I had a chance to chat with official WWE “Artist-in-Residence” Rob Schamberger at Awesome Con in Washington, DC. The Kansas City-based painter has become well-known in wrestling circles for his artwork depicting WWE Superstars and Legends. He had a booth where he was selling prints of several of his well-known works and was working on an unfinished painting feature John Cena and AJ Styles.
How he got into wrestling
His love of wrestling started during the Attitude Era. As a teenager, he was instantly drawn to the larger-than-life characters and stories.
His work with WWE
He’s been a partner with WWE for a few years and even has his own YouTube show “Canvas 2 Canvas” which he told me was the longest running show on WWE’s channel.
The painting he’s most proud of
Rob’s painted dozens of wrestling-themed works, but he is most proud of one he painted for the family of Connor “The Crusher” Michalek, the young man who inspired Daniel Bryan and the rest of the WWE Universe before passing away after battling cancer.
I bought a painting!
Of course, I couldn’t walk away from his booth without buying something. Flipping through pages of beautiful work prints I stumbled upon my favorite wrestler, the Nature Boy Ric Flair.
I noted the similarities to Charlotte’s peacock-festooned robe from Wrestlemania Orlando.
I asked Rob if this was on purpose. He chuckled and said it was a total coincidence. The WWE Archivist had asked him to do the painting, not knowing the Charlotte planned to rock a similar outfit at Mania.
Rob was a very cool guy. He seemed humble in his success. He has a real heart for wrestling and is a big fan. I loved getting to chat with him and see some of his beautiful artwork up close and personal!