Gabriela Flores-Abraham

I am a first generation daughter to a family of six other siblings. I was born in Mexico but have been living in Indy since I was 5 years old. I am bilingual but feel more emotionally connected to the English language that’s how I’ve learned to channel and interpret my experiences through my art.

I have always appreciated coloring and doodling since my childhood but teachers began noticing my skills around 5th grade. It was then that I was advised to continue pursuing and working on my talent. I enrolled in an Art magnet program through middle and high school.

By 12th grade I was required to submit a portfolio for the Herron School of Art & Design; I was graded a 5 (which was one of the highest grade in my class) but due to the pressure from other’s ideas a “real” career, I let it influence my choice of what degree to pursue. It wasn’t until I took a drawing class in my 3rd year of college that the burning fire for art returned. While I enjoyed learning about social work, I was more passionate about  learning how to draw portraits.

Art has not always been just a passion, it has also been a way to survive things I was unable to talk about. Through Art, I was able to express issues concerning my mental health, sexual abuse, immigration, and experiences within the foster care system. Art has been my therapy; the materials have been the things that helped me write and draw the pain I was unable to verbally construct.