Sketchy Tank, 33, Artist/Designer/Illustrator. A glimpse in the loved and disturbed mind of Sketchy Tank.
What is your art background?
Art School Dropout
What is the story with the name Sketchy Tank?
Sketchy tank started as a folder on my computer called "the sketchy tank" where I stored disturbing images I found on the internet through various questionable blogs. These images were not disturbing like photos of outrageous porn or death and dismemberment but more like hideous tattoos, super trashy people doing trashy things, mixed with skateboarding, surfing and low brow art and design. The folder got to be over 1GB in size and I thought it would be rad to create a website to show the world this “sketchy tank” folder. I created a logo, bought the domain and posted away. It generated a lot of traffic quick. At the time I was a freelance designer/illustrator so I would slide my designs in there too. The views grew daily and I started offering shirts with my art for sale on sketchytank.com... the rest is history. I never thought it would turn into a brand and I still don't think of it like that, I like to think of it as the anti-brand, its just my weird art on stuff.
What was the first piece you did under the moniker Sketchy Tank?
The pentagram ski mask fellow.
Seems you have establish an almost cult like following. What is the strangest thing a fan has done for you?
Lots of people have drawn pictures of me, I have had females send nude pics sent to me and probably over 100 tattoos of my art… all were appreciated.
Growing up in Mammoth Lakes, CA what kind of stuff did you do for fun in the Summers when all the snow had melted?
Lots of skateboarding, beer drinking, pot smoking, girl chasing, fishing, etc.
Did you get into trouble as a kid?
Yeah, but I was a nice person. I Got in trouble at school a few times…couple fights, got busted for weed even though they couldn't prove it and had to go to some drug classes, that’s where I met my REAL sketchy friends shah. Got caught stealing penthouse in 5th grade because another kid ratted me out. I did have a shoplifting phase that year.
Do you ever start pieces and think to yourself, “this is too fucked up” and scrape it?
Yes, but my wife always convinces me to release it! She is my backbone and gives me so much support and encourages me not to hold back.
Who in the art world do you look up to?
All my Swamp Wizards, they are all so talented and humble.
What about up and coming artists, anyone new inspiring you?
Everyday I meet people on instagram that are crushing! Too many to name all of them, but now with social media its crazy the amount of talent out there you see.
Tell us about the Swamp Wizards. Is it an organized gang that people should fear?
We are a group of like minded low brow artists. You shouldn’t fear us, we are all nice dudes until you get caught stealing our art. Don't do that.
Your original blog had a good following well before Instagram. Do you see guys on instagram now like @fuckjerry and @thefatjewish who have millions of followers and think to yourself “Fuck, that could have been me?
Yeah totally, but that’s not my real passion, its not original sharing other peoples photos. Unique content is real.
I know you are into random tattoos, what is the best of your worst tattoos?
Me and two of my Swamp Wizard brothers were in Portland for an Art show and we all went and got "surprise tattoos", we all made up tattoos for each other and you couldn't see them until the tattooer was done. I got "cowboy butts drive me nuts" with an illustration of a butt with a cowboy hat and lasso. It is actually one of my favorites, it was done really well by our friend Eli Falconette. Bad tattoos done good haha.
Do you have any Sketchy Tank pieces hanging in your son’s room?
No, that’s where my wife draws the line.
What do you have planned for this show at SAID?
Lots of skulls, dicks, pussies,drug use etc. Stuff your parents would hate :)