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Sons of Anarchy's Ryan Hurst Uses Tattoos as Foundation For Characters

Sons of Anarchy and Outsiders star Ryan Hurst uses tattoos to help bring his characters to life.

21inkedd in Stories

Tattoos are a big part of Ryan Hurst's characters, keep reading and find out why!!

After portraying Opie Winston in hit show Sons Of Anarchy actor Ryan Hurst is currently playing an imposing member of a mountain clan in Outsiders. Both roles have seen Hurst use tattooing to get to grips with his character and bring them to life. 

Robert Davies
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Hurst uses tattoos to help bring his characters to life as they establish a character history and become an ever present feature of that person. 

"You can change hair, makeup, and wardrobe. But tattoos on characters, especially on a television series, are something you’re establishing for the life of that character...there’s often not a lot of thought that goes into designing tattoos, so I thought, why don’t I get in there and see what I can do?"

Robert Davies
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Working with Pittsburgh tattoo artist Dooner and four of his colleagues from Up In Arms Tattoo and Piercing, Hurst came up with a number of designs for his Outsiders character that add great depth to the role and more personality. Hurst also wanted to create symbolic tattoos that reflected the characters life. Tattoos on the characters hands and forearms represented skills and life milestones while tattoos on the torso reflected personal traits and emotions.

Robert Davies
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"You have to be able to look at a tattoo and understand it without someone telling you the whole story behind it. So they were going to have a lot of nature- and animal-based tattoos, but then work in the runic tradition and occult symbols and dress them up a little bit"

Robert Davies
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Hurst himself has a number of tattoos and by the sounds of it he will end up having a few more; 

"I have six tattoos, but if I wasn’t acting full time, I’d be tattooed from head to toe. It’s a beautiful art form. In the Maori tradition, the role of the tattooer is more like a shaman. They say that you have the tattoo; it’s their job to bring it out."

With Outsiders recently renewed for a second series we look forward to seeing more of the awesome ink Hurst and co. created!! 

21inkedd

@Robert Davies

Tattoodo Staff Writer and tattoo enthusiast. Lover of all things traditional and blackwork!

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