Inside the Panthers

Panthers CB Robert McClain turns art hobby into a sale to quarterback Cam Newton

Carolina Panthers defensive back Robert McClain sold this original painting to quarterback Cam Newton on Thursday.
Carolina Panthers defensive back Robert McClain sold this original painting to quarterback Cam Newton on Thursday. jrodrigue@charlotteobserver.com

Ten questions about life off the field with Carolina Panthers corner – and artist – Robert McClain:

Q. When did you start painting?

A. In fourth grade. It was just something I sort of picked up when everyone else was kind of doing art things in the summer. From that point on, I just continued to keep doing it and growing. Just got better and better throughout the years.

Q. You don’t often hear about the high school or college football player who is also an artist. Was that something your teammates were surprised to find out about you?

A. Yeah, wherever I go, it’s always a surprise. It’s always, ‘you draw? You paint?’ And then they see it and they go, ‘Oh, I didn’t know you could draw like that …’” It’s just something that I’ve always done, always had a passion for.

Q. What mediums do you work in?

A. I just started shoes this past weekend. I don’t like sticking just to one thing so I have, if you look at my page, there is pencil, charcoal, paint, pen, a bunch of stuff. I don’t like sticking to one medium. I’ll go through a phase of like six months of just sticking to one thing and then move on to something different.

Q. What’s your favorite?

A. I’d say pencil, because it’s not messy. I can just grab a pencil and paper and just start drawing. That’s easy for me.

Q. Do you have a full art studio at your house?

A. Yeah, I got a whole room. An art table, a canvas for painting and a tattoo chair as well.

Q. Cam Newton bought one of your paintings. How did that go down?

A. It was just in my locker. He was like, ‘You painted that?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘How much?’ and he just walked to his locker! So I’m cool with that, quick sale … I just need a quick retweet from Cam and hopefully my sales go up!

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Q. You tattoo as well?

A. Yeah, I learned to tattoo last summer. I’ve tattooed about five people, just small things.

Q. Have any teammates gone under your needle yet?

A. I don’t think they’re that confident in my skills yet. … I’m not even that confident in my skills yet. I’ve done some small stuff, but nothing major. It’s a difficult canvas to work on, skin.

Q. Are your tattoos your designs?

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A. Yes, everything on my (right) arm I designed myself and gave it to the tattoo guy. I drew up pretty much all of it, except the words and the fonts, which I picked out. And then my back, I drew up half of the back. Then the artist, the tattoo artist freestyled the rest.

Q. When you get tattoos, how particular are you with your artist selection and with how their style is since you are an artist yourself?

A. Yeah, especially since it’s going on my skin, I want to have an artist that’s comfortable with what he’s doing, has a good skillset and a good style. I didn’t get everything all at once. I didn’t rush anything so there was always a plan before I got it. It’s always important to find the right tattoo artist if you’re going to get ink.

Jourdan Rodrigue: 704-358-5071, @jourdanrodrigue

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