While I was creating the Sokay Zine, I thought it was a good opportunity to highlight some artists in my life that were doing some great things. In my day to day I get so caught up with trying to use my creativity to simply make a product as quickly as possible. That makes it difficult to see outside of what’s directly in front of me. Seeing people maintain their imagination and use their creative abilities in refreshing ways continues to rejuvenate me during my own journeys.

For the first issue of the Zine we interviewed the homie, Gabriel Gaete (aka Gabotron). Check out it:

Photo of Gabriel Gaete (aka Gabotron) by Stephanie Sparks

So from my perspective, you do art and animation. Music and storytelling. How would you describe what it is that you do?

I use art, animation, music and storytelling and fuse it all together to create work intended to convey, explain and communicate concepts, ideas and information. I create work for myself and for clients but it all stems from the same communicative standpoint, although the understandability of my projects can range from, “Aha! I get it!” to “What the hell did I just watch?” it all has some kind of message to convey. For my clients I have to be very clear in communicating certain information. For my personal projects I use more abstract means to communicate ideas and concepts that can be more vague and difficult to understand, but represent the weird stuff that goes on in my brain.

I also take visual notes, I started taking visual notes in my community college classes and I found it as an invaluable and powerful tool to retain information. From client work, to games conferences to personal work I’ve created many doodle filled notes that really help me in synthesizing information.

Artwork by Gabotron

What are some sources of your inspiration?

I’m really inspired by brain science, culture, human interactions, different perspectives, experiential video games, the way music affects us, animals, plants and my cats.

What kinds of obstacles have you encountered with expressing your creativity? And how have you overcome them?

I’d say my biggest obstacle is having ideas that might be a few steps ahead of what I’m actually able to do, whether because of time, budget or skill level. A lot of the ideas that float around my head are for interactive media, unfortunately I’m constrained by my lack of skills in coding and development. But luckily I can somewhat compensate by being able to communicate some of these ideas using motion graphics and art. But the bigger dream is to let people interact with my concepts. As far as overcoming this constraint, I’m still trying to figure that out, but for now I’m working within my constraints always with my sights set on the bigger picture.

Some artwork for Monkey Side IPA.

I feel like you have a positive outlook on the world and that it’s reflected in your work.  Is that your intent?

I do have a positive outlook so I think by default my work tends to take on a tone of positivity. I would like some of my future projects to take on more of a neutral tone, but most likely they will skew towards the positive.

An example of Gabriel’s recipe illustrations

Last I heard, you were working on a book of recipes. What’s that about and what’s going on with it?

I was born in Chile, my momma makes excellent Chilean food. So I’m trying to capture all of my mom’s recipes in a visual form so my sisters and I can make her recipes in the future. Once in a while, I’d bring over my notepad to my parent’s house, and while my mom is cooking, I take visual notes of the ingredients, methods and techniques. I still have quite a few recipes to jot down, and when I get a few more drawn my plan is to draw and write a small cookbook and share it with the world.

Our paths first crossed during the Global Game Jam, how did you become involved with that?

I had recently become interested in the idea of making games around that time, was it 5 years ago?! Anyways, I was playing around with some interactive stuff on my own, when I heard about the game jam. I was a little scared and intimidated by the idea, but it turned out to be a really enlightening experience. I got to meet some really awesome people (Bryson included) and one can really learn something about themselves and about humans in general. The things I’ve learned in those experiences have really carried through in other aspects of my life.

An image from MOON.

What’s your most memorable project?

I would say TREEE is my most memorable project. It’s a collection of little wordless comics, accented occasionally by small musical moments. One of the stories, “MOON” is an interactive story/musical instrument, although crude and somewhat simple on a technical level, it is representative of the kind of projects I’d like to create in the future. It’s a blend of all the things I do; art, music, storytelling and animation with an extra element of interaction, an ingredient I’d like most of my future projects to have too.

Where would people go if they wanted to see your stuff online?
You can find a portfolio of some personal and professional work over at www.gabotron.com and find the TREEE comics over at www.TREEE.me .

So that’s all for the interview, here are some links:

About the author:
Bryson Whiteman (http://www.sonofbryce.com)
Bryson is the guy behind all of the Sokay creations. Heading artwork and development, he's determined to make sure each game has a "distinctively Sokay" quality to them. He's always looking forward for a chance to experiment with new technologies to explore exciting ways to achieve fun.