Chiefs fan makes name for himself through love of art, football - KCTV5

Chiefs fan makes name for himself through love of art, football

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A lifelong Kansas City Chiefs fan is making a name for himself painting the very players and coaches he grew up idolizing and still cheers for to this day.

Chris Sembower's work is even being used by the Chiefs organization inside Arrowhead Stadium.

Sembower was raised by artists.  His parents both designed artwork for Hallmark.  He got his start drawing caricatures at Worlds of Fun.

Now, he is designing artwork for the Chiefs.

His illustration of Big Red, otherwise known as Andy Reid, took over the Internet.

"I had a caricature of Andy Reid wearing Chiefs red the day that he got hired. I put that out, and that went viral," Sembower said.  "I started doing Chiefs illustrations. I was really passionate about the Chiefs. We've got a great fan base here."

Sembower quenched fans' appetites with topical paintings often within a week of a big event, including that one time Reid got doused in Gatorade after the Chiefs beat the Eagles during Reid's return to Philadelphia.

He also created a painting of Eric Berry riding a horse.

"A lot of Chiefs fans know that Eric is afraid of horses, and I thought that was a perfect marriage of content and humor," Sembower said.

Sembower started out on a different path.

"I was in school. I went to the Kansas City Art Institute. I decided shortly afterward that I wanted to change my focus. I decided I wanted to do something in illustration," he said.

And he did just that.

"They are digital paintings. That doesn't mean that they are Photoshopped pictures. They are done on a tablet with a pressure sensitive pen. I take those paintings and I produce them on acrylic or on canvas," Sembower said.

While Sembower was creating his professional illustration portfolio, he picked a subject close to his heart. He grew up watching the Chiefs with his father. Sembower's father passed away before his artwork grabbed the attention of the Chiefs.

"It was a pretty surreal experience to be a part of all that. For the Chiefs to let me in and step-by-step take me through how this whole process works, that was pretty incredible," he said.

Even more incredible for Sembower is the chance to see his art on game day inside Arrowhead Stadium. He designed the souvenir cups fans can buy on game day.

The Missouri Lottery even chose Sembower to design a Chiefs scratch-off ticket.

"I can't put it into words. For a fan being where I was right out of school and sort of having nothing in the way of a profession, to be a part of (this) situation is absolutely incredible," Sembower said.

Sembower's largest painting was commissioned by Sporting Kansas City and displayed on billboards around the city.

He says his number one request is for illustrations of Derick Thomas.

You can check out all of his work at http://www.chrissembower.com.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.

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