Children are often asked what they want to be when they grow up. While their answers range depending on the main influences in their lives, it is clear their “career choices” are rarely guided by economical gain. In our youth, we often imagined our professional lives in more simplified terms. During our academic years, many of us disregarded our artistic talents and creativity and focused on obtaining technical skills and practical knowledge. After all, drawing is just a hobby and not something that can benefit our career, right?
No wonder, artistic talent and vivid imagination made Gabriel Arreola stand out in a crowded job market. We bet his personal portfolio played a hand at it. Let’s take a look at his story and see if we are right.
Who is Gabriel Arreola?
Gabriel Arreola is a talented software engineer, graphic designer, illustrator, and graphic novelist. Based on what he does, it’s pretty clear that Gabriel gets his inspiration from both technology and art. In fact, creating awesoME stuff is what he enjoys the most. Regardless of whether his creations are more on the techie or artsy side, he adores the very process of creation.
Gabriel was a computer science major whose interest in math led him to the world of computers and programming. However, when he was a child, the process of making art fascinated him. He has always dreamed of becoming an artist, even though he ended up pursuing a different career: “Even growing up, I always said I wanted to be an artist or something like that – drawing or painting – but as I grew up, I realized I liked maths a lot. So I went more on that route people expect you to, as art isn’t really taken that seriously. At least not where I’m from. So I just went with that route. I went to school to pursue math but ended up changing to computer science.”
The Turning Point of Gabriel’s Career
The turning point for Gabriel that caused him to switch from math to computer science happened somewhere near the end of his first semester. He was sharing a place with two roommates who were both electrical engineers. They convinced him to take his shot at joining a more advanced computer science course. Despite being focused on learning everything there is to know about engineering, programming, and development, Gabriel was adamant to keep his artistic spirit alive: “However, I never forgot about my passion for art. So along the way, I took some art classes and some design classes. I always had that going on in the background.”
Today, Gabriel considers this dualism one of the greatest advantages when it comes to his career: “I always liked that part about me because I felt like it gave me a different viewpoint and personality than other people in the sciences, which I thought was cool. I felt like I could relate to different groups of people.”
What is his career like?
Being a computer engineer and a graphic designer at the same time, Gabriel’s found a way to turn his two passions into a lucrative career. He earns a living by creating tailor-made software solutions for different companies. The company he currently works for employs only three more developers, so Gabriel has a lot on his hands. He is handling both the technical aspect of software development, as well as software design. In fact, his role is more similar to that of a full-stack engineer, so he gets to do a lot of design work.
At the same time, this talented young man uses every moment he has to create art for art’s sake. He even has his own Etsy shop where he sells his designs and illustrations. “Today I do a lot of art that revolves around my Etsy shop. So, a lot of it has gone digital. I use Illustrator to finish up a great number of my drawings and I actually make them into t-shirts. So I’m like a printmaker who does screen printing. I’ve been doing a lot of clay sculpting on the side too, just for fun. And I still do some drawings and doodles.”
A Peek Into Gabriel’s Personal Portfolio
Gabriel likes diversity, so no wonder he has worked on various successful projects so far. For instance, his personal project, called Steal, aims to develop an iOS app that allows the user to use the exact color themes from the images they stumble upon. The Breezy project was about creating a smartwatch app that would allow parents to keep track of their kids who suffer from various respiratory problems. Another amazing app is called Shopkick and it is designed for retail companies. The app offers point rewards and gift cards to loyal customers, thus encouraging them to continue purchasing in the future. And let’s not forget Gabriel’s personal portfolio – gabearr.me – that serves to showcase all his skills, knowledge, and unique style he possesses.
What about Gabriel’s personal portfolio?
It didn’t take long for Gabriel to notice that many job applications asked for applicant’s personal portfolio. This was not only a chance to display his talents but also as an opportunity to show the world how original he is. By incorporating animation and design skills, Gabriel managed to become recognizable and stand out from his competition. And, let’s face it, the competition in software design and development is pretty fierce.
Creating his personal portfolio was a very fun, yet challenging experience for Gabriel: “Designing my website was interesting because, as a college major in computer science, I expected it to be easy. But that wasn’t really the case for me. The classes I took to get a computer science degree didn’t revolve around web development or anything like that. So I didn’t really know HTML or CSS or any of that stuff you need to make a website. I actually did have to learn a lot myself.”
Gabriel Arreola is a perfect example of how you should never give up on your passions. Pursue what makes you happy and be persistent. You never know – maybe your creations will be the ones to make an impact and change the world as we know it.As Gabriel put it: “I feel like for most people art is just like passion. Don’t give it up, and don’t feel like it’s a waste of time. It’s important to you if you’re really passionate about it. So don’t stop.“