This posting comes with a heavy heart. The tattoo community of North Carolina recently lost one of our fellows to a tragic motorcycle accident. His name was Matt McClain and he worked at a shop called Purple Heart Tattoo. I have never met Matt, but I could tell by the way my friends and colleagues were responding to the sudden news of his untimely death, he was a genuine soul. His reputation is one of being one of the nicest guys around. He had taken interest in my work on instagram just three weeks before his death. I had taken a look at his profile in return and thought to myself . . . man this guy really is inspired by my biggest inspiration, Ed Hardy and he is pulling it off well. I really liked what this guy was doing. I followed him back. It actually made me look into one of my old books that had just been laying around. . . a book that was my Holy Grail, Tattooing the Invisible Man by Don Ed Hardy. For me there is no one better than Ed Hardy. Simply because he was always willing to break the mold, but only after learning what has be told. Ed is the originator of the “think outside the box tattoo”. Matt helped me revisit my old hero and for that I thank him.
Noticing all this and then learning how old Matt was at the time of his death, that his family was under financial burden and seeing the tattoo community come together so quickly to make a benefit for him and his family members (to help cover some expenses) motivated me to do something to help out. They asked other tattoo artist around North Carolina to donate a framed painting for an auction to be held at Glenn’s Tattoo Service in Wilmington to help raise money for the family. I decided I wanted to do something for this benefit because Matt seemed like such a good guy and I believe in helping others during times of need. I decided to paint a painting that would represent Matt and what I felt inspired his tattooing…. I referenced my old time hero once again. So point is, inspiration can come from anywhere, if you are willing to accept it. Here is my painting. I hope who ever should purchase it enjoys it.