MILLIONS of people have watched Gloucester artist Mike Robins’ YouTube videos showcasing his work – but little did he expect to find the love of his life online.
The Linden lad whiles away the hours, when he is not working as a barista in Costa, drawing famous faces under the glare of his camera.
Mike's drawing of Breaking Bad main character Walter White attracted the attention of actor Bryan Cranston who played him.
Mike sent him a copy and, shortly after, Bryan sent a postcard which read: “Mike, the sketch is magnificent. Bravo! And thank you, all the best, Bryan.”
The videos are sped up to show days of work in just four minutes.
They caught the eye of 24-year-old Grace Kelly, who got in touch seven years ago. The pair struck up an online friendship and a year later she visited from her home city of Glasgow, quickly became his girlfriend and moved to Linden to join him.
“I realised I liked Grace so I did a drawing of her,” said Mike, 26.
“I hoped that would woo her and it did. The rest is history as they say. I have been doing the drawings since I was 16 or 17. I’d love to be able to do it full time one day.
“I try to find a different image of a celebrity and use it to create my drawing.
“I just do it when I’ve got a day off and sometimes I can do one in six to 10 hours, other times it can take many weeks.”
His girlfriend Grace said: “When I saw what he did I was just gobsmacked. He has got a real talent. At the time we were just mates but a year later we met up when I came to Gloucester.
“We went ice skating together because it was near Christmas and I came down again and that was that. We’ve been together ever since.”
His video drawing of the character Walter White from Breaking Bad has been viewed some 230,000 times, while one of Hiro Nakamura, from the fantasy drama Heroes, has pulled in 540,000 viewers to his YouTube channel called MikeysTube.
Mike honed his skills as a former pupil of Stroud College where he took a foundation art course. He is not Gloucestershire’s only YouTube star – illustrator Shoo Rayner,, from Coleford, draws in hundreds of thousands of views on his ‘how to sketch’ video lessons.