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An Interview with Gabi Campanario

Tell us a bit about yourself. What made you decide to become an artist?

I live in Seattle with my wife and two kids. I grew up in Spain but have lived in the U.S. since 1998.

I never really made a conscious decision to become an artist. My first memory of sketching in the street is from 1986, when I was 16.
I drew the ruins of an old castle in my family’s hometown of Montemolín (Badajoz) in Spain. I just drew it again last year when we visited.

When it was time to go to college I didn’t pursue a degree in art, instead I went to journalism school and got into the newspaper business in the early 90s. Luckily for me, newsrooms need people who can draw too, not just reporters and editors. I’ve worked in newsroom art departments ever since, as designer, art director and for the last couple of years as news artist for The Seattle Times, doing illustrations and graphics.

Please describe your creative process (how, when, materials, etc).

At the newspaper I illustrate in different styles. The stories range from lighter topics in the features pages to more serious opinion pieces.
I enjoy the variety. It allows me to experiment. But my true passion is sketching out and about and recording “moments” in time.

I sketch directly in ink with Pigma Micron pens and color with gouache. I write notes in my sketches to help me remember the colors because often I don’t have time to color on location. I also write other things that I find worth writing down “for posterity,” like “another rainy day”. Recently I’ve also been sketching with Niji waterbrushes filled with ink.

What are some of your current projects?

I’m working on a web page to sell prints of my drawings. I’ve gotten requests from people interested in them and I thought it’d be good to have a place they can go, browse and shop if they want to.

I also started contributing recently for the Spanish website Soitu.es writing and drawing about Seattle. That’s a lot fun.


What advice would you give to artists who are just starting out?

Draw all the time, everywhere and everything. Try not to worry too much about the result, enjoy the process of creating. Your joy for drawing comes out in your work.

Tell us a bit about the subject matter in your sketches on skineart.

Most of my sketches are snapshots of urban life. I draw during my commute to work. I draw people on the street, buildings, construction. I also try to sketch when we get out during the weekends and explore the beautiful places in the Pacific Northwest.

Who are your favorite artists on skineart.com?

I enjoy all the artists here. Lapin’s work in particular stands out for me because his sketches of Barcelona make me so homesick. That’s where I grew up and most of my extended family lives.

What are your portfolio sites/blog?

My blog: http://gabicampanario.blogspot.com
My Flickr site is: http://www.flickr.com/photos/baconvelocity/
My online store: http://www.gabicampanario.com/baconvelocity/bvhome.html

I’m also the administrator of a Flickr group devoted to urban sketches:


Besides creating fantastic artwork, what are your other hobbies?

I enjoy watching reality TV shows like the Amazing Race, Survivor or The Mole. I like architecture, geography, maps, coins, reading the New Yorker magazine, going to the movies and eating popcorn… Drawing for my kids is a lot of fun too.

Click here to view Gabi’s Posts


  • Rudat 7:24 pm on June 16, 2008 | #

    Hey Gabi, it’s nice to read more about you, I really enjoy your sketches!

  • gabicampanario 11:48 am on June 17, 2008 | #

    Thanks Susan! I dig your work too. Glad to be part of ‘skineart’.

  • lapin 5:49 pm on June 17, 2008 | #

    we seems to get a quite close process…
    thanks for the mention, and if you come back visiting spain, please let me know ! podemos beber una caña o algo?

  • Sherry 6:33 am on June 18, 2008 | #

    Thank you Gabi, for the heads up on this interesting site. And congratulations on the interview. Your drawings of the Seattle area are an inspiration to me.

  • Mariano 7:58 am on June 18, 2008 | #

    I love your drawings too, specially the Spanish alphabet you designed for your kids:



  • Carol C 8:27 am on June 18, 2008 | #

    How great for you to get to share a little more about your drawings! I look for your illustrations in the Seattle paper and keep a watch on your web site, but it’s good to learn a little more about you!—Carol C.

  • free[k]hand 3:07 pm on June 19, 2008 | #

    Enhorabuena Gabi! Estás hecho una estrella de la movida esta (y te lo mereces)

  • mARTa 8:27 pm on June 24, 2008 | #

    Count me in as one of your fans as well!!!! I wish we lived a bit closer, I would have enjoyed my solo sketchcrawl with you!

  • gabicampanario 3:24 pm on June 27, 2008 | #

    thank you guys, you rock!

  • r_sail 12:10 am on January 21, 2009 | #

    …I had no idea you’re an illustrator for the Times. Right on, man!

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