by following any of my social links where I post frequent updates and new artwork.
- Website: http://www.mauricioabril.com
- Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/MauArtist
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MauricioAbrilArt
- Other: https://www.artstation.com/mauricioabril