New Friends: Gabby Kash aka @pinkgabbercat
Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Gabrielle Kash or Pinkgabbercat online. I've landed on calling myself a psychedelic cat cartoonist but I am also an illustrator, animator, and toy designer. I am from the Poconos PA, a really weird little resort area, and now live in Brooklyn.
When did you get interested in the arts?
I've always been interested in art. I used to make cats out of rocks and model magic when I was a little kid. I actually lost interest in early middle school because I was getting bad grades on art projects but came back to it after joining Warrior Cats forums on Gaiaonline and Deviantart right before high school. I was super lucky to have incredibly supportive parents that were willing to drive me to an arts high school that we lived 40 minutes away from.
What do you think you would do if you didn’t find art? Any advice for folks reading who don’t think they can “make it” as an artist?
I honestly don't know what I would be doing if I didn't find art. I know my mom was always going to push me to go to college and I have no clue what I would have majored in. Maybe political science, but I took one poli sci class in college and it was so boring. I think that anyone can make it as an artist if they are able and willing to put in the time. It sucks that time is the most important factor. I know I had tremendous luck and privilege in being able to dedicate hours of my time to art because my parents didn't force me to get a job.
Let’s talk about your process. From idea to final product, what does a typical workflow look like for you?
My process is really chaotic haha. I've basically made it my goal to take most things I start to completion. I'll sketch a few things and once something starts to feel ok I run with it. It's more about quantity for me. In the past few months I've tried to have some drawing to post online every day as a challenge to myself and I've found it's really pushed my style to be more confident and cohesive. I think a lot of this is because I went to school for animation as It really made my default way of drawing fast and simple. Most of the time this looks like me drawing 3-5 images like 2 days a week and just thinking and receiving feedback the rest of the week while I deal with the less fun "small business" side of being a working artist. I'm also creatively driven by awful news and I don't know why? I work best when listening to podcasts like Knowledge Fight, Qanon anonymous, and Art and Labor. They're all podcasts that talk about kinda depressing and gruesome stuff but it somehow helps me make a lot of cute cat drawings. Maybe the psychic damage makes the cats cuter.
I was originally drawn to your work because of the positive and fun nature. Do you feel like you use the awful news as fuel for your positive and fun fire?
I think so! Like I need to counteract all the terrible somehow and make the world a little bit more fun and pleasant to exist in.
You seem to put out a ton of work. How do you avoid burn out?
I think I'm still in the first part of this new workflow for myself where I haven't found myself completely burnt out so it might still turn out to be unsustainable still haha. So far I've found that if I allow myself to repeat drawings it helps creative block get un-stuck. Like who cares if all I can think to draw is something I've already done. Why not do it again but a little different? I also really like working on things like tarot cards or inktober-like challenges because having a checklist of things to do makes my focus more on getting work done. One of my high school art teachers told me not to wait around for inspiration and that really stuck with me.
Who / What inspires you now?
I collect so many things and look to them for inspiration all the time. Tattoos, "grandma" tchotchkes, weirdo indie comics, and art books. When I'm drawing I'll often just start drawing something I see on my wall til it turns into something else. My favorite artists to look to are Keith Haring (speed, activism, ability to convey a message simply), Louis Wain (I love seeing the way that the concept of cat is pushed until it is unrecognizable and I feel like he is often used as a creepypasta because OOOooo mentally ill person liked cats), John Alcorn (pyschedelic childrens book illustrations that rule), not to mention all the cool funky artists I get to talk to online and will hopefully meet a few of this year.
If you could collaborate with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?
My favorite band that got me through high school was The Vaccines. I mostly listen to 60s/70s oldies now but I would kill to do a poster/music video/album art/ anything with them. They are a band that has a good sense of humor and also got me through adolescence.
Any other artists you’d like to recommend readers to go follow?
@dayoff.ltd, @dreyfus.art, @fuzzzdream.art, and @frogdream are all really cool and funky illustrators. My friends @alexfink, @kheritage_, @kaitlyntaylorjewelry, and @tabithakarol are all doing really cool work in really different mediums.