Rob Crump is an American artist from New York who has been working in the industry for 6 years and has worked for clients like Nike, Mattel, Activision and General Motors.

He has a website (, and a blog ( and was contacted by me as one of the first 20 artists to get video game related works from him featured on GA-HQ

You can see his chosen video game related fan arts here on GA-HQ



Hello Rob, please introduce yourself a bit, what are your hobbies and favorite video games of all time?

Sup, most of the time I go by my last name “Crump!”. I work and live in NYC as a professional designer and illustrator. I’ve worked on TV shows, ad campaigns, commercials, and currently video games.

I never stop draw and painting, when I’m not working on client work I’m working on my own personal projects, such as the fan pics, designing skate decks, and urban vinyl toys.


My favorite video games….that’s a tough one because there are a lot. I would say Super Street Fighter 4, Darkstalkers, Nfl Street, Final Fight, Ninja Turtles the arcade game,

Aliens vs. Predator the arcade game by capcom, Scott Pilgrim vs. the world, and Punch Out (with Mike Tyson), the list goes on for awhile lol, but to wrap it up in a nutshell I like fighters and beat’em ups.


Name three video game characters you believe are very well designed in terms of their looks and background stories please!

That’s tricky for me because it’s a rare balance for me to like both a character’s design and their back-story, I find myself always leaning towards visual design and not caring about the character’s back-story lol.

For example, I think Juri Han from Super Street Fighter IV is an awesome character design, but her back-story is generic and bland, bison kills her family, she’s willing to do anything to have a way to kill him blah blah blah lol. But her design is great, the colors and her silhouette is very fresh,

I think its those huge pig tails she’s rocking with the rings on them really make her stand out from the rest of the street fighter cast.

I think Cody from final fight has an interesting story, being the hero who cleaned up metro city, to becoming a convict. Having a love interest with poison. Them having a destroyed friendship and loathing for his former best friend and ex-comrade Guy.


I’ve always been a sucker for the rise to the top and fall from grace story arcs. But I sure one day he’ll clean himself up. And I like his alternate costume design, where it’s a more relevant redesign of his classic final fight designs, where he is wearing a tank top and jeans, straight gangsta!


Kratos from god of war is a great character design and I feel he has an incredible story in general. His back story reaaaally helps set up his motivation and his drive.
And he goes through some crazy ass obstacles to and breaks his foot off in some gods and demigod’s asses.

With his design I think its awesome, because he breaks from the traditional Spartan design or Greek warrior you would see in movies and books. And his swords connected to chains help bring it together too as well as his tattoos.


Our first Interview on GA-HQ was done a week ago with Esau Murga who is not working in the Industry (yet!). Today i talk with someone who learned the up and downs of creating art for money instead of just for fun, you are still exactly doing that in your free time though. Say, is it something like a addiction to create art when someone has the talent and experience to do it?

I wouldn’t say its an addiction, I can’t say for anyone else but to me its more of a passion, or a second nature. I feel that its what I was born to do and I keep doing it for no other reason for the fact that I enjoy doing it and it is me. Lol there have been several times I asked myself why I do it and I honestly still don’t have an answer for it. I can say it definitely keeps me sane in this world, its very therapeutic and relaxing to me and I can‘t see myself doing anything else. I create there for I am.


I noticed that a lot of your works look like Graffiti art you see on trains or tunnels sometime, did you develop your style with graffiti in the past or how did you learn to draw like that?

A lot of people get this impression that I’m a graf writer, when in fact I‘m not. My letters, tag, bombs, and burns (mural compositions) suck royally lol I mean really really bad lol. I will say I’m more influenced by the hip hop culture and anime. I use to pop and lock, still do but not as serious about it as I was in high school. The influence and style came naturally to me, especially when I was in college.


At the art institute of Philadelphia, I would hang out with some of my friends who were dope b-boys (break dancers) who were also graf writers too. We would watch b-boy battles on video tapes and practice in the school’s rec room. I would also go around Philly and take pictures of graffiti. So I was around those elements of hip hop for 3 years and I just absorbed it all. I still do. I grin when I hit the subways and see b-boys and b-girls dancing in 34 st station and see tags in the train and on the walls.


You work since over 6 years in the “Industry” now according to your website, can you describe me what this industry is and how you started your career?

When I say “the industry” I mean animation, video games, illustration industry, the visual arts industry. A lot of people get this impression that it’s a fun industry. It is, but it is also a very tough industry to get in to and stay in. Its all about skill and professionalism. If you let your skills get stale and boring, or you‘re too stubborn to learn new styles and techniques, you won’t last that long in the industry.

You have to have the drive to want to improve yourself and your skills as well as wanting to work because its a lot of hard work but worth it in the end. There are no permanent jobs in this industry, so you bounce from studio to studio when productions start and end as a freelancer. So you have to have a drive to keep going and save your money lol.

I started my career as an intern at an independent studio call Imajimation. They did everything, from animation, to illustration and comics. They created and self publish a comic called blokhedz, which now has 4 issues as well as 4 animated episodes.

