Gil Arreola has extensive experience creating artwork using a variety of media. He is especially interested in painting, sculpture and mixed media.
Intially a self-taught artist, he pursued more formal training, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in fine arts from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Growing up in Southern California and spending summers in México influenced his perspectives on art.
The graffiti movement has also inspired his work, giving him a strong grounding in color theory and abstract typography. He continues to produce artwork related to his culture and heritage.
He exhibits his work in numerous galleries extending from Palm Springs to Los Angeles County.
1. When did your interest in art begin?
My interest in art began at a young age. I've always been drawing since I was a kid. When I was in trouble or couldn't go out and play I would stay up late and draw the cartoon characters I liked. Then I would cut them out and play with them.
2 Have you taken any art classes/programs or had any special training?
I graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in fine art under the study of Ann Phong, Barbara Thomason, and Joyce Hesselgrave. I also studied sculpting under the instruction of Jordue Schell.
3. Is there a specific goal or motivation that drives your passion to excel or maybe a reason of inspiration?
Having the full support of my wife and daughters on those late nights and early mornings keeps me motivated. I want to leave something behind for my kids & their kids once I'm gone. I'm inspired by other artist who are just as driven by art as I am.
4. When creating a piece is there a specific message that you want to communicate?
When making art, if it's not about a social issue, it's usually about or related to my culture or events round me. I try to use my art as a voice for those who are unheard or disregarded in society.
5. Are there any specific steps you follow when creating a piece, if so what in your opinion is the most difficult step and why?
I don't have a specific process in my art, a lot of the time I have found objects I work with, they speak to me. I start with an idea but the results are almost always unexpected. The hardest part for me is translating the ideas in my head into artwork.
6. Do you have a favorite artist/ art style, if so what is it that draws you to that individual or style?
I am inspired by artist past and present and not particularly one style. There are and have been many great artist. I try to learn and analyze all forms of art, I feel that everyday above ground is an opportunity teach and learn.
7. Out of all the amazing pieces you’ve created do you have a favorite?
I don't have a piece of art that I would call my favorite. I get attached to all of them. When I come across one of my old pieces it's like seeing an old friend with whom you have lost touch with and are glad to see.
8. Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and discovered a whole new genre of art? If so, how did it turn out?
It's hard to step out of ones comfort zone but when I do I'm glad I did. For me that's how I learn, through my mistakes.
9. How has being an artist influenced your life?
Being an artist has had a big influence in my life, it's something I have to do, it's both meditating and therapeutic for me. It has changed the way I view the world, it has allowed me to meet some wonderful people and to share the way I view the world.
10. Can you give us a hint of what you might be creating in the near future?
I'm currently working on a couple of projects one dealing with mental illness and a couple of commissioned pieces.
11. Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others?
What I've learned through my experiences is that there will always be someone better than you and that wants it just as bad. The important part is to just keep creating, it's the only way you will improve. Surround yourself among good artist who will inspire and challenge you.
12. Where can one go to view more of your work and follow your progress?
At the moment the best way to view my art outside of a gallery would be through Instagram.com/chill719/ or