We are so stoked to finally present our interview with the artist Gabie Barragan. We met Gabie at an art walk in Santa Ana, coincidentally it was the night that Creeper Magg was conceived. We thought that her art was beautiful and different from a lot of the other things we had seen that night, it was monochrome and simple, but also explored the complexities of womanhood. Since our encounter, Gabie has gone on to create a lot more pieces and has become vocal about how she feels with the current things going on in the world. Creep on to find out more about Gabie’s journey through her art.
Creeper Magg: Was there any specific person or moment in your life that inspires you to pursue your art?
Gabie Barragan: From a young age I remember stealing my dad’s notepad and red and black sharpies to go practice ‘still lifes’ of the neighborhood. I’d mostly draw trees. This is the oldest memory I have of being interested in art. To me is was something that came naturally. Although I spent the awkward years of puberty trying to stave off my desire for creating. For I had been conditioned to think that my art was merely recreational and should take myself (and the thought of a career) more seriously. It wasn’t until I was senior in high school that I really was set on being an artist and even then, I didn’t fully accept myself as a creative until a couple years ago.
CM: Are there any hurdles in your life that you’ve gone through that have changed your art for the better?
GB: Broken hearts have always been huge pivoting points in my life. And that goes for everything. My health, my thought patterns, so naturally my art would follow. I tend to find a lot of passion in sadness. To the point where sometimes I don’t want to let it pass, for fear of not being able to create. The older I’ve gotten the more I see that I can call onto these feelings whenever I want. So letting go of things has gotten a lot easier.
CM: What materials do you typically use to create your art?
GB: About a year ago I would’ve said just ink and paper. But the more I’ve developed as an artist the more I diversity I prefer on a piece of paper. So white gels pens, as well as metallic gel pens. Oil pastels and sometimes shapes cut out from paper.
CM: How important do you think creating art is in the development of a person?
GB: I think that being able to see myself grow on a piece of paper, and being able to hold my growth in my hands, is something that I find very special. I can look back at anything I’ve created in the past and remember exactly what I was going through. Where my heart was, whether I was happy or melancholy, I can feel it. And therefore I’m allowed to gage my own evolution.
CM: You show your work at various art walks and shows do you have any coming up?
GB: I’ve gotten into a deeply introverted state these last couple months so I opted out of a couple events, but those are never far from my reach so I expect to be in more soon.
CM: You have also put stickers with your art in various public places, is there anything that inspires you to do that?
GB: I do this for the sheer mystery behind it. I know whenever I walk by a public piece I have to stop and give it the attention it demands. I like it when electric boxes make me smirk. Or when a monotone brick wall makes me sad. The only responsibility an artist has is to be thought provoking. I like to make people think, and I like that sometimes they don’t even know it’s me.
CM: We noticed in your art that you often depict the female body in various forms, what does the female body symbolize to you?
GB: The female body is strong yet soft. We are fiery, emotional beings. We have our own flow like the moon. And we are intuitive. We can incarnate souls within our bodies and give them life. The female energy is sacred. And to be in touch with the female spirit is to be in touch with the planet.
CM: From your instagram, we've noticed that you are very outspoken in your beliefs, what do you think this shift in politics means for artists, women, people of color, etc?
GB: I saved this answer for last. Mostly because I’ve been so drained by the political bombardment I’ve been seeing on social media. It’s scary. It’s unsettling. It’s revolutionary. We are going into a shaky era in our history. A time when we are being tested as a whole because we are being attacked as a whole. As a woman this means I have to push myself even harder. I have to stand up in the face of misogyny not only for myself, but for all my sisters that identify themselves as female. As a mexican, this means I have to quiet the racist rants of the xenophobic hate around me. Whether they’re being discriminative towards my race or not. And as an artist, the only thing we can do is what we have been doing, create. We simply must create harder, and with more passion than ever.
CM: What are your hopes and dreams for the future, regarding art or life in general?
GB: I’m not the type of person to set goals or even dreams too much into the future. Mainly because I lead with my emotions. The job I have now won’t be the job I want forever. And I love drawing and painting now, but this probably won’t be my main source of creativity forever. My growth is uncertain to me. So my plans are also uncertain. I just take everything day by day and lead with my gut. One thing I can tell you that is certain is that, I will not sell out. I will not be the person that’s content working 40+ hours a week. I will not be the person that complains everyday but never takes the steps to change. I will be the person that will always hold her soul and mental health above anything else.
Article by Emily Kimura
Art by Gabie Barragan