Rich Wren Talks Pandemic Coping Skills, Tattooing His Way Through College, and Future Travels...
Point to Point takes you behind the needle to share the personal journeys of tattoo artists like you. Drawing inspiration, spreading respect and love… This time we’re talking with Pennsylvania artist Rich Wren.
Name: Rich Wren
Years tattooing: I have been tattooing professionally for 18 years, and have had my own studio for 8 of those.
Years actually good at it? Hah: I don’t think I’ll ever be good at it. I’m confident in my technical abilities, but I always try to do better with every piece. I fully believe that once you think you’re good you stop learning temporarily, or at least until something kicks you in the ass. LOL
Place of business: Relic Tattoo Studio, Horsham, PA, USA
PC: Good day Rich, this is somewhat of a weird time eh? Let's talk a bit about what we're are all living these days. COVID-19's got us stranded at home, how do you cope with all that?
RW: Hi Patrick, you tell me! We had to close up shop as well, and where I live it's one of the worse spots in Pennsylvania. I started making small sculptures out of clay and I’m waiting on some stuff to get delivered to make more. I've also starting drawing and painting all day, while I can. I’m also going to make my drawings into small sculptures.
PC: Alright then, let's entertain folks a bit and talk tattoos! I have to say, your colour saturations are amazing, and what to say about your illustrative style? WOW! You're my 2020 discovery! You're definitely a strong artist who can manage all kinds of work. You travel quite often, you're living the tattoo life to the max, tell me how did you end up tattooing?
RW: Thanks for discovering me! I travel fairly often. I told myself that I would stay off the road for 2020, but when the road calls I can’t help but to answer. I regularly do the NIX convention in Canada and lots of guest spots wherever I can. (Looking to guest in Australia this year, I hope this drums up some attention to facilitate that!)
I went to Tyler School of art for Glassblowing and I started tattooing to pay for college. I had a gas guzzler 88’ Ford pickup truck that I drove, on top of books, supplies and general needs, and I needed a way to pay for all of it. So, I taught myself how to tattoo out of my house using Tommy Gun magazine books, and what little information I could get from my friends who were also tattooing out of their homes. After about a year or so I brought my portfolio to a local shop and got a job. He allowed me to finish college and respected my commitment to getting my degree, but once I graduated I poured my heart and soul into tattooing.
PC: OK Folks - RICH IS LOOKING FOR GUEST SPOTS - Lol! Speaking of your travel, you recently came up here and got a chance to get some tattoo wisdom with James Tex eh?
RW: I've made many friends in Canada over the past decade or so. I visit friends and just generally love your country. Yes, I’m having my backpiece done by James Tex. Honestly, it felt more like a hang out session and we just shot the shit. He’s a pretty rad down-to-earth guy.
PC: True that! You were also supposed to go to the Evergreen Invitational eh? WOW, not everyone gets to go to that! How did you get there?
RW: I don’t know actually... I got an invite one day and I've been doing it ever since. It’s one of my favourite conventions. They treat you so well, and the people on the West Coast are so much more relaxed and chill. I make many friends every time, so it makes me wanna go back every year.
PC: Hopefully we'll have few convention this year. What other conventions are you going to this year, and do you have any guest spots planned?
RW: I had the Evergreen Invitational in March, if it happens, and NIX in June. I've been putting my feelers out there to do guest spots in Germany and Australia, and I might do the Brussels or the Milan conventions, but who knows what's next.
PC: Rich, it was truly a pleasure to chat with you. Stay safe, be active and hopefully I'll see you on the road!!!
Follow Rich Wren on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/therichwren