2 Minutes With … Rob Generette, Freelance Illustrator

On that 2023 Black History Night warm-up jersey for the Washington Capitals

Rob is an award-winning illustrator, former art educator and self-proclaimed "vector art monster" hailing from Southern Maryland. Under the pseudonym Rob Zilla III, he uses an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil to create compelling sports illustrations and portraits for clients such as Nike, ESPN, MLB, NHL, MLS, XBOX and Adobe.

We spent two minutes with Rob to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations and recent work he's admired.

Rob, tell us …

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up in South Carolina (Johnsonville/Florence), and I currently live in Southern Maryland, approximately 20 miles south of Washington D.C.

Your earliest sports memory.

A Mean Joe Green T-shirt that my dad bought me. The caption read: "And One for the Thumb."

Your favorite sports team(s).

Dag, there’s too many. I will have to stick with my home teams: Caps, Wiz, Nats, Spirit, United

Your favorite athlete(s).

Again, there's too many to name. But if I have to name any athletes, my sons: Ryan (14u soccer) and Robert (16u baseball). 

Your favorite sports show or podcast.

SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt, of course. I was a guest on that show a couple years ago. I also like Quick Pitch on MLB network.

Your favorite sports movie and/or video game.

My favorite sports movie is The Sandlot. My favorite sports video game was Wii Sports. Lol. 

A recent project you're proud of.

I'm proud of the 2023 Black History Night warm-up jersey I designed for the Washington Capitals. Seeing my favorite players wearing my design was surreal and it's a shame that artists will no longer get to experience it in the NHL. 

Someone else's project that you admired recently.

I have several friends who designed trading/collectors cards for Topps. I have to admit, I'm a little jealous.

What sports can do that nothing else can.

Sports can unite people, regardless of their differences.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in the sports world.

I would be entering my 25th year as an art educator—I left teaching after my 20th. 

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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