Catnip for Connoisseurs - Page 4

Living a dream incognito, hard-working El Gato Gomez churns out art for those who like things sleek and stylish
Catnip for Connoisseurs
'Frankie & Annette.'
Catnip for Connoisseurs
Moai & the Martians' ("Merging the primitive with the futuristic").

“These are the first, big corporate things. I’m really loving it,” she says, of the Disney and Topps projects. “I want to do more of it. It’s a lot of fun.”

So much fun, in fact, that El Gato might do her own trading card series. Or she might dust off her ceramics skills, fire up the kiln, and create a line of tiki mugs. “I miss working in clay. It takes a lot more time,” she says.

How about three-dimensional models of her characters?

“I would love to do that, too.”

And she wouldn’t mind following in the footsteps of a better-known retro artist she much admires, Shag. “I love the Shag store. I’d love to have an El Gato Gomez store in Palm Springs or Los Angeles. I’d love to have a product line.”

One thing El Gato doesn’t think she will have anytime soon, though, is a cat. Though, as it turns out, cats have been good to her.

“Never in a million years did I ever think [my career] would ever go from that stupid little cat I painted to doing things for Disney,” she says with a laugh.

The house pet at the El Gato residence is a Chihuahua.

“It’s very much like a cat, but I am allergic to cat hair,” El Gato admits. “I do love the form of the cat. I think it’s so much more elegant than the form of a goofy dog.”

• For more of El Gato Gomez’s art, visit


Photos: Bernard Schilling