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BobbyRubio's avatar


It's been a while since I did one of these drawings, but since I am going to be at the Manilatown HeritageFoundation Komiks Expo [link] this Saturday, I got to reminiscing about the time when I was a little kid. Way back in the late 70's, early 80's sometime. I was at my buddy, Alfred Balajadia mom's house. It was a Filipino party; Uncles in the back drinking beer, Aunties in the kitchen talking, kids running all around and the aroma of delicious Filipino food filled the house! Then something magical happen, that I will never forget. One of my Auntie's nephews showed up and he was an artist. My Aunt asked him to draw the Stars Wars for the kids. And he sat down, grabbed a white piece of paper, used a Yellow Pages book for a backboard and a Navy Ballpoint Pen (remember them?). And he started to draw the Star Wars poster! He drew everything, except for the faces, because he said he wasn't good at drawing faces. But everything else I remember it being so awesome! I was 7 or 8 back then and this memory has stuck with me, many, many years later. I hope that next Saturday, when I am at the Expo, that there will be kids who will be so inspired and take up a career in animation and/or comics and years later they will recall and draw that moment. Hopefully, they'll draw me taller with more muscles! If you are in the Bay Area, stop on by. Give back to the community! Hope to see you guys there!
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Cu-bloo's avatar
So cool! My sister is an Animation student. She's very great! 
thesolaralchemist's avatar
Have you drawn any comics, I like your art style!
BobbyRubio's avatar
I have my comic, Alcatraz High and 4 Gun Conclusion!
BenTanArt's avatar
I love hearing these stories of inspiration!
IcyAshford's avatar
I always enjoy reading comics of your childhood!
keithanknows's avatar
Great story man. Ah the magic years:)
BobbyRubio's avatar
Thanks Keith! Yes, those magic years were fun!
tombancroft's avatar
Great story Bobby!
BobbyRubio's avatar
skittle-san-love's avatar
This is such a great story, and the picture illustrates your idea so well! I remember the first time I saw a kid trace before. He showed me how by tracing my pikachu binder. One of my stronger inspirations was a few neopets characters a user had made haha. And my best friend at the time. But the pikachu story is all that I have that is similar to yours. =)
BobbyRubio's avatar
My kids love Pikachu. Who knew that Pokemon would still be so popular.

And when is Ash gonna graduate to Master level?!!!
yiKOmega's avatar
What an inspiration! All throughout school, I was known as the "class artist." So ever since kindergarten, I wanted to become an animator or something related to the arts. But my mom, being a nurse (like many Filipinos), told me I wouldn't make money. It wasn't until I was a freshman in college when I decided to follow my own path and study animation. So I'm doing everything I can to make up for lost time.
BobbyRubio's avatar
Yeah, I know about the become a doctor or lawyer thing...
It's understandable, but will you be happy.

And it's weird, because it's not like back in the day when there were no animation, comic, or video game gigs. Now, people like myself make a living out of drawing.
yiKOmega's avatar
Yeah, I'm having a great time with my studies. I'm jumping at every opportunity to learn and practice. When I graduate, I just hope I get into the industry somehow. But I know this is what I'd like to do for a living.
CatalystOfTheSoul's avatar
I had a moment like that - about the same age, a kid named Segan Johnson. He drew me a picture of a dolphin and it was the coolest thing I had ever seen.

Won't forget it, either. :)
BobbyRubio's avatar
Dolphins are cool. I remember being making a wax sculpture of one when I was a little kid.
britterooski15's avatar
Now I'm trying to think how I was inspired, I think it was when a friend of ours talked about working at Warner brothers that it really hit me
BobbyRubio's avatar
I have some friends at the WB! Wish they were still making Young Justice...
britterooski15's avatar
wait they stopped? *epic sadness* what about the invasion! noooooooooo I must know how it ends!
Wilco5's avatar
Glad to see that you and I have similar experiences, Bobby!

I remember many of the artists I admired growing up in the 70s and 80s.
I drew dinosaurs in preschool and then it was jets. My dad was in the Navy and when I was in Kinder and 1st Grade, he knew a fellow Filipino sailor(that we called "Uncle", since we Fil-Ams would call our parent's Filipino friends "Uncle or "Auntie") at work that was a Draftsman for the squadron, VX-4 at NAS Pt Mugu, CA. I remember all the awesome Navy aircraft illustrations he had done and loved checking out his other works at home and at work, i.e. personal art, caricatures, editorial cartoons, etc. When Star Wars came out, we all went to line up on a Friday night to try to see it only to be turned away a couple of times during the weekend due to large ticket sellouts.
At Filipino-gathering house parties as well as Navy family get-together house parties(including Naval officers and pilots too), Uncle "Velasco" drew a few sketches for us kids, but I never got one. I don't think I was a bratty kid, I was pretty well-behaved & shy actually. But maybe I asked for Star Wars characters one too many times!
He was a pretty nice guy but I don't think I ever did get a sketch from him, although he did do a great portrait of my younger sister.
Never getting a sketch from "Uncle", or being ignored and passed on, was the reason I started to draw a little more. Part of me at that young age said: "I wanna be as good or even better than Uncle Velasco so when kids come up to me for sketches I don't want any kid to feel left out the way I did." Kinda powerful stuff. Of course, I was mainly focusing on the quick sketches and not the actual professional work he did!

Also in the late 70s/early 80s: visited my relatives and all my cousins got me into Filipino-dubbed Japanimation: Voltes V, and all the other Big Super Robots craze. In CA., I already saw Battle of the Planets, Speed Racer, and Star Blazers. One of my female cousin's had a classmate "Pobleto" that drew Super Robots really well and was just wowed by her sketchbook collection of art. It took a while before I got my own sketch from him (after constantly bugging my cousin to ask him). I could tell it wasn't as cool as the stuff I saw in my cousin's sketchbook but was still happy I got something from him! Later the early 80s, he was into superheroes and I saw many of his take on characters like Batman, etc. in my cousin's sketchbook. This inspired me to draw more but never thought of a career in comics, animation or film.

Having been to a few SDCCs I still get turned down or don't even get an opportunity to get a quick sketch. I understand getting turned down since its such a crazy con and the missed opportunities are either poor planning on my part or simply out of my hands. I tell myself that if I ever am in the same situations as the pros I admire, I will always look back at my own experiences and give my absolute best to accomodate and make every kid and follower happy.
I see talented amateurs and semi-pros I once admired grow egos(big and small) and I hope I am never "that guy".

I realize I am not a great artist after all these years and still have a lot to learn and keep up with but have always wanted to be the kind of accomodating artist that I never really had growing up and even inspire a few, like my 2 young nephews who love seeing me draw. And, to draw for people who like my art enough to even want a sketch is the greatest honor.

Sorry to hack your page Bobby! Your piece just brought out a lot of memories as to how I started drawing and why I like to draw in the first place.
BobbyRubio's avatar
Wil, that is totally cool.

I like hearing other people's experiences. It's really interesting to see that we all have very similar stories on how we were inspired by talented individuals.

I try to make it a point to draw for every kid. It is difficult, because at the con there are so many people. Kids are awesome, it's great to see their little faces light up when you are drawing something that they love and recognize.
They are always appreciative and you know that they are not going to turn around and sell the drawing on Ebay.
Wilco5's avatar
Thanks for understanding, Bobby.

I too love hearing how others have been inspired to draw, who they admired.

Totally agree about the kids. Especially making the extra effort to try to draw for every kid that come up to an artist. They make it all worth it.
Yes, they are more appreciative.

Those that flip a sketch to make a quick buck out of a popular pro that had spent the time to produce it surely spoil it for those rest of us that truly enjoy and admire the medium. There will always be bad seeds like that everywhere but thankfully those that genuinely love to meet the artists and love the work they produce are also out there as well.

Yeah, if you ever find out what happened to that "Kuya" artist please let us know. Hopefully he became successful! Or maybe, he ended up like someone like me, lol!
Wilco5's avatar
Oh yeah: gotta love those G.I. Govt-issue pens, lol! I went through so many of those pens over the years. The classic black and silver click pen, FTW! Saw some new ones when I was a temp/casual at the post office: they come in softer plastic now.

Also had the GI pens in white hard plastic growing up as well...they were kinda like the GI-version of the BIC.
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