Aaron Norris channels KC Chiefs fandom into excellent paintings

Aaron Norris, KC Chiefs
Aaron Norris, KC Chiefs /

Aaron Norris is a talented painter who uses his incredible gifts to celebrate the football team he loves most: the Kansas City Chiefs.

If you’ve spent much time at all on social media linked with the Kansas City Chiefs, you’ll likely recognize the name Aaron Norris or at least his incredible artistic ability. His paintings of popular Chiefs players or historic moments are well-loved and it’s inspiring to see how he channels his own fandom with his talents into something we can all appreciate.

Aaron is not the only one, as we love so many artists connected with the Chiefs. (Check out our profile of Cynthia Burriss here.) However, we wanted to find out more about his fandom, his artistic history, and his favorite Chiefs-related moments to paint.

Let’s start with your fandom. Would love to know what made you a Chiefs fan in the first place?

Well, I was born into it really. The Chiefs have been my team since I was a little kid. My mom and dad would have game day parties and I have so many memories of just watching the Chiefs play with all of my friends and family with tons of food everywhere and screaming and yelling. We would maybe go to one or two games a year at Arrowhead and tailgate and feel the roar of the crowd. Just awesome. I don’t know if there’s really another NFL experience quite like it.

And what about your artistic side. Were you a pretty creative kid? At what point did this become a serious pursuit?

Yes, art is really the one thing that has always come naturally to me. I was drawing and sketching things from a very early age. I got an art degree after high school and became a landscape oil painter. I really cut my teeth as a landscape artist, slowly becoming fairly well known around the Midwest. I only started dabbling in sports paintings after the Royals won the World Series in 2015. I quickly began to get inundated with commission requests for more and more sports art. When Mahomes came on the scene I painted a few portraits of him. Then, when the Chiefs won the Super Bowl, the floodgates opened and it’s been a steady stream of new clients ever since.

When you paint something new, is it sometimes hard to let it go to someone?

I’ve been very fortunate with my art career up to this point in that now the majority of my paintings are commissioned pieces. So in that regard, no there generally isn’t much of a sentimental attachment to the piece. However, depending on the amount of work I have put into a painting or perhaps the subject matter, there are a few that I have had some emotional attachment to. And I have had some work that sat I’m my studio for a while that eventually sold that I was sad to see go.

When things started picking up on the sports side, were you surprised by fan support or response?

I definitely underestimated how much my paintings would resonate with Kansas City fans and sports fans in general. I have folks from all over the world reaching out for Patrick Mahomes paintings. He truly is a global phenomenon. But I also have old-school Chiefs fans who want more vintage players like Len Dawson and Derrick Thomas.

How do you decide what you want to work on next? Do you have a list of players you want to paint already?

I don’t necessarily have a list but when I’m not working on a commission piece, I usually always have a few all-time greats that I’m thinking about trying. Not always Kansas City-based sports figures. Sometimes just inspirational figures throughout American sports history. Muhammad Ali, Joe Montana, Stan Musial, etc.

Do you have a favorite painting to date? And what makes it a favorite, if so?

Yes, my favorite piece of all time is still my Super Bowl LIV masterpiece. It’s so big and complex and took so many late-night hours to complete, it’s the one I’m the proudest of.

Is there a shop where people can find/buy your work? What is the process for commissions? And how can people follow you on socials?

The easiest way to see my body of work is probably on my Instagram page: @aaronnorrisstudio

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