Q&A with artist Robert Stull


Contributed by Robert Stull

In his professional career, Robert Stull has had the opportunities to curate galleries and work with Marvel Comics.

After graduating from Brookline High School in 1985, Robert Stull went on to become an accomplished artist, from a residency at the Museum of Fine Arts to working with the largest names in the comic book industry.

What are your most memorable moments from high school?
I had an art teacher whose class I really enjoyed, Mr. Lamb. He was a character that had gray hair and a great mustache that would curl at the ends. The most beautiful thing about Brookline, from what I remember, is that all of the faculty took an interest in the student body. They pushed you, especially if you showed signs of having a natural ability to do things. You know, there are people that are born to do sports, it’s in their DNA, then there are people that are born to do theater or visual art. They have the ability to recognize that and push kids in the right direction.

Who inspired you to be an artist?
I had great examples within my family. My father was a renowned architect, my uncles were artists and my friends and family were also artists. I had incredible resources of people and information that constantly inspired me. It was constantly fueling my brain.

Did you enter the art industry right after high school?
I was told that if you want a career in the art that’s lucrative, you have to go in the direction of advertising, graphic design and things like that. I understood that I needed to go in the direction of something that could pay the bills. So I went straight from Brookline to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University.

What was the first thing that you published?
My work was first published by Marvel in 1994. It was for a popular series called “What If” that posed hypotheticals on different characters. My issue featured the Hulk, and it was about what would happen if the gamma bomb spawned a million Hulks.

What are some of the exhibits you have curated?
I worked on something called “SEQUENTIAL ART: THE NEXT STEP,” which was an exhibit that debuted in Roxbury, at the Museum of the National Center of Afro American Artists. That was in 1995. As a Black man, I was meeting with Black artists that were working on mainstream books, such as “Spider Man,” and I met a lot of Marvel artists that were Black. That was fascinating to me because I didn’t know how large their presence in art was. That was very inspiring and I wanted to try to capture that somehow and harness it to bring more attention to it. That’s what I sought out to do: bring more attention to our collective presence and then to showcase our contributions to the mainstream industry. The exhibit traveled for 10 years. We featured over 100 original works of art, including contemporary, mainstream and independent African-American artists.

What is some of your most recent work?
I had a residency at the MFA from 2019 to 2021. That residency, including my involvement in an exhibit, featured a lot of the contemporaries from Jean Michel Basquiat, as well as a lot of work from the post ‘80s hip-hop and graffiti movement in New York. I actually had work featured alongside me from some really renowned artists.

What has been your proudest moment from your career?
I think my first published work in comics in the mainstream industry, meaning Marvel or DC Comics. As well as those, there have also been smaller publishers that I have worked for. The high point, being such a comic book nerd as a kid, was seeing my name in print for the first time at one of those companies. Then it just became a job.

What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?
Do not limit yourself. There are no excuses. I mean, all the resources are there; they are literally at your fingertips. If you don’t know how to do something, all you have to do is search. Everyone is a click or a finger tap away from an app that you can download that pretty much tells you how to do everything. You guys have access to that kind of technology or information that was non-existent back in the early ‘90s when I was beginning my career.