That angel painting is what earned Gustavo a scholarship from the Burbank Art Assn., a group of area artists who have come to know and love the Osorio clan and see them through troubled days.
The group helped put Gustavo on a path to achieving his dream of becoming an animator. With that scholarship he was able to attend Pasadena City College. He had plans to transfer to Cal Arts and hopefully show his work to Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network or Disney.
But since age 1, Gustavo had episodes where fluid would build in his brain; doctors were able to control it. In fall 2009, his head began to hurt. That November he had a surgery to remove some of the fluid.
The following February, Gustavo was in a coma. It lasted two months.
“From there, he hasn't been the same,” said his mother, Catalina.
She raises one hand to her mouth. The other holds Gustavo's hand.
“I was doing good,” Gustavo said. “I was smart. I was getting good grades.”
Gustavo suffers from memory loss. For a time, it seemed the art that he loved might never come back. He couldn't write, and had trouble with speech.
The Osorio family was determined to keep him going. While father Gustavo Sr. was at work, Catalina and her children — Jaime and Vanessa — took Gustavo to the monthly meetings of the Burbank Art Assn.
If their artist couldn't participate, they sure would.
Catalina took over the group's hospitality function, coordinating and serving refreshments at the meetings. These entail a workshop by a professional artist, and every few months the group hosts a gallery show featuring two of its members at the GeoSystems building on Victory Boulevard.