Growing up in San Antonio, Texas and influenced by many Mexican artists, including his uncle Frank's drawings of Pachucos and Mexican movie stars, Gilbert never stopped his love for art. His brother Leo's high school cartoon art also impressed him. Gilbert's father promoted his interest in art by bringing home art books given to him by friends who would often frequent Caruso's Cafe in Austin, where he worked as a chef. He is self-taught, but for the usual public school classes from grade school up to high school. An art teacher in middle school (junior high) sent Gilbert to a figure-drawing class given by Mr. Kelly Fearing at the University of Texas, in Austin.

After years as a workers' compensation hearing representative and legal assistant, Gilbert retired in June 2005 and since then has devoted his time to art and rekindling his art skills.

Gilbert's art strives to reflect as many aspects of the Latino culture, from its complexities, to its simplicities and the whimsical. However, there are moments of venturing into his usual art. Gilbert lives in Los Angeles, California, in El Sereno.