‘Just go for it,’ advises anime artist, UH alum

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Derick Fabian wasn’t sure he would make money with his art, but he decided to go for it anyway.

Although art was his lifelong love, Hawaiʻi artist Fabian bought the conventional wisdom that says, “If you major in art, you major in starvation.” While attending Kauaʻi Community College and later the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, he explored several different subjects in hopes of combining his interest in art with something more sensible.

But time after time, his love for art would resurface.

Several years later, a conversation with a counselor at Kapiʻolani CC helped him finally cave in to his passion.

“I don’t know if the money’s going to be there for me,” he said. “But at least I’ll be happy.”

Today, Fabian is making his mark in Hawaiʻi’s art world as the creative genius behind 7Sketches, a character and graphic design company. Originally the name of the comic strip Fabian produced for Ka Leo, the UH Mānoa student newspaper, 7Sketches has become a mainstay in Hawaiʻi’s cartoon, anime and comic scene.

The Kauaʻi CC, Kapiʻolani CC and UH Mānoa graduate regularly displays his work at exhibits, sells merchandise to fans at conventions and participates in community events like Pow Wow Hawaiʻi, the Kakaʻako mural festival.

“You need to stop being a chicken,” he wishes he could tell his younger self. “Just go for it.”

Read more about UH alumni accomplishments.

Derick Fabian in front of his mural

—Story from UH Alumni