Tattooed: Behold! The tried and true traditional tattoos of Denver's Corey Strange
Episode 9: American-traditional never looked so good
Corey Strange was just a Strange fledgling when he discovered his love for tattoo art. He remembers being really young, checking out his uncle’s old ink and being totally taken with the artwork — the ancient concept, the painful administration, the taboo way society beheld it.
“I was drawn to the permanence of tattoos,” says Strange. “Seeing my uncle’s tattoos, I became completely infatuated with them and that kind of set me on the path of becoming a tattooer.”
Think Tank Tattoo ~ Denver, Colorado
He moved to Colorado 12 years ago for art school, with the full intention of becoming a full-time professional tattooer. He says, conventional university wasn’t really an option for him, so instead, he dove fully and head first into tattooing. And he’s never looked back.
Today, Strange is making a name for himself slinging some of the cleanest, boldest, baddest-ass American Traditional tattoos in Denver. It’s a style characterized by classic imagery and bold illustrative flare — a style that’s instantly recognizable, and tied deep into the roots of American tattoo art. A style that Strange is mastering.
“It was a transition through a few styles before I really found my niche in traditional.” he says. He grew up drawing cartoon characters and imagery, so this particular style really resonated with him. He started really studying American Traditional tattoos like a linguist might study a language — learning all the nuances, rules and specifics that make the style so distinct, exploring what makes American traditional so AMerican and so traditional.
“I really enjoy the boldness of the designs,” says Strange. “I like that you can tell what the tattoo is from across the room and how well they hold up. It’s tried and true and I’m not reinventing the wheel. There is so much rich history rooted in traditional tattooing so it’s fun to learn about that as well.”
He calls it a “never-ending learning process.” Not only is he constantly learning about the style he’s committed to, but he’s constantly working with different variables like client pain tolerance, skin tone, and body parts.
“Every tattoo is a new challenge,” he says. Which is exactly how he likes it.
Strange isn’t averted to stepping outside of his stylistic zone, either. He says he’s a “huge nerd” and that he’d love to incorporate some more kind of “geeky” designs into his portfolio.
“I love gaming, and anime, and D&D, or anything fantasy based really,” he says. “I don’t get to incorporate a lot of that stuff into my tattoos but I’d love to do some mash ups of that kind of stuff in the future.”
So if you’ve got the perfect idea to blur the lines between nerd-art and American traditional styles, you know who to call. Or, if you just want a really sick straight up American Traditional tattoo — Corey Strange is your guy. He’s one of the best in the business.