Written by Bryant Dynasty, contributing writer and owner of Aloha Redux (Issue 5)
Photos by Blake Abes of Visionize Media and Flow photographer Reese Kato
Sitting in a busy, noisy Starbucks, I get to talking with local artist Derick Fabian (AKA 7Sketches). Wearing a black and gold Pow Wow tee and a backwards ball cap across from me in a back table we talk shop. Listening to the story of his introduction into the business-side of his company, I can hear his enthusiasm for his craft. His personal brand of art, influenced by graffiti, pop culture, anime, and hip-hop, displays the wit and creativity one needs to pull off clever mashups and has an appeal for all ages.
7Sketches favors a strong animation style of art, frequently fusing elements to create unique characters that look to have a huge stort behind them. The blending of two concepts into something more prominent is an immense talent. Such a skill almost comes naturally to Derick but he assures me he’s put in the work. Using a platform or base design like that of his octopus he layers on new characteristics to create something new and exciting. The octopus has a hip-hop/graffiti feel to it that flows. He’s portrayed it as a pineapple and Marvel antihero Deadpool.
Ideas come organically and pop out amongst doodles and sketches. 3 to 4 times a week on the average he’ll put in work. Besides his brand, he works for the University of Hawaii at Manoa as a graphic designer. Derick’s portfolio landed him a prominent spot on the university’s STAR Program. The transcript program has Derick’s fingerprints all over it with mini animations for loading and launch and pages.
While walking through the Honolulu Museum of Art during the 2015 POW WOW! week, Derick became inspired to take his own work to the masses. His next step was to reach out to collaborate with Erick Agarijo, a fellow artist and friend from his days at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Derick categorizes the two of them as natural introverts, but together as a group the two of them feed off of their respective creativity and build their confidence levels up. Derick feels that working with Erick is all the more better with Erick’s personality, humility and passion being key to their partnership and success. After encountering a number of pieces that reminded him of Erick’s work, he gave him a call and made his pitch. The two came up with the plan to debut at an Art + Flea event.
Art + Flea founder Aly Ishikuni-Sasaki would often run into Derick, inviting him to participate at one of their monthly events. His shyness would prevent him from participating. It was after seeing a vintage video game themed event titled 8-Bit Adventure coming up, where he decided to release his first batch of products. His debut of a vinyl toy resembling the original Nintendo Entertainment game cartridges with custom characters and stickers went along with stickers, shirts and prints.
Long term, Derick has a few things in mind. Besides the developing of an original line of vinyl toys of his own design, the dream is open a brick and mortar headquarters with Erick, which would be used as a platform to showcase designer vinyl toys and exhibit creative work by community artists. Drawing inspiration from Chicago-based designer toy hub Rotofugi, Derick envisions a locale capable of housing local talent as well as artists from around the globe.
I asked him how it feels to see his work in the world and he told me about the time he met renowned 80s T&C artist Steve Nazar. Derick was a fan as a child and would photocopy designs of Nazar’s because he could never afford his apparel. At a meet and greet event this past year held by in4mation Derick had went and had a few products autographed by Nazar. After leaving the event, Derick’s Deadpool Octopus design was on a shirt of another fan in the line and it caught Nazar’s eye. The fan being a friend of Derick’s let him know and when he returned inside he was complimented by Nazar on the design’s aesthetic. The experience was a humbling one and a highlight of his work thus far.
7Sketches will be participating at the HNL Flow Show: Spring Break on Saturday, March 26, 2016 at Makers and Tasters and was a part of the HNL Flow Summer Showcase in 2015. He described that experience definitely has his him stoked for the next event. He was appreciative of the Flow Fam and its hospitality with all the little things the members were able to do and the vendors who provided a chill atmosphere. He was happy with the ease of connecting with people and the musical ambiance.