Gabriella, Founder of NOVEL School of Art for artists with disabilities

Meet the founder

I’m Gabriella Guzman, a Cuban American illustrator from Miami, Florida & the Founder of NOVEL.

A little bit about me:
I received a full scholarship at 18 to study at Art Center College of Design where I graduated with my BFA in Illustration. I've been working for adults with disabilities for 10 years as an Art & Animation teacher, but disability has always been in my life- my father was physically disabled from diabetes until he passed away in 2015.

I've worked as a traveling portrait artist for entertainment events in Houston, San Fransisco, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, illustrated stories in children's magazines like New Moon Girls & have had my illustrations used in viral videos for entertainment companies like First Media on their social media pages "Blossom" & "So Yummy".

I've been flown to a private island in Italy in exchange for my art, & now I want to teach others that anything is possible with a little creativity!

I started this business during the COVID-19 pandemic to gain a sense of control in uncontrollable circumstances. As the world became more unstable and isolated, I wondered how artists with disabilities would navigate this “new normal”. How would the pandemic affect their futures? How could I help disabled artists thrive in a post-pandemic job market?

I began teaching 4 talented artists in the comfort of their homes, and realized that I could help them start their careers without needing to wait for the world to return to normal. I began turning my client’s work into toys, party supplies, and sticker packs, watching as their confidence grew! For the first time, they saw themselves as professional artists.

Since its founding, NOVEL artists have received enthusiastic support and recurring income opportunities! This is only the beginning, and we look forward to bringing you more fantastic art in 2024!