Sep201510
Deerjerk: Tattoo-Inspired Woodcut Art
01:30 PM
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woodcut guiltar.pngAt the Pagoda City Tattoo Fest last month, I fell in love with the work of woodcut artist Deerjerk, aka Bryn Perrott, and had to take one of her carved ladies home. Bryn's woodcuts often reference strong traditional tattoo imagery, with her own spin to it, making it a perfect fit for conventions -- and my living room.

Having worked at Wild Zero Studios in her hometown of Morgantown, West Virginia, Bryn was not only exposed to a wider tattoo art vocabulary, but also learned that tattoo artists and collectors are interested in this type of artwork in different mediums, particularly in woodcut objects. By offering this unique work (and at an affordable price) Bryn was able to transition from her job as a counter person for the studio, to making a living solely from her art. There's a great Q&A with Bryn in The Hairpin, in which she discusses this in detail. Also in that article is a discussion of tattoo's impact. Here's a taste:

What impact has the tattoo world had on your work?
Tattooing is like any other visual artist that you're influenced by. Like, "Oh, I like the way they patterned this," or something, and you take that in without ripping it off. A lot of tattooers paint and draw, too. People argue they're craftspeople and not artists. But I think they're artists.

It's also impacted my work, in that many shops have had people bring in images of the wood cuts and want tattoos of them. Which is cool and, done right, can be really great. I've seen some really great tattoos and I've seen some really bad ones. It just depends. If a good tattooer does it, they know how to change it enough to make it a good tattoo, because they're two different things.

If it's on the internet, you can't prevent it. People are going to get tattoos of your work. Lots of artists have their work tattooed on other people without them knowing it or being asked. I stopped fighting it.

So at first you weren't into it?
I wasn't into it. Sometimes it would be a commission for somebody, so it's like, I know you like the image, but the image was created for another person. But I don't fight it anymore, there's just no point.

But then some people get really great tattoos, and it's really flattering. Laura Jane Grace from Against Me! got a woodcut of a cobra tattooed. It's small but it's done really well, by a guy named Oliver Peck who's a well-respected tattooer.

While Bryn is best known for her woodcuts, she's also designed for beer labels, band merchandise, and apparel designers like Shirts and Destroy.

Check more of Bryn's work on Instagram. You can place orders by emailing orders@deerjerk.com.
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