SullenTV Presents The Rockstar Energy and Sullen Clothing Inked Up Tour Stop 11 Pittsburgh Part 2 of 3 featuring Bob Tyrrell, Big Gus, Russ Abbott and Gunnar interviewed by Bernadette Macias!
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Bob Tyrrell Having an incredible artist for a father, I grew up wanting to be an artist myself. I started playing guitar in my teens and gave up art completely to pursue a career in music. Just shy of turning 30, I got my first tattoo. I was hooked and got my sleeves and a full back piece done within a few years. I took some drawings to Tramp, the owner of Eternal Tattoos, who are based in the Detroit area where I grew up. I was offered an apprenticeship, and within three months I had quit my job and was tattooing full time. I was 34 years old when I started a little late in the game. Tom Renshaw was working there and took me under his wing. Tom went WAY out of his way to help me, he really pushed me those first couple of years. I learned more from him than anyone in the business, and I’ll be forever grateful to him and Tramp, I owe them a lot. I stayed at Eternal for six years. I am currently working on the road doing tattoo conventions and guest spots at tattoo shops. So I guess I finally grew up and became an artist. I think I found my true calling. I want to cut back on traveling a little so I can learn how to paint, do more fine art and tattoo more. I’d like to thank all my friends who’ve helped me become a better artist. There’s way too many to name, but I’ll name a few: my father Robert J. Tyrrell, Paul Booth , Robert Hernandez (fucking amazing!), Guy Aitchison, Filip Leu, Shane O’Neill, Jack Rudy, Jay Wheeler, Jimé Litwalk, Joe Capobianco, Gunnar, everyone at Last Rites, Mario Barth, Shige, Brian Everett, Boris, Deano Cook, and a million other artists. Thanks for the never ending inspiration.
Gunnar was born in New Britain, Connecticut in 1974 and grew up in the “Constitution State beginning his professional tattoo career in 1997. By the time he opened Gods and Monsters Tattoo Studio and Art Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, Gunnarʼs award-winning work was highly sought-after around the world and he had established himself as a leader in the “New School” tattoo movement. In 2009, he returned to Ohio so that he could spend more time with his daughters and begin the next chapter in his artistic journey. When he is not on the road, Gunnar makes his home at High Street Tattoo in Columbus, where his drive to grow as a tattooist and artist continues, as is evidenced in his original, bold, and avant-garde designs across each medium he delves into.
Russ Abbott is a Georgia native and has been tattooing since 1997. When he opened Ink & Dagger in 2007, he envisioned a studio that embodied sophistication and creativity in a down home atmosphere. Russ specializes in illustrative, ornamental, realistic, and geometric tattoo styles. In addition to tattooing full time, Russ travels the world teaching educational seminars to fellow tattooers.
BIG GUS: Tattoo Artist on Hit TV Show TATTOO NIGHTMARES, Painter, Graff Artist, traveler of arts, just blessed to have and do what I love for a living “ART” Big Gus was born and raised in the streets of Los Angeles. His mother was an artist and would always encourage him to draw, paint, and trace as a young child. Unfortunately, his mother passed away when Gus was just 19 years old. He was always painting murals in the Los Angels Riverbed and showcasing his graffiti skills all around L.A. Some of the older OG’s saw his skills and sort of forced him to pick up a tattoo machine to ink up the homies. Big Gus began tattooing at the age of 14. He has been a self taught artist his whole life, all though paying close attention to those better then he was to improve on his skills as an artist. He started tattooing professionally at age 22 out of Distinctive Ink in Pico Rivera. He became a fan of artists such as Jack Rudy, Joe Capobianco, Freddy Negrete, Paul Booth, Bob Tyrell and so many others. Some of the respected old school artists like CatFish Carl, Tony Olivas, and Rick Walters schooled Big Gus on the fact that tattooists honoring the traditions and respecting the legacy and talents of fellow artists were becoming a dying breed. He knew that he was part of a new generation of these artists, and it was part of his responsibility to keep these traditions alive. His popular style of fine line, Black and Grey-Photorealism graces the pages of Tattoo Publications in 40 countries. He has sacrificed so much to get where he is now, and he lives a true West Coast OG success story.