Exploring Artistic Roots: Q&A with Domingo Pablo, Providence-Based Illustrator and RISD Graduate

November 29, 2023

Meet Domingo Pablo, an artist and illustrator based in Providence, RI, seamlessly incorporating his Guatemalan roots and fluency in K’iche’, Spanish, and English. Graduating with a BFA in Illustration from RISD in 2023, Domingo now specializes in illustration, painting, and 3D art, using both traditional and digital mediums. His journey from Guatemala to RISD is evident in his impactful pieces featured in KIND’s traveling art show.

Discover Domingo’s narrative, explore his favorite artwork ‘El Artista En Proceso,’ and unravel the messages embedded in his art in the full Q&A.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Domingo Pablo, I’m an artist and an illustrator based in Providence, RI. I was born in Guatemala, and I moved to Providence in 2015 when I was 14 years old. I am a trilingual, native speaker of K’iche’, the Mayan language of Guatemala, and advanced in Spanish and English. I graduated with a BFA in Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2023. I’m currently focusing on making illustration, painting, and 3D art. I work both traditionally and digitally.
I have exhibited my work at the Woods Gerry Gallery, ISB Gallery, The Providence Art Club, La Galería del Pueblo.

How and when did your art of love begin?
My art began being a big part of me from an early age, I remember drawing in primary school and at home in Guatemala. When I moved to Providence in 2015, I continued making art. When I started school as a 9th grader at Mount Pleasant High School, my art impressed my teachers and classmates. This is when I started taking my art passion to my art career. During high school, I took all the art classes I possibly could take during four years. I participated in art competitions, in art clubs, and for 2 years in an art program called RISD Project Open Door, to develop my artistic skills and prepare a portfolio for art college. In my senior year, I applied for two art schools in which I got accepted. My first choice was RISD, where I went to study art and obtain my BFA in illustration. I was able to achieve this not only because I worked for it, and I was resilient to fight for my goals but with all the support from my former high school teachers, college professors, family, and supporters.

How did you feel participating in KIND’s Voices That Matter Most program and learning about art?
By participating in KIND’s Voices That Matter Most program I felt excited and curious to learn and gain new experiences. I was on summer break from my full time junior year at RISD, so it also felt like just the right time to make some art at home and meet new people during the program.

How does it feel to have your art as part of KIND’s traveling client art show, which has been shown at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, at a KIND-American Bar Association national conference in Houston, a USA for UNHCR event during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, and at KIND’s annual galas, at the Museum of Natural History and the Ziegfeld, also in NYC?
I’m grateful that my art has become part of KIND’s traveling art show. I appreciate KIND and all the supporters for making this happen. I believe it’s great for KIND kids and myself, that our arts are exhibited because the public can get to see and hear us through our art. We all come from a different background and we all have a story to tell.

What are your hopes and dreams for your art?
As an artist one of my hopes and dreams for my art is to grow and become a successful artist in my focus of illustration, painting, and 3D art. I would also love to see my work continue being exhibited in galleries, have them in collections, and viewed by many lovers of art around the world.

What is your favorite piece you have done and why?
One of my favorite artworks I have done is ‘El Artista En Proceso,’ created in 2020 with colored pencil on paper. A self-portrait, representing myself as an emerging artist but without forgetting his roots, this is me; the beans and maize raised child. A child who was educated and inspired by his grandfather; a field worker and by his grandmother; a huipil weaver, a potter, and comal maker (traditional clay cookware.)

How do you hope your art impacts viewers? What messages or expressions are you trying to convey?
I hope that my art impacts the viewers in a positive way, and that they get inspired, motivated or learn something new from it. However, my art is open to different interpretations for the public view.

What would you say to other young artists if you had the chance to speak with them?
I would say follow your dreams and it may feel a thousand years to get there but you will get there. It’s also important to know that the world is not always colorful because there will be times of obstacles that may lead you to struggle moving forward. However, I advise to not be afraid to ask for help, find ways to overcome, and heal yourself, be resilient.

Domingo Pablo's art piece detailing the rights of children.

View Domingo Pablo's Art