Rob Bates

College of Arts + Architecture

Rob Bates is a former Marine who served on active duty for eight years. Originally from Patuxent River, Maryland, Rob came to UNC Charlotte to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Art, with a concentration in Illustration and Art Education and a minor in Art History.

He is a freelance illustrator and artist whose work has appeared in (and been discussed by) a variety of media outlets such as the Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing, National Review, Leatherneck Magazine, Illustrator Magazine, Charlotte Talks and American Public Media.

He has also produced artwork for organizations such as Sports Illustrated, New York Observer, Charlotte Magazine, CH2 Magazine, Daniel Defense Inc. and

Rob has won awards such as the Art Instruction School’s 2012 Outstanding Graduate of the Year award, the 2013 Col. John W. Thomason Combat Art Award, and both the 2014 Area Award in Illustration and the 2015 Senior Studio Artist of the Year Award for UNC Charlotte. His work is held in such regard that he has collections in permanent residence at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, the American Embassy in Beijing, China, and UNC Charlotte.

When asked what the most important thing new veteran students should know when coming to UNC Charlotte, Rob said “apply the skills and discipline you learned in the military to your schooling, and it will translate into success.” 


Check out his work at