"It's really the kind of book I wish I had as a younger artist, a collection of sketches and drawing concepts, with video showing how it all comes together." Cabrera tells New Times."I take the audience through the creative process of drawings in the book from start to finish. It's truly a product of the 21st century making learning art more accessible to anyone than ever before."
Cabrera is well known in South Florida, especially among Miami Heat fans. Chances are if you're on any sort of social media, you've seen his stuff. You can't scroll through a timeline on Twitter full of Miami people for more than a minute or two without seeing an avatar he created popping up. Everyone from news anchors, to NBA players, have expressed their love for his work. In 2006 Cabrera made Heat star Dwyane Wade a guest star in his "Silo Roberts" comic strip. The graphics grabbed the attention of Miami Heat beat writer Ira Winderman, and eventually the NBA contacted him about the project; which resulted in a meeting with Wade and then Miami Heat center Shaquille O'Neal.
"Meeting Wade was cool because he said his son laughed when he saw the cartoon. I gave him the original strip framed and he seemed to really appreciate it. Also, Topps Trading Cards actually turned that particular strip into a series of limited-edition trading cards signed by myself and Wade." Cabrera says.
Cabrera was there to present Wade with a souvenir, but he would be the one presented with a surprise before he even got to meet Wade.
"On that day, I actually met Shaq first because he walked by me on the way to the locker room and said You're that artist. Wassup. He gave me a super-sweaty handshake, which I think amused him. My hand was full of The Big Sweater's sweat, which I had to towel off quickly before meeting Dwyane."
The meeting with Wade only strengthened his passion for the team, Wade, and eventually a combination for all of the things meshed together in the future. "That Dwyane Wade experience was one of the most satisfying of my life because of what it represents for me personally. The HEAT are more than just a basketball team to me — they are an example of perseverance."
Cabrera says it would be a dream to contribute to the areas eclectic sights. "Everywhere you go and everyone you see in Miami looks like they have something uniquely interesting and crazy happening in their world. Also, it would be awesome to see some custom "Welcome To Miami Beach" flavored cartoon RobART somewhere in South Beach. I always enjoy hanging out there because it's where I grew up."
For now Cabrera says he has his sights on getting an animated show in the Miami area, and will continue teaching art to young adults this Summer. " I teach digital art, animation and filmmaking during special sessions in the summer. It's a really intense and fun program that teaches professional-level skills to creative kids with aspirations in the art and filmmaking fields. Classes always fill up and it's always a blast!"
To sign up for Cabrera's program contact Young at Art Museum at youngatartmuseum.org or by calling 954-424-5031. For those who would like to download Rob Cabrera's new RobART:Sketch ebook, it's available on iTunes for $2.99. Cabrera also says the Android and Kindle versions will be available later this fall.