Today we’d like to introduce you to Champ Grubbs.
Champ, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Drawing has always been my favorite thing to do, sketching dragons, demons and anything else I could dream up as a child. I remember selling drawings to kids in my 2nd grade class room, and eventually started selling paintings around my home town of Hailey/Ketchum Idaho Near the Sun Valley ski resort. I loved all of my art teachers thru grade/high school and still do, they were the ones who encouraged me to be something different. Besides one watercolor class in college and my Tattoo apprenticeship with Sean Wyett in Boise at Blackcat Tattoo was my only real formal art training. Painting has been on the back burner since I started tattooing but I’m trying to make more time for that.
Since moving to San Diego 13 years ago I have had a great life. I’ve made a lot of great friends and caught some epic waves! I have an art studio that I spend most of my free time in when I’m not Tattooing or Surfing. I’ve surrounded myself with great artist that inspire me to keep pushing my creative boundaries. Tattooing has enabled me to make a full time living as an Artist for the last 17 years and I hope to be leaving my mark for at least a few more decades. Maybe I will paint more as I get older but tattooing will always be my first love.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
These are questions I constantly ask myself. It’s really hard to define who or what you are as an Artist because we are all constantly changing and growing. I will describe what I’m doing now though. I’m a full-time custom Tattoo Artist and a part time painter and Illustrator. I take on all kinds of projects from full color Hindu Gods to Black and grey Geometric dot work. Lately I have been creating sleeves, back pieces, and bangers that aren’t ideas from clients. I’m creating the art then finding the client who wants to wear it, I feel it’s a more honest approach to art. It’s closer to fine art than commercial art in its concept. When your drawing a client’s ideas your bound by their subject matter in a sense but my new direction allows me to be as creative as I can be and give my clients the most exciting and original Art I can produce.
My process requires multiple sketches and series of studies for most projects before I begin the final presentation, I do a lot of research on the subject matter I’m working with so I get into a lot of interesting reading and I usually have to pry myself away from research to get to the actual rough sketches because I get really into the stories. So, stories are what really helps me create, the art needs to tell a story or it just feels random. These are also some of the questions I ask my clients, “what’s the story we are telling with this Tattoo or Painting? Why is this character doing what these doing and how do the peripheral images help explain this story?”. Once we have that down the fun starts, I do my research, rough sketches, refined sketches, final drawings and then apply that to skin or canvas.
I’ve always had a fascination with the natural world, it’s an endless supply of inspiration. Being in nature recharges my creative energy and gives me a sense of belonging to something much larger than humanity. I feel humans are part of the natural world and completely connected to it. Art is the glue that bonds humans together, we are the only species that create art for its own sake. That’s why Art is human, and as tattoo Artist we make humans Art! It’s only Natural!
How can artists connect with other artists?
Connecting with other artist has never been easier if you need a bit of peer to peer contact. Hit people up on Instagram for a visit or guest spot at their art/tattoo studio. Go to art shows and buy some art! Go to SketchParty at Whistle Stop bar on Tuesday nights. Go get a tattoo from someone you really admire, you will probably learn something or make a connection to the art world in your area. Hit me up if you have anything you’d like me to be part of, I’m always open to hear ideas and join new communities of Artists. There’s so many Art walks and gallery openings there’s no reason to feel like you’re an isolated artist. Get out there and be part of it!
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I’m very happy to be launching my new website champgrubbs.com where you can see my entire tattoo portfolio, along with some in depth looks at featured tattoos including videos, original sketches, testimonials and more information about how the Project came about. I also have and Instagram @championtattoos so please follow me! If you really like my art and you want to support me I do have a store on my website where you can buy Original paintings, prints, and merchandise like hats and shirts. Follow me on Instagram and read my blog on champgrubbs.com to stay tuned for any upcoming art shows or Tattoo conventions I will be part of. The best support of course is to get a tattoo!
- Address: San Diego
- Website: champgrubbs.com
- Phone: (619) 693-6766
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @championtattoos