Fanart may not be respected, but it’s therapeutic.

Bee Chaudhury

Staff Writer

     Art on the internet is common and a regular thing for people to see. A lot of the time when people see art online they don’t always see the person behind it. When it comes to Disney or Dreamworks, professional artists can bring their work to life, but what about someone closer to home?

     Robbie Yue is a sophomore at American High School, and even though they’re young, their art is something to marvel at. They create original and fan art, which both show amazing quality and dedication. They have been drawing more seriously since 2019, and they have developed a really strong sense of self in their art, as they mostly draw for them rather than what other people expect them to draw.

 Robbie drew this for Lunar New Year, and it features a dragon and a girl, side by side. It features a somewhat more realistic style, but with cartoony elements that fit with Yue’s work. “I practiced realism, but not really because it’s semi realism and I like drawing in the cartoony art style anyway. I want to be good at both of them, but I don’t know how to describe it.”

     “[Robbie’s art] is really refined and I really like it. Especially since they draw [art for] the communities that they’re a part of, like they’ve contributed. I respect that and it’s like crazy, even to the people that they watch and the fandoms that, it’s like, ’Wow,’ and I see it and it’s like, ‘Well, I know that person.’ I think if I was the creator of something, if I see it being portrayed by someone else in that high quality, I would be floored” explains Mark Manansala, a close friend of Robbie’s, specifically in regards to Robbie’s fan art, which includes things like Mario, Sonic, Persona, and characters from the Warioware games. 

A fan drawing Robbie drew of Mario, a character from the Nintendo Series Super Mario. They drew the character in a painted, more blurred style which almost looks 3 dimensional around the face. “I got lazier with my drawings [over time], I guess, because I don’t really draw lines anymore. They’re more like paintings now.”

     They have a huge amount of passion when it comes to fandom art and drawing characters that they care about.

     “Drawing fanart just makes me happy. Here’s my thought process: a character; I really like this character and I want to draw this character, like this. So then I do it and I’m like, Oh yeah, that’s so cool. I love this. I made this. This is my favorite character doing this cool thing. I’m happy.” Yue describes.

     “I haven’t done original art in a while. [Fanart] is way more fun, but then original art feels like more personal. The feeling of the drawing is different,” Yue adds. 

     They also explained their art style and aesthetic choices, as some art is respected more than others.

     “It’s like, I see other artists, and like little features of their art, and think ‘you know that’s really cool, I’m going to steal that. I’m going to incorporate that into my own style.’ I draw in an anime style with a semi realistic style. realism is more respected or something like that even though it’s kind of dumb, but it’s the sad truth. So then I practiced realism, but not really because it’s semi realism and I like drawing in the cartoony art style anyway. I want to be good at both of them, but I don’t know how to describe it,” says Yue.

     Robbie has also done collaborative art with other sophomores at American. They worked with Gekkie Rafael (10) and Lawrence Hu (10) in a project where one person drew a sketch of their original character, another person drew the lineart, and the last person finished the coloring and the shading. 

     “[Drawing with Robbie] was interesting because you’re not used to the way it is, because it’s someone else’s style. I feel if I’m doing my own thing, it’s like I can judge it, but I’m looking at not my own work, so it’s different. It’s so swag. It feels a lot quicker, because you can’t judge it, you know? [Robbie’s art] is so absolutely swag.” Rafael explained.

     “Robbie’s art, I found, is very interesting, because I’ve never really seen a painting style like that. it’s like a kind of smooth with a smooth outer edge, if that makes sense. With a painterly inside. I thought that was really interesting, and just the colors are really good.” Hu expressed. 

     Many of Yue’s other friends also admire their art, even if they have never worked together on a piece.

     “[I feel a] mixture of love, and envy [towards Robbie’s art], because I know that took a while to learn as a while to perfect and I don’t have the dedication for that, but I’m incredibly jealous because it’s incredibly good. I haven’t seen a good painting for a very long time, and just very good art. Robbie is good at art, and I’m jealous because good art.” Alex Grigoriev (10) expressed.

      Neil Pakinggan (10) is a childhood friend of Yue’s who has seen them grow as a person over the years and has supported Yue through their life.

     “I think [Robbie’s art] is kind of good, as a person who has been a fan of their work. So, for a long time I’ve been like a silent supporter for them, you know, I don’t show it but it’s kind of good. I mean, I love seeing the evolution of their art throughout the years I’ve known them, you know, I’ve seen every phase.” Pakinggan elaborated.

    Robbie is an amazing and talented artist, but they are also a very caring person, and their friends see them as wise and trustworthy. Artists are often seen as self-centered snobby people like Picasso, but at the end of the day they’re people too.

     “[They’re an] incredibly good listener and will let you ramble for a very very long time, and not care, and be interested in your interests, which is nice. They’re a good person to go to when you need help with a problem, because they usually have a good way of thinking when it comes to that. also Mario.” Alex Grigoriev exclaimed.

     “I see Robbie as really wise morally and in their decision making. especially with handling situations, they’re very, they’re very smart when they make those decisions, and as a person they’re just a good, good friend. I noticed when one of us has a similar, if you can even call it a similar interest, Robbie will go and, just literally hang out with you until that hype calms down.” Lawrence Hu added on.

     Overall, Robbie Yue is a very cool person. Their art is absolutely stunning and they are such a sweet and approachable person. Fanart is widely available online but it’s not as respected, so please go support artists online. Art changes over time and with that change also changes what is respected. Robbie Yue’s Instagram is @/hollsfish, please go check out their work because it’s genuinely stunning. Although it’s different, their art is worth your time.

Another fan drawing Yue created, but this one is of Hatsune Miku, which is a popular vocaloid singer. The color palette is similar to one Robbie uses often for their original work, as it has darker colors that are accented by a bright, neon green. “My favorite color is that one shade of neon green that I use all the time.”

Audio for the interview:

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