FINN BALOR: Rob Schamberger Newsletter 16APR23
You've been down too long in the midnight sea.
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Hi. My name's Rob Schamberger. I'm that guy who paints rasslers. And other stuff. You can hide in the sun ‘til you see the light.
When I watch WrestleMania, I’m not watching the same way most people do. I’m not just taken in by the captivating entrances and the power of the matches, I’m also looking for the iconic visuals that I can’t wait to capture with my paint and brushes. Finn Balor’s Demon entrance at WrestleMania 39 was just that sort of epic image that I immediately knew I’d paint.
The purple smoke and the way it wrapped around him, partially obscuring his painted face, it was something challenging for me and I’m super happy with how it came together. The cast shadows making their way through the smoke, the way the bottom half of his face is hazy, it was not easy at all to paint and lately it’s been that sort of thing, doing what’s not easy, that’s kept me engaged as an artist.
ICYMI, here's last week's Canvas 2 Canvas episode. Tomorrow's episode will go up on WWE's YouTube channel at 11AM CST!
5/7: Rhea Ripley
5/21: Street Profits
Card subject to change.
I finished up the batch of Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels remarqued prints, featuring a hand-painted Bret Hart in the upper right corner. Every time I do remarqued prints I get a flood of people asking how to get one.
These are exclusives made for my Founding Member Tier subscribers. If you’re in that tier within a week of when the Wrestling Landscape painting debuts, you automatically get one. But they’re not something available for purchase. Hell, one of them would go for about what the Founding Member Tier costs for a whole year, which gets you 2-3 more of them over the course of twelve months.
One will be given away, probably in next Sunday’s newsletter. The details will be there.
HEADS UP: The prices on my prints at Schamberger Labs will be going up by $5 in the next week or two. Real-world cost-of-doing-business stuff is making that happen. I put it off probably longer than I should have but here we are. Thanks for your continued support of the arts!
WHAT I LIKED THIS WEEK
I read the first omnibus of Les Miserables: The Manga by Takahiro Arai and was completely floored. I’ve never read the original book nor seen the musical but I loved everything about this adaptation. It’s gorgeous, works to the strengths of the sequential art form, and makes this classic story fresh for today’s audience.
My two points of knowledge on Les Miz - A distinct memory of a farm kid at my high school asking, “What’s with all the girls wearing them ‘Less Miserable’ shirts?” in a deep midwestern accent, and then that episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine where Sisko commits a war crime while talking about the book.
Kevin Nowlan’s Marvel Heroes Artist’s Edition
I’m not going to say anything about last Sunday’s episode of Succession to avoid spoilers, but WOW what a bold swing they took. Incredible show.
Speaking of spoilers, I’m not going to say anything about Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Episode 9 except to say that it made me physically cry near the end. Not ashamed to admit it, either.
“Paint me like your French girls.”
So, what’s going on? I finished up the Balor painting, started the new Rhea Ripley painting, and am working on the above Hawaii surfer painting as a warmup each day. It’s been a good pace of work, painting-wise this week. Being more deliberate about everything and not rushing myself through it.
We entered the testing phase of Top Secret Project: CODENAME SABOTAGE on Thursday, which means this dang thing is possibly a week or a little longer away from going live. I’m not prone to anxiety, but I’m experiencing it around all of this. I’m not trying to oversell this thing, but it feels like this is what I’ve been building to my whole career and I really, really don’t want to screw it up. I’ve got a multi-stage plan I put together for at least the first year, to build on everything and make it something that will last.
I have no idea if it will, but I’m planning for the long-term and trying to do that whole chess thing of looking at every angle and planning three to four moves ahead. But just like with chess, plans may not go the way you intend. So. I don’t know, but this feels like The Thing. Several times before I thought I was experiencing The Thing, whether it was beginning work with WWE, my 2K projects, the year of Mattel Elites. Each of those felt like The Thing that would put me over the edge into being a comfortable success and viewed as components of my career and the ratcheting of successes, to a degree they were.
But CODENAME SABOTAGE might be The Thing where it all pivots. It probably won’t look that different from the outside or even that big, but the infrastructure we’re putting in on this is different and bigger than anything else I’ve done. After a year you’ll be able to look back and say, “Oh yeah, that’s what you were doing and look where it got us. That really was The Thing.”
And all of that? That’s the pressure I’m putting on myself. Because this time around, I think it’s actually for real and I refuse to miss this opportunity.
Love you more,
EXCLUSIVE PAID SUBSCRIBER CONTENT
Paid subscribers this week will get an exclusive 25% off discount code for prints, upcoming signed print releases at WWE Auction, 24 hour early access to the ORIGINAL FINN BALOR PAINTING and access to the exclusive chat. WE ARE GO FOR PAYWALL.
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