FightSong! HeroesFightSong! Team

Victor Romero

FS! Hero

The FS! Creative team sat down with John Berry, Kansas City illustrator and creator of our FightSong! Heroes to chat about the incredible characters he created for us, his inspiration and what they bring to the FightSong universe.

Inspiration for Victor Romero

While artists with disabilities are seen as inspirational, "there are some things that are more difficult to do without your limbs," John told us that he wanted to create a character whose teen angst was centered around his disability, but that the character could still be seen as cool.

Even though Victor struggles with depression in general and depression specifically related to the loss of his arm, "he doesn’t let his disability define him or stop him." Through Victor, John created an authentic representation for this kind of disability in the character of a marginalized ethnicity, a complicated character who is an inspiration without being tokenized.

Victor became an FS! Hero by Standing Up for Himself

Even before Victor lost his arm in a car accident when he was 15, Victor had depression. His new disability gave Victor a new theme for his self-loathing and his focus on it was very painful-- even the most innocent comments about his arm by other students would bring him to tears. One afternoon when the depression was just too much, Victor decided to DM his school counselor using FightSong figuring he didn't have anything to lose. His counselor messaged back right away, inviting him into her office and confirming he was safe. Feeling supported, he said that he was safe and scheduled an appointment for the next day.

When he went to his school counselor's appointment, Victor mentioned that discovered that before his car accident, Victor was a prolific painter and sculptor. After the appointment, through FightSong, she sent him multiple articles of artists with disabilities who continued to create. This inspired him to pick up his art supplies again and gave him a tool to fight negativity through creativity. His art Instagram just hit 10K followers and his posts about depression and disability have inspired other teen artists to create through the pain, whether those are visible or invisible disabilities.


Lisa Bufano performing on her signature orange Queen Anne table legs. Julia Wolf (foxgrrl) 

VICTOR'S ART INSTAGRAM ABOUT DEPRESSION AND DISABILITY HAVE INSPIRED OTHER TEEN ARTISTS TO CREATE THROUGH THE PAIN, WHETHER THOSE ARE VISIBLE OR INVISIBLE DISABILITIES.

Victor became an FS! Hero by Standing Up for Himself

Even before Victor lost his arm in a car accident when he was 15, Victor had depression. His new disability gave Victor a new theme for his self-loathing and his focus on it was very painful-- even the most innocent comments about his arm by other students would bring him to tears. One afternoon when the depression was just too much, Victor decided to DM his school counselor using FightSong figuring he didn't have anything to lose. His counselor messaged back right away, inviting him into her office and confirming he was safe. Feeling supported, he said that he was safe and scheduled an appointment for the next day.

When he went to his school counselor's appointment, Victor mentioned that discovered that before his car accident, Victor was a prolific painter and sculptor. After the appointment, through FightSong, she sent him multiple articles of artists with disabilities who continued to create. This inspired him to pick up his art supplies again and gave him a tool to fight negativity through creativity. His art Instagram just hit 10K followers and his posts about depression and disability have inspired other teen artists to create through the pain, whether those are visible or invisible disabilities.

Who is Victor Romero?

Name: Victor Romero
Age: 18
Pronouns: He/Him
Height: 5'9
Likes: Frida Kahlo, Jason de Caires, Francisco De Goya
Dislikes: Landscapes, Hashtags, Deadlines
Favorite Food: Elote, Pizza, Chocolate Milk
Favorite Color: Purple
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown

About the Artist

John Berry is an Animator, Illustrator and Teacher currently living and working in Kansas City, MO. He received a B.F.A. Degree in animation in 2012 from the Kansas City Art Institute. Since graduation he has worked as an Animator, Illustrator, Concept Artist, and a Graphic Designer. He has also been a teacher in KCAI’s Continuing Education department as an Animation Instructor since 2014 and joined the BFA program as an Animation Lecturer in 2018.   

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