Screenshot (53)

Avat-art impresses Nickelodeon

Junior Isabelle San Antonio uses an iPad and iPencil to draw her digital art. “When I’m drawing, sometimes I’m frustrated that I can’t get stuff down, but when it’s all coming together it’s really rewarding of yourself,” San Antonio said.

Fanart is a creative outlet for junior Isabelle San Antonio, who draws scenes from some of her favorite cartoons and posts them on her Instagram page, @lacomyles_. San Antonio was surprised when the official Instagram account of the Nickelodeon cartoon show “Avatar: The Last Airbender” reached out to her via direct message, asking for permission to share her posts for its page, @avatarthelastairbender. It shared her post for Fan Art Friday, which features artwork done by fans on its Instagram story.

On her page, she posts drawings from different cartoons and shows such as “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” “My Hero Academia,” “Undertale” and “Attack on Titan,” shows which she is a fan of. 

“When [Nickelodeon] reached out to me, I texted everyone I knew, screenshotted it and posted it on my Instagram story. I was really excited because I didn’t think that would happen,” San Antonio said. “It is definitely an accomplishment to get recognized by something that big. It is definitely a huge encouragement to me.”

San Antonio started drawing in eighth grade. She was inspired to start drawing by artist friends and different artworks online.

“A lot of my friends have supported me [and told] me to keep on practicing and to keep on improving,” San Antonio said. “A lot of my artist friends gave me tips. My mom has also helped me a lot. She’s been the one encouraging me since day one.”

Less than two years after she started drawing, San Antonio noticed herself improving. She realized that this was something she wanted to take seriously and put a great effort into.

“This is something I could do for the rest of my life,” San Antonio said. “I like putting what’s in my head on a piece of paper and making an illustration about it. It’s a good way to express my creativity and what I’m thinking about.”

In June 2020, San Antonio’s Instagram account grew at a fast rate. A drawing she posted received over 6,000 likes, and those numbers continued to increase on her other artwork-related posts: one received over 12,000 likes. 

“I started my Instagram for fun and I didn’t think I’d be one of those artists with a lot of followers,” San Antonio said. “When people started actually following me I was like ‘What the heck?’ It made me feel good and encouraged me to draw more and to keep improving. I never really cared about gaining popularity, but it’s helped me connect with artists and with other people.”

San Antonio finds that her backyard is the best place for her to draw. She draws all of her art with an iPencil on Procreate, a digital painting app on her iPad.

“It’s nice to just relax and feel at peace with yourself,” San Antonio said. “When I’m drawing, sometimes I’m frustrated that I can’t get stuff down, but when it’s all coming together it’s really rewarding and you’re like, ‘This is gonna be good’ and you feel very proud of yourself.”

Other than cartooning and fanart, San Antonio does landscape drawings of nature and similar subjects.

“It’s hard, but it’s really rewarding in the end when they all go together,” San Antonio said. “The most challenging part is finding my style and how I want to draw while putting myself on that artwork. It’s hard to put my identity on [the artwork] — something that’s just uniquely me.”

By Sajjan Sandhu, Feature editor
Photo courtesy of Isabelle San Antonio