Bona Vada Illustrations

is a company created by artist Kevin Gomez and his beloved partner Jimmy Paula. Inspired by LGBT history, Chicano art, and the Magical Realism Movement, these two minds set out to collaborate on a project that mixes both art and language to share their unique perspetives with you,the audience.

The company name comes from Polari, a form of British slang mainly used by gay men, actors, sex-workers, and criminals in order to communicate openly among themselves without fear of being understood by people who were not privvy to the lingo.

It's usage declined shortly after homosexuality was decriminalized in the 1960's.

Take a bona vada : Take a good look

About the Artist

For millennia, religious art has been used as a tool to educate people about the history that form the basis of their ideology. It served a visual guide that helped the masses connect with the divine. Artists are in many ways historians that document people's lives, beliefs, and even the trends of the time that the artwork was produced. Whether art tells a story or provides insight into the artist's mind, it has always been a form of educating.

My father taught me how to make realistic pencil drawings of people by using photographs as references. To this day, I still use graphite as my primary medium and focus on portraiture as my main subject matter, specifically because these two elements were my first introduction into learning how to create art. I believe my graphite portraits are a direct reflection of my roots. By making luminous images

Artist Statement

Kevin Gomez was born in San Diego, California in 1987. His love of art started at a very young age, His father introduced him to graphite, drawing realistic portraits of people from photographs. This connetion between them inspired Gomez to push himself to be as good of an artist as his father. Staying true to his fathers teachings, Gomez uses graphite on paper as his main art medium.

Gomez discovered the literature of Gabriel García Marquéz while in highschool. Marquez's writings nourished his imagination to draw realistic characters in a magical or exaggerated setting.

He attended San Diego State University for two years.


Gomez apprenticed to become a tattoo artist for one year. His love of tattoos comes through in much of his art. 


His passion is drawing and painting.


Gomez's influences  primarily come from prison tattoos, medieval illuminated manuscripts and queer history.