By The Masked Embroiderer
As with most things in life, at least the things that are worth doing, it usually takes a lot of time and a lot of effort but in the end you get your reward. The most important step in the process though is the very first one and that is to ‘Begin’.
A great example of this is Rob Downie’s Wrestling Hall of Fame.
You’ll all have seen some of his work, if not all of it, and you can go back and read the Artist Interview we did with him before if you’re completely unfamiliar with his work, but here is the story behind an idea he dreamt up a few years ago and through his own hard work and persistence has been able to make it a reality. In fact, as you’ll read, it’s morphed and grown organically into something quite special.
Rob, tell us what is your ‘Wrestling Hall of Fame’ and when did it all begin?
My wrestling hall of fame is basically a series of small portraits I’ve been drawing of as many wrestlers as I can and also getting as many of them autographed as possible for a personal collection. I started the series in 2018. I once imagined having a big collection of them like a set of trading cards and just fell in love with the idea.
Roughly how many pieces have you made for it now?
At the moment I have drawn 151 pictures of wrestlers. (Note: This number has now increased since talking to us.) I also made a bonus “Non-Wrestler” Hall of Fame because I felt like showing some love to the referees, announcers etc too. That one has 15 pictures. I’ve also got 101 autographs between both sets.
That’s impressive. How do you store them all or display them?
I keep the autographed ones in a small photo album at the moment. I may upgrade it to a bigger one or even a big frame one day. I didn’t expect it to go as far as this but I don’t plan on stopping any time soon either.
Where do you do your drawings? I’ve heard you do some when your on the train?
I only do my silly sketches during long train journeys. I do all of my main stuff from home. I use Photoshop and a graphics tablet.
You obviously take them to the shows to get autographed. Have you ever had any problem getting them in?
Not really, the staff at every show I’ve been to have been mostly quite helpful. In fact I wouldn’t have nearly as many autographs without their help. I try to catch the wrestlers during the intervals or after the show’s over. Sometimes it’s hard to catch certain wrestlers at certain shows because they’re quite busy obviously.
How widely does your collection vary? Which promotions have you covered?
I usually cover promotions I go to, so Discovery Wrestling, Fierce Females and ICW mostly. But I’ve drawn wrestlers from a lot of other promotions across the UK and overseas, and some WWE wrestlers too. Those ones will be fun to get autographed.
Prized piece? Best story behind a piece?
That’s a tricky one. All these pieces are like my children to me so it’s hard to pick out a prized piece. I have had my work noticed by some WWE wrestlers like Naomi, Paige and MVP. That was pretty exciting. The Rock doesn’t seem to have noticed my drawing of him yet, but I’ll keep trying. (Any tags and retweets to help Rob with this would be welcome)
Any pieces you want to make and add to the collection?
I don’t have any specific names at the moment but I’d like to branch out and try and draw a few more WWE wrestlers. And maybe some more from USA and Japan.
I want to thank our good friend Rob once again for talking to us at SWN and recommend that you check out his work using the following details:
Until next time folks. Thanks again for tuning in.
And if you’d like to be featured in SWN Fan Art Corner you can send in your art to: