IRON SHEIK: Rob Schamberger Newsletter 03SEP23
'Cause we're like the outlaw stridin' while suckers are hidin'.
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Hi. My name's Rob Schamberger. I'm that guy who paints rasslers. And other stuff. Time for some action, just a fraction of friction. I got the clearance to run the interference.
The Iron Sheik is one of my childhood favorite wrestlers, so with this painting I wanted to get across some majesty and spectacle to visualize the way I see him in my mind. My only wrestling toy as a kid was an Iron Sheik LJN. I didn’t watch until I was in my late teens, so Sheik was my most direct childhood connection to pro wrestling.
Flash forward to a few years ago and I’m exhibiting at a museum that was honoring him. The staff comes to get me and introduces me to Sheik and his family. They’re all standing around the painting I did of him and his family couldn’t be more lovely. Sheik’s staring at the painting, I swear there was a tear coming out of his eye, and he turns to me. “You…” he says, then turns back to point at the painting, “Made this?”
“Yes sir, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“You…” he says, pointing at me with a serious look on his face, “Are an ARTIST.”
My childhood toy that introduced me to pro wrestling was now validating me for what I do in the world of wrestling. It’s one of the most meaningful experiences of not just my career, but my life. The Iron Sheik is The Real.
That’s what I tried to bring to this painting, how much he means to me.
ICYMI, here's the latest Canvas 2 Canvas episode. Tomorrow’s episode will go up on WWE's YouTube channel at 12PM CST!
Triple H Wrestling Landscape
Cody Rhodes acrylic
Card subject to change.
Today only use the code WWE29 at WWE Shop for free shipping on all orders over $29! GREAT time to stock up especially on some signed prints.
WHAT I LIKED LATELY
What We Do in the Shadows Season Five was an absolute delight. Full of elaborate setups for unreal punchlines, within episodes and building up throughout the season. Standouts are Collin Robinson running for local office, the vampires taking over a news station, and a Glass Onion/ Agatha Christie whodunnit where Collin grows a mustache. And a threesome that will be forever burnt into my brain.
Likely due to the WGA strike, I had no idea that Babylon 5: The Road Home was coming out but golly what a pleasant surprise it was for this B5 fan. An animated film, it used as many of the surviving cast as they could get to serve as both a gorgeous bow on the original series and as a setup for new stories should they go that route. I teared up, I’m not going to lie.
I loved how they ended Justified: City Primeval. No spoilers, but it was a perfect Schroedinger’s Box scenario. A highly enjoyable miniseries full of twists and excitement with some big surprises in its final episode.
I didn’t know what to think going into reading Homicide: The Graphic Novel Part One by Philippe Squarzoni and David Simon but it’s outstanding. There’s been some massively successful adaptations of Simon’s original book, notably the shows Homicide: Life on the Streets and The Wire, and I really feel like this stands shoulder to shoulder with them.
A Guest in the House by Emily Carroll really took me by surprise. A woman marries a divorcee? widower? and tries to become a stepmother to his daughter, but she’s haunted by the idea of his first wife and how she existed in that house. Or maybe she’s haunted by her spirit. Or maybe something else entirely is going on. This gorgeously illustrated book refuses to let you know what’s happening until you get to the end and still leaves YOU as the one haunted. Great stuff and perfect as we move into spooky season.
Mingus by Flavio Massarutto and Squaz is a rad graphic novel biography of the late jazz musician Charles Mingus. Well, I don’t know that ‘biography’ is the word for what this book is, it’s more a visual cover of him and his music and is an experience unto itself. Yeah. ‘Experience’ is the word. I love when creators try to push what sequential art can do and when they nail it, and for me this book did just that.
Winterkill by CJ Box is the first of the Joe Pickett books where I really felt like I enjoyed what was happening. The characters are all more fleshed out, especially Joe’s wife Mary Beth who is such a fascinating character in the show. I mean, this is a ROUGH book, some really hard things happen in it but they resonate emotionally because of the character work happening in it. I’m in the midst of the next book, Trophy Hunt and the characters are definitely permanently affected by what happened in Winterkill.
Here’s a secret Beastie Boys concert from 1994 at a London skate shop:
I’ve been teasing around a personal project that I’ve been working on and above is a progress shot from the second piece in that collection. It’s some underpainting for it, it’ll be very colorful and lush when it’s done. But as you can see, these paintings will be very different from anything else you’ve seen from me. They’re coming out of what I’ve learned about myself and how I exist in the world through my years in therapy. Some will be joyful and beautiful and others will be very challenging to view, but they’ll all be authentic to my truth.
Things are progressing well with the prints on WWE Shop. My assistant David and I have worked out a pretty good routine to handle all of these orders and now it’s time to start growing this opportunity. My intention is to get back to weekly signed print releases and once we’ve got that ironed out I’ll let you know. As the schedule gets locked in I’ll have that listed in our Paid Tier section again. The first one will be Trish Stratus, probably.
My prints are the most popular items in the ‘Home Decor’ category on WWE Shop after less than two weeks and is moving up fast in the ‘Collectibles’ category, where I think we’ll also dominate sooner than later. My hope is to become so undeniable that I get broken off into my own category again, or at least our own ‘Art’ section.
Fanatics overall doesn’t have a huge art presence across their brands and my hope over the coming years is to change that for them, opening this up as a way for more artists to make a full time living. The goal is always to create opportunities for everyone who comes after me.
A few days ago I had a sit-down with my high school art teacher’s son who wanted to pick my brain about how to become a full-time artist. It was a crazy cool full circle moment and I hope I gave him some useful and actionable information to aid his career.
I want to see more beautiful things in this world and I want to see the people who make those things reap the rewards of their work.
Love you more,
EXCLUSIVE PAID SUBSCRIBER CONTENT
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