The Murray brothers of Black Veil Studio open their doors and give us a view of what it's like to share your greatest passion with the very person who entered the world with you.
Ryan and Matthew Murray are twin brothers who embraced the city of Salem as their own and from which they drew great inspiration to their work. Befittingly, both Ryan and Matthew developed a haunting blackwork style that perfectly captured the dark themes of their tattoos. They spend their days creating and working together at Black Veil Studio, a tattoo shop they co-own. Their works are described as ‘black and grey for the grim-hearted’ which centralizes on Victorian-inspired macabre illustration.
Talk about how you both got into tattooing. I've read it was Ryan who first got into it.
Have you always been inseparable?
What common goal do you share in your careers as artists?
"We can successfully evoke the grim and dreary emotions that are often found in all our works, most often turmoil or bitterness"
What drew you to the ever-expansive world of blackwork? You use it wisely and incredibly, mingling it with dark and horror imagery.
"I think that most of our artwork is very much inspired by the energy and history of our home, Salem Massachusetts"
What are the things that fascinate you that are reflected the most in your works?
In terms of art, in what ways are you different from one another (approach, influences, views, etc)?
"One of the most positive aspects of doing the show was meeting and making some great and talented friends"
Talk about the Ink Master S8 chapter. How was the whole experience — all the ups and downs of appearing on tattoo reality TV?
Aside from tattooing, in what other pursuits do you both enjoy working on together?