Bears in Business: Bobo Bear
Bobo Bear is a collection of sexy gay bear characters drawn by Roberto Nisi, it is followed online as drawings on social media and bought as branded objects and clothing.
Roberto’s mother recalls that at two years old he started drawing circles and dots, and she claims it was far more advanced than the drawings of the average two-year-old. Bobo grew up drawing fantastical characters and stories.
As a teenager he wrestled with his identity and looked for answers to his sexuality in religion but ultimately he found the answer in art. At 21 he joined an art school enabled himself to focus on perfecting his unique style of drawing characters.
To pay for this specialist education Bobo took a part-time job working in a supermarket. He graduated with good results but found it difficult to discover a job drawing cartoons in a small Italian city, so he became progressively more involved in the supermarket until one day he woke up manager.
Although surrounded by love in this period, life ultimately left Bobo feeling empty, he was hiding his sexuality, quieting his inner voice and forgetting to dream. Trapped & surrounded by the sound of the cash registers, Roberto started escaping, searching the world beyond the isles with a pad and pencil, taking a bus, a train even or an occasional plane to rediscover inspiration in places more accepting of his passions, only to return the next day to open and close again supermarket doors.
A life changing reality check shook Roberto from the status quo when an important man in his life lost a six months battle to cancer. This was the wake up call, the motivation, the trigger to change his life and try to realise his ambitions. He collected his savings, packed his precious things, grabbed his pencils and some paper and bought a direct ticket to London.
Growing daily, discovering new influences, drinking coffee in the metropolis and making new friends inspired him and then on a sunny day in London he awoke to rediscover his dreams again, but this time with a new focus. He drew ‘Adam’ (his first gay character).
Adam’s and Roberto’s voyage of discovery delivers new illustrations almost daily, the Italian dreamer and cartoon character BFF are now on sale in central London stores, developing ideas with big bears about merchandising, online in shops selling across the world and on the pages of popular magazines!
Visit Bobo Bear’s website here and check out a selection of our favorite designs below.