Gustavo Urbina Creativity Explored Artist Spotlight

Sakura of America shares a common mission with Creativity Explored, a nonprofit art center for neurodiverse and disabled artists in San Francisco. Sakura is proud to support Creativity Explored with tools that power the artistic careers of disabled artists. Together, we strongly believe art is for everyone.

Sakura’s products have been enabling artistry in the Creativity Explored studios for decades – we’re excited to partner and share the stories and the artwork of artists who are creating today, like Gustavo Urbina.

Gustavo Urbina (b. 1960, Creativity Explored artist since 2018) focuses on his series of highly stylized butterfly drawings. His insect forms repeat across the page in groupings of four to eight. Each butterfly the same, but with unique touches: a few strands of hair atop their heads, flipper-like shapes at the end of each wing, a smiley face, or eyebrows.

Urbina works with colored pencil, graphite, pen, and marker to render each figure. He works hard to achieve a sense of texture and insect-like scales by layering colors and shading in gentle circular patterns. Urbina’s commitment to his butterflies conveys a sense of personal storytelling and uniquely iconic symbolism.

In his few years at Creativity Explored, Urbina has forged meaningful relationships in the studio with his fellow artists and teaching artists. His jubilant nature and enthusiasm for creative expression inspire his community to let loose and try new things.

Check out Gustavo Urbina’s favorite Sakura products and hear about his practice in the interview below.

Favorite Products

  • Sakura Gelly Roll Pens
  • Sakura Koi Watercolor Brush Pens

Artist Interview

The following interview has been translated from Spanish, Urbina’s spoken language.

Why do you love Creativity Explored?
Es el poder de las mariposas. Porque me gusta que andan volando en las casas, en las calles así, como ellas vuelan con sus alitas.
It is the strength of the butterflies. I like that they are flying in the houses, in the streets, how they fly with their wings.

What do you love about Sakura’s art products?
A bonita los colores. Yo cambio otros colores.
The colors are beautiful. I change other colors.

Why is it important to you to have good art supplies?
Me gusta porque le encanta a ella, a mi mama que hago bien bonitas las maripositas, mariposas. A mi me encantan. Le gusta a mi hermana también que hago bien las cosas.
I like it because she loves it – my mother – that I make very pretty butterflies. I love them. My sister also likes that I do things well.

Why do you love making art? How does creating art make you feel?
Me gusta venir a la escuela, mi programa todos los días. Estar aquí. Cuando estoy aburrido en mi casa me vengo aquí a aprender. Me gusta estar con mi amigo. Alegre no me pongo triste. Y luego se lo cuento a mi mamá del programa.
I like to come to school, to my program every day, to be here. When I’m bored at home, I come here to learn. I like to be with my friends. (I feel) happy. I dont get sad. And then I tell my mom about the program.

Learn more and shop artworks by Gustavo Urbina on the Creativity Explored websiteCreativityExplored.org/artists/gustavo-urbina

See more Creativity Explored artist spotlights right here on the Sakura websitehttp://www.sakuraofamerica.com/get-inspired/creativity-explored

PHOTO CREDIT: Photos by Peter Prato

Artwork by Gustavo Urbina, 2021 © Creativity Explored Licensing, LLC

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