For the past seven years, Rob Sacchetto has made a living by hand painting people as the living dead. To date, he has zombified over 2700 people from around the world, including George Romero, Tom Savini, Max Brooks and Greg Nicotero. We previously featured Rob on our Indie Spotlight and wanted to run a separate Q&A feature to find out more about his life as a zombie artist:
For our readers who are unfamiliar with Zombie Daily, can you tell us a little bit about the work you do?
Rob Sacchetto: I was drawing Zombies as early as grade 4 or 5 among other things, and have consistently drawn them since then. They were never a fad to me. I didn't just start drawing Zombies recently because they've become more in vogue. I've always drawn monsters, dinosaurs, robots, and sci-fi/horror stuff all of my life.
What was it that made you want to pursue a career in all things zombies?
Rob Sacchetto: I have always felt that there are just so many ways to depict Zombies, that I've never become bored or tired of doing them. It's always exiting to push the preconceived ideas and current thoughts as to how Zombies look.
Having created thousands of custom portraits, how do you stay creative and excited for the next project?
Rob Sacchetto: Again, this is where Zombie Daily comes in. I like to test out and experiment different ways to depict gore, trauma, wounds and rot on drawings I do for Zombie Daily, then use stuff that works on Zombie Portraits. It's really not that difficult for me to be exited about new portrait orders, as every new photo offers surprises and different challenges. I'm NEVER doing the same portrait twice, which leads me to have coined the phrase, "Zombies are like snowflakes, no two are ever alike!"
On top of creating portraits for zombie fans, you've also produced portraits for horror icons such as George Romero? What has that experience been like?
Rob Sacchetto: That was pure awesomeness, as those images were done for a Zombie Documentary called "Zombiemania" which still airs every Halloween on various networks. I was part of the many interviewees including Romero, Savini, and Nicotero, and I did Portraits of all of us that were morphed in, mid interview! It was a HUGE honor! Also....I get to be on TV!
Out of all the artwork you have produced, which pieces stand out as your favorites and why?
Rob Sacchetto: That's like, the toughest question ever...There are many pieces that I feel really come together and work, and sometimes it's a shock to see them again and admit, "Wow, that actually looks really cool." But I have to say, I can't really think of one off hand that I can say is my best...It's tough...I really love the way some of my book covers have turned out...One I did for Carl Plumer, a horror writer, called "Mad about Undead You." I'm very proud of my graphic novel, "Rob Sacchetto's Cape Fear," which I just released this year. Top to bottom, I feel that it's one of my greatest personal achievements as I wrote, drew, and did the painted cover for it and it's huge at 150 pages in length..I think that the best things I do are the things I'm working on right now, as I really try to put my entire soul into everything, whether it's a Zombie Portrait, or a book cover, really no matter what it is, I never just try to 'get it done', rather, see it through and make sure that there's nothing else I can do to make it better.
What are some of the more unusual zombie creation requests you've received?
Rob Sacchetto: HA! I do TONS of wedding Zombie Portraits, pet portraits, families, toddlers...nudes! I think that the weirdest thing was one day getting a couple in the water with a dolphin at Seaworld. So here I was doing a guy and girl and dolphin as Zombies in the water thinking 'man, this is a once in a lifetime type drawing..." Years later, I get another order with two people and two dolphins kissing in the water at Seaworld! Totally bizarre! This is why, after 7 years, I've never become bored with doing the portraits, you just never know what you're going to see come up next!
Aside from the standard requests you receive, are you working on any celebrity/horror projects of interest?
Rob Sacchetto: Uhm, not requests at the moment, however I am working on a celebrity Zombie Book at a very slow pace, one that will be different from the 'Zombiewood' book I did earlier. I'm very much thinking of doing a very high end hardcover table top book with celebs of my choosing that will be full page illustrations that are very finely rendered. Of course, tomorrow is a new day, and if this business has taught me anything, it's that I never know what to expect next, so this answer may totally be different within 24 hours!
As far as horror projects that I'm aware of, I've got an album cover coming up from a Swedish metal band, another book cover for a horror writer, and I think that's it for the immediate future...
Where would you like to take your love of zombies next? Do you have plans to expand past Zombie Daily?
I think that what I would like to do is compile a lot of Zombie Daily into book form. I grew up on those awesome Frank Frazetta art books and books similar that just featured many great pieces, and I think I'd like to do that next...Having an art show featuring many pieces from Zombie Daily and other projects is a dream too...quite simply put, the scans and posts of the artwork on Zombie Daily, just does not do the artwork justice. I really would like people to see and experience the art up close. Also, it would be so cool to see rooms FILLED top to bottom with all 400+ heads of the living dead drawings, or the Zombie Pinup Divas! There's so much more I would like to do, if I could just stop creating for a little while.
What was the first zombie movie you watched and what was it about zombies that made you want to dedicate your life to them?
Rob Sacchetto: Thinking back, the first Zombie movie that I remember seeing, may not have been a traditional Zombie movie at all...It was 'Attack of the Mushroom People' and I think it's what got me to really see the traditional Zombie in very different ways. I used to love the old Godzilla type movies...basically the 'Big Rubber Monster' type films interested me as a kid. They would have movie marathons on really late that I wanted to see, so my mom would wake me up, and let me watch them super late. One of the movies in the lineup was another TOHO film, but instead of giant monsters, it was about people stranded on an island that ate these mushrooms that turned them into these hideous mushroom Zombie people. It was very Zombie movie-ish. This was literally a springboard for me that really got me interested in seeing other horror films, primarily living dead oriented ones. It led me straight into seeing 'Night of the Living Dead' which blew my mind, however 'Return of the Living Dead' remains my favorite.
How do you think you'd fare in a zombie apocalypse? What's your zombie apocalypse survival plan?
Rob Sacchetto: I think that I'd do pretty well. I'm a firm believer in the that if you live in a world that acknowledges the fact that Zombies are a 'THING' you've got an advantage over virtually everyone you've ever seen in a movie try to handle an outbreak...It's like they've never even heard of the walking dead before in their lives, and have no idea what to do with them no matter how slow they may be. "Know your enemy".
I think that I would gather up any and all available weapons and lock myself in a 7-11 type corner store...Lots of food, water and basically every type of general supply from medical to the utterly practical, usually has barred windows and doors, a hatch to the roof, and one other exit. Perfect!
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Rob Sacchetto: I would just like to encourage people to check out my Zombie Portraits/Zombie Daily site. New Zombie art by me, is added every day and there are over 1,500 images there currently to peruse. It's like a huge Zombie Zoo, so pack a lunch and stop by. There you can also obtain your very own Zombie Portrait, unlike any other! Both my wide release Zombie Books can purchased there as well as my Zombie Pinup book, and the Cape Fear graphic novel. I love doing the work that I do and giving something utterly unique to the awesome Zombie and horror fans out there. Even with all of the amazing high profile stuff that I've done, like the Zombie deck of playing cards for the Bicycle, and the stuff on Zombiemania and countless other products and stuff, it is always still an absolute honor to do Zombie Portraits for the individuals that send me their photos from around the world and want a one of a kind original piece to hang up in their homes! That feeling has and will NEVER get old for me!
To learn more about Rob Sacchetto and his zombie artwork, visit: