SWN Fan Art Corner #3 | Artist Interview: Zoe

If you can just start by introducing yourself

My name is Zoe and for the past, almost, 3 years I have been the resident fan-artist for the Glasgow Pro Wrestling Asylum (GPWA). Art and wrestling are two things I hold very dear to me so it only made sense to mix the two together (with a bit of influence from the WWE artist, Rob Schamberger). I’ve studied art before to advanced higher level so I’ve got quite a bit of experience behind me. I’ve created over 75 paintings in total for the wrestlers in the Asylum so it’s safe to say I’m quite a familiar face there.

First question. How long have you watched wrestling?

I’m what can only be described as a late bloomer considering I only discovered wrestling when I was 14 years old (I’ve been watching for about 4 years now) but as soon as I watched my first episodes of RAW I was hooked and I just couldn’t get enough of it. Sure, I didn’t grow up with it like a lot of my friends did but that doesn’t bother me at all. I’m just as passionate and in love with it as any other wrestling fan!

Can you remember the moment you first fell in love with wrestling? What was it about it that attracted you?

It’s really hard to pin it down to one match or one moment alone honestly. It was a love that was sparked in an instant and I’ve been infatuated with it ever since. There are a few moments I distinctly remember thinking to myself “Oh my god, this is amazing! I love this!” which were Sasha Banks versus Bayley at NXT Takeover Brooklyn (2015) and Drew Galloway versus Grado for the ICW World Title. I love the raw passion on display whenever I watch wrestling either in person or through T.V and I feel that witnessing other people’s own passions and hard work helps to drive and fuel my own.

Who have been your favourites to watch? Past, present and any tips for the future? And what has been your favourite match/event?

Personally, I’m more of a fan of the current generation wrestlers as, well, it’s all I’ve known. My favourites from WWE have always been the likes of Bayley, Sasha Banks, Finn Balor, Sami Zayn, and Kevin Owens. Asylum wise, it’s really hard to pick favourites since I love each and every single one of them so, so much, but… if push came to shove and I was really forced to pick just a few, I’d have to say the likes of Jokey, Paxxo, Danny Cantrell, Thatcher Wright, Eli Bulwark, and Charlie Vyce. I simply adore misfit wrestlers that aren’t afraid to stick out and break away from the norm. It’s what I see in a lot of my favourites and I honestly think it’s why I love the Asylum so much. As for what I’d like to see in the future, I can only hope for more unapologetically weird misfits! They bring a certain flair and charm that just can’t be found anywhere else and it’s so inspiring to see.

My favourite match that I’ve ever seen live is Ravie Davie versus The Sam Barbour Experience (July 2nd, 2016). Just the way the match progressed, getting more and more violent and desperate as time went on, both of them busting out moves that I’d never seen before. It made my jaw drop. I remember Sam snarling something at me from inside the ring as I gazed doe-eyed up at them (I honestly can’t recall what he said). That match was the moment I truly fell in complete love with the Asylum and its wrestlers and I knew I just couldn’t walk away from that place. (Don’t worry, I got a hug from Sam after the show so all insults are forgiven!)

What has been your favourite show you’ve been to?

Ever since early 2016 I’ve been a loyal attendee of the GPWA shows. Once more, it’s been hard to choose just one favourite but it has to go to that Night at the Asylum show on July 2nd 2016. The quality of each and every match on the card was absolutely top notch just like every show, but it was in that show in particular that Jack Jester held up one of my pieces for the crowd to see. That moment is not one I’ll forget in a hurry!

I’ve been to a few WWE shows as well, with one burned into my mind being the NXT Takeover UK in 2015. That show is an experience I’ll never forget. The way the matches went and how brilliantly loud and Scottish the crowd was made the night perfect. On top of that, it was my first ever live wrestling show so I certainly chose well!

How does wrestling inspire your work?

While I’d love to say painting for the Asylum is an idea I came up with all on my own, it wouldn’t be true. It would be remiss of me to overlook the influence that Rob Schamberger has had on me. He’s the artist that works with WWE to create and supply prints for them, and is someone I’ve had the absolute pleasure of speaking to many times in the past. He is a massive inspiration to me and has driven me to mix my love for both art and wrestling into one. When discussing inspirations, he is the one figure I always have to mention due to how much influence he has had on me.

Now, as for how watching wrestling itself inspires me, it again comes down to how much I love these weirdos! When someone like Leyton Buzzard comes to the ring wearing a golden mask with gemstones on it, I immediately jump on it. I love uniqueness. I love things that make a wrestler stand out both physically (like ring gear) and character wise, especially the interactions between in-ring personas. If both are met, they’re an ideal candidate for one of my pieces. For me, if a wrestler has an identifiable look and has interactions with others that evolve over the course of a match, they immediately catch my eye. Best example of this is Charlie Vyce who struts down to the ring with his hot-pink ring gear, usually starts a match with some light-hearted banter with the opponent, before quite naturally leading this into his fun, up-beat, and electric style.

Where can we find your work?

The best place to get all of my work is my Instagram, @_scottish_kitty_ where I post fairly regularly and give updates on current in-progress pieces, as well as sometimes do votes on who to paint next. It’s also the best place to contact me about any questions or commission work. My Twitter that I use quite infrequently is @Scottish_Kitty_ , so feel free to follow, but the best point of contact is my Instagram for sure.

Anything you’d like to add?

If you haven’t seen his work, I highly recommend you check out Rob Schamberger and his own paintings as without him none of this would have even been possible. And if you’ve never heard of the GPWA, I implore you to check them out at @scotlandwrestling on Instagram, and Wrestling Experience Scotland on Facebook.

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