Greetings Gay Geeks and Gaymers!
We’re talking to a Brooklyn Gold Star Gay, Roberth Fearon. He’s a Swedish-American, digital artist living in New York City. When he’s not working, he’s playing RPGs, geeking out on anime or eating junk food.
So tell us a little bit more about yourself Roberth.
Where do we start?! I love video games like I mentioned I’m a really big RPG fan and a huge Final Fantasy nerd! I have to play almost anything FF that comes out! I’m almost just as into Kingdom Hearts and Pokemon. As I also mentioned, I LOVE anime. Specifically, I like fantasy anime with characters with powers of some sort. Favorites being Soul Eater and Full Metal Alchemist. Soul Eater is the epitome of my style. The perfect anime in my eyes! But I love love love cartoons like Steven Universe and Young Justice too! I also get really hyped up for any Marvel or DC movies (live action or cartoon). I have a large collection of designer toys and action figures as well.
I’m a huge animal lover! Growing up I had almost every pet you can imagine. Several dogs and cats, an aquarium of fish, birds, lizards, a bunny, and a hamster. My boyfriend and I recently got an adorable long-haired dachshund who’s now six months old.
I’ve been married and divorced. That usually surprises people because of my age, simply because you don’t meet many gay guys that have been divorced since we haven’t been able to get married all that long haha. I was married to a guy named Isak in Sweden. We had a five-year relationship and got divorced over two years ago. We ended on good terms and remain good friends. He’s sort of like a part of the family.
As a kid, I always dreamt of going to Hawaii, but my mom ended up moving there before me. She moved to a gay-friendly retreat three years ago that she was looking up for me to go to when I was a teenager. But I finally volunteered there for two months in March & April of this year. I got back to NYC a month ago. I loved being in Hawaii but came home for work, my guy, and our puppy of course.
Do you have an educational background in art?
In high school, I studied at Karolinska Skolan, an arts program focusing on art and design in Örebro, Sweden. After that, I studied at Örebro Konstskola, which is a two-year fine art education program. Whatäs great is you get your own personal studio space, which I decided to paint half baby blue and half light pink right away. At the end of each term, a group exhibition is held, and I got to travel to several art capitals in Europe throughout my studies. During my time there, I learned a wide variety of artistic techniques and truly found my artistic style and aesthetic. I loved my time there!
What got you into art?
Growing up I thought I was going to work with animals in some way, but that was before I saw my first anime haha. I loved cartoons like any kid, but when I saw my first anime series (Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon and Pokemon in the 90’s), that was when my life started shifting to art. I would pause DBZ and draw all the characters, and I had a talent for it. I’ve been drawing ever since, and it became clear to me that art was the path I wanted to take for my future.
Your artwork is amazing, how has it helped you as an artist get to where you are today?
In 2009 I got a scholarship at Örebro Art College that I could use on whatever I wanted, and I decided to get my first and only drawing tablet: a Wacom Cintiq 12WX. I’m so glad I did, because to this day it’s my most worth-while purchase. It’s really opened up so many opportunities for me and helped take my art to new levels.
In collaboration with my ex-husband Isak, I illustrated a children’s book entitled; Princen & Pojken (The Prince & The Boy). It was published and distributed in Sweden in 2013. This book was adapted into a children’s play that was performed at the Stockholm and Örebro Pride Festivals. The book, later on, received a nomination for Book of the Year at QX Awards in 2014.
How has your practice changed over time?
The biggest change was when I got my drawing tablet: going from drawing with a pen and paper to digital. It felt like my art was always meant to be digital. I was always striving to make my art as clean looking as possible and working digitally. I could do that even more. Digital art opens up so many possibilities, so yeah I’d say that probably changed it the most. Also, just learning more about lighting, shadows and anatomy obviously changed my art over the years.
What words of advice would you give to aspiring artists like yourself?
Just keep at it! Even if you can’t do it full time and make money off it right away, keep drawing on your free time. Keep polishing your skills until you can make a living just doing what you love. I am still trying to make a living off just my art, but I have to do other things on the side. I am convinced if I don’t give up and keep improving, that one day I’ll make enough to live comfortably off my art alone.
What’s it like being Swedish-American?
I was born in Sweden, in Örebro but moved with my mom, dad and sister to Minnesota when I was just a year and a half old. So I have dual citizenship and speak fluent English and Swedish. My dad is Swedish, and my mom half Swedish, half American. She traveled back and forth and met my dad in Sweden. Anyway, we lived in Minnesota for ten years and then moved back to Sweden again in 2000. I lived there for 15 years, but eventually my whole family moved to different states in the US, and after I had got divorced, I didn’t have a reason to stay either so I moved to NYC near my sister.
What’s your strongest memory of your childhood with art?
Well, I remember having a baby book, you know of like your first tooth that fell out, hair from your first haircut, stuff like that. One part was for “your first drawing”. It was a crude drawing of a bird. I don’t remember drawing it, but I do remember looking through that book when I was a little older and changing it so it, looked better haha. I guess I wanted people to look back and think “Wow, he was that good even as a baby.” LOL!
What art do you most identify with?
I’d definitely say manga/anime. I love Halloween-ish themed characters like in Soul Eater. I’m also very influenced by American super-hero comics and cartoons (favorites being Young Justice and The Batman from 2004). My art sometimes resembles the cartoon Archer a bit too. So a mix of all that I guess.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
I’m a character designer so what inspires me in real life is when I see someone with an awesome outfit or haircut or just a look that would translate great as a character. Or even like a dog. One time I saw this Pomski that had one blue and one black eye that I thought would look awesome with an eye patch as a drawing.
I personally love your work. But what type of reaction have other people had with your art?
I don’t know if one comes to mind specifically, but it’s always fun drawing a portrait for somebody’s birthday and hearing how much they love it, or can’t stop looking at it. I designed the tattoo on my mom’s back, and that usually gets a lot of compliments. She’s my biggest fan and wears it proudly. =)
If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be and why?
This is something I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about, and it would probably be the ability to alter/move matter with my mind on an atomic level. So like telekinesis, but instead of just being able to move a rock I could alter its genetic makeup to become for example liquid form or super dense. That power has endless possibilities. My mind goes right to art obviously. With that power, I could make awesome sculptures with my mind out of any material. It really is a superior power over all others in my opinion. With just a thought, I could rip Superman apart, open up any walls in my way, stop any weapon and forge any weapon at will.
Where can fans get more of you (social media, websites, etc.)?
You can find my personal Instagram @roberthfearon and my art Instagram @fearonart and my portfolio at; www.behance.net/roberthsportfolio. You can also find me on Deviantart and Tumblr at; http://pandaphobia.deviantart.com/ and http://fearonart.tumblr.com/
Anything you would like to say to your fans?
I would say thank you so much for supporting me and my art over the years. I’ve been on Deviantart for the past eight years, and some of those people have been with me from the beginning. I love reading everyone’s comments and thank you for liking/faving/following my work wherever you might have seen it. Hearing your feedback helps to inspire me to continue posting!