It was great working there because it was a great atmosphere and I was actually doing animation work there, designing characters storyboarding pitches, where most major studios an intern would have been scanning drawings all day, so I got a lot out of it. From there I found work at Curious pictures in NYC just by sending my portfolio in at the right time, and I’ve been in New York ever since.


I asked the same thing in the last Interview already but now i can hear the opinion of a professional about it, where do you see the main differences between professional art and fan art made for free?

Besides time and being paid….Creative freedom…That’s the biggest difference, that every aspiring artist needs to experience because you really appreciate your spare time more. When an artist is doing work for a client, they don’t have any control on the art direction, the client does. They can and usually do dictate what the illustration or design will look like. From the style to color, everything.

So the artist doesn’t have a personal connection, and another drive. The drive is to please the client and get paid. So sometimes the artist loses the emotional connection, but that also varies, if the artist is interested and excited about the project they may still have that connection as if it was a fan pic or personal project.

With personal projects/fan pics, the artist is totally engaged in the work because the artist has 100% control and their doing it for themselves. So you enjoy fully because you decide what the character is gonna look like and how the background is gonna look.

Just that freedom alone makes its more fun to work on. To me this is the biggest difference, but the 1 common factor is they both can challenge you and push your skills and mind to the next level.


Do you have any suggestions for young artists who want to be a part of the animation industry?

DRAW! DRAW! DRAW! NEVER STOP! Learn and master the fundamentals of anatomy, color theory, composition, and perspective. This industry can be hard to get into, mainly for the fact that beginners don’t have any contacts.

Having an online presence is important, there is no excuse for not having an online portfolio use deviant art, tumblr, or blogspot. Also email professionals questions, create a connection with them if you present yourself as an artist who is serious about animation, design, or illustration. Because they can can give you helpful critiques and tips, and may be one day they may send work your way if they turn it down.


These industries are all about connections, the more you make and keep a moderate contact with the more it will help you in the long run. If you are in college, DO AN INTERNSHIP! Work hard during it show the artists your work, ask for advice and critiques. Also when someone hooks you up with a job, keep in mind you are not only representing yourself, you are also representing your contact’s reputation as well. So whatever you do will reflect on them too.

Get your mind right too, don’t let anything kill your ambition. Its not a race, some people may get in right after college, and some may succeed 5 years to 10 years down the road, its all about being mentally strong and sacrificing sleep and time to perfect your skills to prepare you for that opportunity that WILL come. Every dog has its day, so when that day comes make damn sure you are ready.

Keep drawing, keep learning, you should learn a new technique, or something new everyday. Persistence is key, and keep your goal in your sight at all times, and don’t ever let doubt or procrastination stop you, because those 2 are the killers of dreams.


You are participating in the “Boss Tribute project – Round 1 – Fighting Games” on GA-HQ. What was your main motivation to be a part of it?

It was an interesting, it was a challenge to draw some characters I wouldn’t usually draw, it took me out of my comfort zone, and given a theme with some limitations helps develop and strengthen ones creativity, because there are times where an artist needs to make the most inside of a box.


I like to challenge myself when I draw, its really the only way you can grow and progress as an artist and even as a person too.


You are one of the first artists I asked for the permission to upload their works on my new website game-art-hq. It was pretty empty when you saw it, but i remember that you gave me your permission very fast. What were your thoughts when you saw the site for the first time?

I thought and still think it’s a great idea, because it’s not like most other game art sites, this is a 1 stop site where you find both professional production work for games and fan pics, and its organized in a way where you can see work based on the character and cosplay.

Like I said before having the tribute not only bring new artwork to the site, but will definitely bring more visitors. And it also helps the artists get more recognition too, through the galleries and art galleries.



Now, around 3 months later there is a fan art project for Mortal Kombat on the site with not less than 80 artists involved, amateurs and professionals like yourself work(ed) together to create pieces for the biggest fan art project ever done for a fighting game series. You are participating in the second project with two entries. Where do you see the future of these fan art projects and the site in general?

From what I’m seeing now from the growing number of members and participants, I think its gonna keep getting bigger and bigger.

Especially when it is the more popular characters and franchises, at the same time I thought it was awesome that you put a limit on it too such as the boss tribute and the darkstalkers one where no one could draw Felicia or morrigan, because not only does it stop repeats but it also keeps the tributes fresh, and from my experience when you present an interesting challenge like that, you are attracting the right type of participants. Ones who want to push themselves and the envelope, which raises the bar while making it fun.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Totally consumed by my imagination in an asylum lol. In 5 Years I see myself working on more personal projects such as a line of t-shirts, more skate decks, and or making more urban vinyl toys and hitting more conventions. As you can see I got a few ideas of what I would like to do. I have an idea for a comic I would like to start as well but I’m still hammering out the story. For right now MORE FAN PICS 


Thanks for your time and answers, Crump! i am looking forward to see you participating in future projects of GA-HQ and i can promise you that i have a ton of crazy ideas regarding this website and fan art projects left in my mind!

This interview was done by GBK, founder of GA-HQ and fan of video game related art


To comment and discuss this interview, you can visit the forum thread about it here