Artist Spotlight: Thomas Hooper – Geometric Tattoo Genius

Featured Artist: Thomas Hooper

Geometric art is still extremely popular these days and while it’s evolved into sub-styles like minimalism and dotwork it hasn’t slowed down yet. With the perfection needed to achieve good geometric art it’s no wonder that there are very few artists who have specialized in it. Thomas Hooper is one of those few. He uses an entirely black palette to create dimension and shape that has helped spur the popularity of this style.

According to the artist, geometric involves a lot of work “that the client didn’t ask for”. The reason behind this is that geometric work has to have a certain shape and style and while it also has to fit the area it’s more important for it to flow properly. While clients might not always be enthused about their design Hoopers enthusiasm for the medium means he’s often quick to assuage that and to help get them beyond their fears.

 

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Hooper’s art style is heavily influenced by the tattoo style of Borneo and Australasia thanks to the influence of his mentor Jim Macairt. He tried to remind himself when creating art that these tattoos were originally meant to be fearsome and protective. When their forefathers emerged from the jungles the very sight of them would have created terror and struck many speechless. Hooper hopes that maybe his designs will do the same when their wearer reveals them.

Much of his work continues the same patterns as those ancestry tattoos with geometric patterns related to the cosmos, eastern religion, and folk symbolism. The design has a story to tell and creative both that and a meditative experience for the viewer as their eye explores the design. It’s that same exploration of self-identity that fuels his evolution as an artist.

 

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Part of Hooper’s work ethic comes from the words of his mentor and he is constantly striving to improve the mark he makes on the tattoo world. He tries to give back and be both inspirational and creative. Finding new ways to illustrate skin and create new styles is something that happens over time but Hooper has managed to make his unique style popular in just a decade and make it cross the world to become popular.

Hooper tattoos at Rock of Ages tattoo in Austin Texas but he also produces a significant amount of fine art prints and designs. His blog “meditations in atrament” explores not only his large scale tattoo projects but also his ideas on paper so that he can grow as an artist away from skin. Much of his art work continues his fascination with geometry and repetitive shape and even his commission art such as that for the band Neurosis album Fires within Fires use similar media.

 

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So, what’s next for someone who has already evolved an art style?

Strangely enough Hooper’s flash sheets do not always involve the recurring patterning his tattoo work and leans towards a more traditional style. Perhaps a return to tattoo roots is in the cards for the king of patterns?

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