Stevivor had the chance to sit down with WWE Portrait Artist, Rob Schamberger, fresh off a stint helping to reveal the WWE 2K17 roster at E3.
We spent our Stevivor Series Ten Count chatting about video games — including actually being in one — the WWE and art.
Cav, Stevivor: You’ve been in plenty of video games, but what does it mean to you to be in WWE 2K15?
Rob Schamberger: Oh man, any time you get a chance to be part of a video game it’s a good day at the office. This is the latest, greatest, best one there’s ever been. So the
Stevivor: Are you a gamer and if so which consoles do you own?
Schamberger: I’m not, although I badly played some Atari and NES as a kid. My mom only let me play for half an hour a day because we only had one TV in the house and she didn’t want to watch me play! I suppose that got me even harder into drawing and the like.
Stevivor: Was social media a big plus for getting your art recognised by the WWE?
Schamberger: It’s crucial. Getting to interact with the fans, the wrestlers, and the companies themselves is something that would be near impossible to replicate in real life.
Stevivor: What’s it like to have your artwork included in the WWE 2K17 NXT Collector’s Edition?
Schamberger: It’s life-changing. This gets a whole new audience familiar with what I do, and I’m excited that this particular painting of Shinsuke Nakamura is what they’re seeing for the first time. I feel like I went to the next level (PUN!) on this piece.
Stevivor: Would you like to see yourself as a playable character in a WWE game one day?
Schamberger: Well sure! At the very least I wouldn’t turn down the payday. I’m sure my younger brother would thoroughly enjoy seeing me get a clothesline or two!
Stevivor: Whose idea was it to do the WWE 2K17 roster reveal through your artwork at E3?
Schamberger: 2K had that idea. They were AWESOME to work with and treated me like a VIP during the event and facilitated all of my needs. It was especially exciting to have Sasha Banks be in there prominently, as I’m a fan of her as a wrestler and a person.
Stevivor: Painting at live events like E3 and WWE shows must be hard, with regard to keeping to a timeframe?
Schamberger: It’s a challenge, but one that I embrace. Some have a hard stop time, and others are a little looser. It takes a lot of planning ahead of time, because there are more interruptions than if I was just in my studio.
Stevivor: Is there anyone you haven’t painted that you’re keen to do?
Schamberger: It’s a copout answer but it’s true: Everyone I haven’t painted yet! I’m a completionist, so I’m jazzed to get to them.
Stevivor: You’ve got to have a piece of work which you think is your best — which WWE SuperStar is it of?
Schamberger: I did one of Ultimate Warrior and Connor the Crusher together that I surprised Steve Michaelek with after he accepted Connor’s Warrior Award. I was hiding out backstage and gave it to him during his post-interview. Easily my best work and a meaningful one that will be hard to top.
Stevivor: Say you became a WWE Superstar, who would be your tag partner of choice?
Schamberger: Brock Lesnar! That way I’ll never even need to tag in!
Stevivor: …and your finisher would be? I envisage a stretch submission called “The Easel” or a strike called “The Brush Stroke”.
Schamberger: Knowing my utter lack of athletic prowess, whatever I say it is would never be used as I’d make Gilberg look invulnerable! My losing streak would be legendary.
WWE 2K17 heads to PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One this October.