Gabe Bonilla grew up in Huntington Beach, California a few miles from the pier. Gabe remembers doodling through most of his early education. His doodling, combined with raw and natural artistic talent, began to receive recognition from his peers and academic institutions. He went on to study art and design at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho. He then continued on to Brigham Young University and earned a bachelor of fine arts in illustration. During which time he received several talent awards.
After graduating, Gabe was hired as a graphic designer at a design firm in Orange County, California. Several years later, he joined creative forces with his wife, Nicole Bonilla, to work for Bonilla Design full-time and has been working from a home studio ever since.
Gabe is unique to have achieved such a high skill level in both illustration and graphic design. His illustration abilities and creativity find their way in to his designs resulting in clever and expressive executions. He has maintained his love for paint and other related mediums and loves to use a paint brush as much, if not more, than a mouse.
In his free time, Gabe enjoys cycling, racquetball, and anything in the outdoors including sleeping under the stars, hiking a new trail, or shooting a few targets. He also enjoys volunteering at his children’s elementary school and teaching their Art Masterpiece Series. The teachers, parents, and students are always blown away at his knowledge of art history and his uncanny ability to patiently teach young students how to create their own versions of the masters’ works of art.
Gabe is on a quest to free the world from bad design—one design piece at a time.
Nicole Carson Bonilla was born and raised in North Hollywood, California. Her love for design began to emerge in school art classes, computer classes and fashion design. She attended Brigham Young University and earned a bachelors in visual arts. Her emphasis was in graphic design but she also discovered a passion for advertising, marketing, and copywriting. She forged a new path by straddling both departments. She was elected as the President of the BYU Advertising Federation, began the first BYU advertising awards program and completed an art-direction internship at a top-rated Salt Lake City advertising agency.
Following graduation Nicole and Gabe moved to Orange County, California. Nicole worked as an art-director at a high-end advertising agency in Costa Mesa, CA. A short time later, Nicole chose to begin a family and started working as a freelance art director from a home studio. Six children later, she is still privileged to work from home with Gabe as Bonilla Design.
Nicole enjoys the problem-solving aspect of using graphic design to reach a marketing objective and works hard to exceed her client’s expectations.
Nicole has a unique family heritage in the western entertainment industry. She grew up performing in the Buss Carson Family Western Show—performing all around Southern California. Her love of horses and the western lifestyle have led her to great accomplishments in western graphic design and advertising.
Nicole is also a member and former president of the Cowgirls Historical Foundation—a non-profit organization made up of women of accomplishment in various equestrian backgrounds. This group performs at rodeos, has ridden in the Tournament of Roses for the last six years, is featured in western fashion shows, conducts television and radio interviews, helps raise money for returning soldiers, and participates in Phoenix celebrity charity events.
The Bonilla kids—made up of three girls and three boys—provide limitless amounts of fun and energy to the Bonilla Design team. They are very supportive of Mom and Dad and enjoy looking over their parents’ shoulders at their latest design projects. Each of the Bonilla kids are developing their own creative streak.