Today we’d like to introduce you to Gabriela Camarillo Gil.
Gabriela , please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was brought up by my surgeon father, in Mexico-Monterrey close by the mountains and surrounded by animals. Between reading and playing video games I picked the habit of doodling and making up stories, and though I was set to follow in his footsteps-I suppose it wasn’t all too shocking when I decided a year prior college that I wanted to pursue animation. Moving over to USA to study at Calarts has been a bit tough but I’m happy of the people I’ve met and the opportunities I’ve been given to better learn how to tell stories.
Has it been a smooth road?
Culture shock and homesickness have been the toughest things to overcome. The coldness of USA, language barriers and..well, cost of living really impacted me, I missed most of all being able to hug freely and be cozier with others but I’ve found good friends who allow me to be myself. All that could be washed off though after a few weeks of visiting Mexico to be with my family. Then rinse and repeat.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I think outsourcing might become the next new thing! Not so much in that they share a little of the work, but rather have big projects done entirely abroad. A lot of great studios are opening up in the foreign, and I’ve had the pleasure to meet some of the blooming new grounds in Mexico such as Mighty and Boxel. Education is becoming more accessible to others thanks to the internet, so people won’t have to migrate as much to find work. I believe CG will remain the stronger lead for film industry particularly in USA but I have faith that 2D will gain ground with the influence of France joining the animated film race too. And that’s where I have the highest hopes for.
What has been the primary challenge you’ve faced?
Catching up, most if all of the animation focused education is in English as well as most media content–one can absorb it but not necessarily understand it to its fullest, so accessibility was always a struggle. I think also understanding that my heart didn’t lie in medicine but rather in art and story, so trying to learn the basics of who/what are the big hits in the industry and in history I’m lacking a lot of that basic information. I think though that it shouldn’t matter much, a different context means a different knowledge and set of skills you can bring to the table, and some of the most interesting people I’ve met in this field all come from backgrounds entirely unrelated to the pursuit of art.
What advice do you wish to give to those thinking about pursuing a path similar to yours?
Adapt! Be fearless! Be humble, and above all kind and be patient to others but namely to yourself. I think being a foreign student in a place where you’re a clean slate can be intimidating, and very frustrating and lonely at times, especially if you’re handling of English isn’t all that good. Acquaintances determine how far you go anywhere, and there’s definitely a stigma for non-fluent speakers, I believe and I feel very fortunate to have met so many good friends and mentor figures who are willing to lend a hand. I feel indebted to them and I hope I can return the favor and help out other Mexican and latinx hopefuls within this industry in the future.
Always remember though, you made it this far, you’re very talented and you have an unique voice! There is always a place you can belong to and stand out, don’t worry!