It’s a real rarity to find an artist that is not just a master of one style, but all of them. Just to put it into context, you'd be hard-pressed to name even one artist that practices Irezumi, American traditional, dot work, and fine lined black and grey all on a regular basis. But that's exactly what Tyler Pawelzik of Black Casket Tattoo in Pennsylvania does. In fact, a quick scroll through his Instagram will fully confirm his status as a jack of all trades.
Beautiful renderings of Native American inspired traditional lady heads, Irezumi inspired samurai warriors, and even a hilarious cartoon version of Tom Brady holding a deflated football illustrating the infamous “Deflategate” of 2014 are all part of his portfolio. While all of his work is absolutely phenomenal, we have to say that our favorite might be his fine lined black and grey pieces that are both ornamental and decorative.
Although still relatively unknown, Pawelzik’s work has found a fan in recently crowned Ink Master, Ryan Ashley Malarkey. In fact, Pawelzik is the artist responsible for her crescent moon and jeweled garlands hanging from the left side of her face, he’s also a contributor to her chest piece. Unsurprisingly, his black and grey work is quite similar to that of Malarkey’s famed style.
Delving deep into the realm of ornamental work, Pawelzik’s black and grey pieces favor repeating patterns with at least one subject as the central focus of the piece, whether it be a floral inspired mandala, evil eye, or butterfly. The remainder of his black and grey work focuses on motifs that are often found amongst the style, like roses, skulls, and vintage pocket watches. Perfect shading and excellent use of white ink dot the entirety of his work, while adding a profound level of depth.
While Pawelzik’s black and grey work is some of our favorite, we cannot forget his flash, which is unlike any of his many preferred styles of tattooing. Taking on more of a witchy aesthetic, his fine art and flash incorporates elements of the occult like mandibles and hamsas with extremely fine lined decorative markings. In an interview with First Friday Scranton, Pawelzik says that he prefers to keep his fine art vastly different from his style of tattooing. “I like to take my skills and put it into other crafts,” says Pawelzik. “If I paint something, it’s not anything like my tattoos. I want to do more with them and see what I’m capable of.”
Pawelzik is still relatively unknown, but that doesn’t make him any less of an immense talent. Pawelzik instead takes an old school approach, one that doesn’t bother itself with wide familiarity, but instead focuses on its craft. Consider Pawelzik a tattoo artist’s artist.