KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In a dimly lit room on the West Coast, Grant Gruenhaupt creates his daily postseason connection to the Midwest and the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I grew up drawing my favorite Chiefs players," Gruenhaupt said. "I always loved the Chiefs. I grew up playing football as well, so it’s kind of a merging of two of my loves.”
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Gruenhaupt, 25, honed his craft at Concept Design Academy in California.
His instructors work for major brands like Disney, Marvel and Cartoon Network. He said their styles influenced his own.
In 2019, he started working with the Chiefs to create illustrations throughout the season. KC won the Super Bowl that season.
“It was very good timing,” he said. “I think it’s one of those situations where you think you know what you are going for and then what you really want really finds you. So, it’s been a dream to work with the Chiefs.”
Gruenhaupt’s work is not limited to the NFL.
He has worked with the NHL, Wimbledon and Liverpool FC.
“I love where I’m at working in sports, and really, that’s where I want to continue to be," he said. "The goal from here is to just be doing bigger projects. I want to expand that out, but the Chiefs are number one.”
Leading up to the Super Bowl, he is constantly working to crank out unique illustrations for the team.
He would not divulge any concepts or give me a look at the designs, but he said he is working on integrating motion into his work.
You can find samples of Gruenhaupt’s work here.