LA based tattooist Dr Woo has learnt from the best, cutting his teeth as apprentice to Shamrock Social Club founder Mark Mahoney (known for inking the likes of Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt). Woo has gone on to build a dedicated client following, similar to the way DITA eyewear founders Jeff Solorio and John Juniper have amassed their own cult fan-base. The pair’s latest endeavour has seen them has embark on a short-film series documenting the lives of those who inspire them, with Woo as their first subject. Woo and the DITA guys recently took time out to chat inking, style and design with Dazed Digital.
Dazed Digital: You are the son of a rocket scientist. What was your childhood like?
Dr Woo: My parents are cool as hell, super supportive. I didn't give them an easy parenting challenge growing up and they have still stuck with me through all the bullshit. I used to think that I had it bad as a kid but I can now see they just wanted the best for me.
DD: What is it about tattooing that interests you so much?
Dr Woo: Getting to draw pics on people for a living, being part of such an awesome crew at Shamrock... What could be better than that?
DD: In the film, Mark Mahoney describes you at “ahead of the curve”. How would you describe Mark?
Dr Woo: Mark is the original "ahead of the curve" on all levels. He has influenced me since the first time I met him when I was 15.
DD: Which tattoo has been most significant for you?
Dr Woo: I'd like to say all my work is significant but it seems that my smaller tattoos and lettering get requested more than others.
DD: How would you describe your personal style?
Dr Woo: I've always been into selvedge denim… Currently, I'm wearing anything from SelfEdge, a pair of heritage Red Wing boots, a horsehide perfecto, DITA Rambler sunglasses, and rings by my friend, Bill Wall.
Dazed Digital: How did you first meet and get to know Dr Woo?
John Juniper: We met at an art show, Woo was super cool and down to earth.
DD: Dr Woo says he favours bold lines and colour in his art, to what extent would you say this aligns with DITA’s aesthetic?
Jeff Solorio: I feel like a lot of our classics are thick and bold shapes. Just like Woo’s art is strong in character.
DD: What likenesses would you say tattoo art has with what you guys do?
John Juniper: Like eyewear depending on what you are wearing can change your personal persona, tattoo art achieves the same goal. It makes you who you are and what people remember about you.
DD: What other objects or art forms inform your designs most?
John Juniper: It depends on what side of the bed I wake up on, sometimes it’s the character of people that inspire us, other days it can be design elements, smooth flowing lines of cars, textures on guns and other forms of mechanical art.
DD: If Dr Woo was to design a tattoo that embodied DITA, what would it be?
Jeff Solorio: It would be strong, classic and sexy.
Follow Tempe Nakiska on Twitter here @tempenakiska