After a judge layed down some harsh words when he was in the Chicago graffiti game in his early 20s, Tony Trip made a choice to take his love and talent for art into a different path.
"The world of graffiti can be exhilarating," Trip said. "But it's not so cool when you're getting chased by the cops and facing jail time."
Now, at age 35, Trip is one-half of the duo behind the Unspoken Art Studio, which is located at 7151 Savannah Drive in Newburgh, and has the bold desire to create an arts district right here in Warrick County.
James Thiry, 34, is the other brains behind the studio, which acts as a dual art studio/gallery and a tattoo parlor. People can come and get their tats and or take a drawing class.
"I've always just doodled and drew and had a lot of interest in doing art," Thiry said. "And I finally just decided I wanted to make a living at being an artist. I met up with Tony through a painting class and and ever since, I've been on this trip as a tattoo artist and experiencing a whole new world of art."
The Unspoken Art Studio has actually been open in Newburgh since 2013 butjust relocated to their bigger space on Savannah Drive on July 1 this year, where they sell their colorful graffiti art work and can do custom art, from business cards to shoe decals. They also have several business partnerships, like Nellie's Restaurant, in which Trip and Thiry created a children's menu for them. And they are just about to start working on a project for Mesker Park Zoo, which includes constructing a five to six foot tall pinata.
They also sell soda and energy drinks, t-shirts from InkAddict and have art on display from local artist Billy the Kid.
"He does a lot of street photography
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and we have an exclusive deal with him to sell his art," Trip said.
For the tattoo portion, Trip said they are unique from other local tattoo parlors.
"We tend to do more graffiti tattoos. And we can paint flowers and all of the stuff you see in traditional galleries, but we tend to stay in our own lane then mimic what's already been done before." he said. "We are the finest version of lowbrow art."
Trip said he doesn't want people to think they are "just another tattoo shop."
"You say 'tattoo shop' and people think it's only one thing," he said. "But, we have a lot of talent and we have melded them all together to create this."
Tattoo walk ins are available everyday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. They also offer over a dozen unique art classes, which are free for any children with cancer.
"My mom died from cancer last year, so I've seen how horrible it can be," Trip said. "So, let's give these kids an option where they aren't just sitting in a hospital feeling like crap, but are out in the community and having fun."
Trip's own children, Zen, 9, and Zak, 5, are also natural born artists, according to their father, and help to teach some of the classes for the younger kids.
"It's nice because a little girl feels more comfortable when one of them is explaining something to her and drawing it with her than a grown adult male with a beard," Trip said, chuckling. "They are my two little spartans."
For more information about what the Unspoken Art Studio has to offer, visit https://www.unspokenartstudio.com/home.
And with a 15 year contract, Trip and Thiry have plenty of time to lay down roots for their future plans of creating that Warrick County arts district through their Unspoken Art Studio.
Trip said it all starts with the kids.
"If they don't want to do baseball or martial arts or if they want to do both, they can come here and do art and still have a creative outlet," he said. "We want to water the seeds of new talent at this fantasy factory of art."
Classes at Unspoken Art Studio cost $25 for two hours. A private class costs $30 and two people can split one for $50. They offers a variety of classes including:
How To Draw AnimalsUnderstand Human AnatomyHow To Draw your PetToons For GoonsHighlight And ShadowsGetting Perspectives RightUsing Color TheoryFundamentals Of LetteringHow To Make LogosBuying and Selling ArtFlowing With WatercolorGraffiti And Street Art 101Drawing With TechnologyGetting Into 3D GraphicsHow To 3D Print IdeasFun With Projection Mapping