“It’s a post-apocalyptic city with a raven in front of it,” described Geary Morrill as he tattooed the shoulder of a client at Eclectic Art Tattoo Gallery, his newly opened shop in downtown Lansing.
"It’s an evil city. We’re going to do a dove on the other shoulder with a more pristine background with brighter colors. It’s a good versus evil theme, just illustrated in a different way.”
Morrill, Mike Riina and Sean Peters, opened their own 800-square-foot shop Aug. 30. An addition to the staff is Craig Horky, a prolific local artist known locally for his unique original concert posters. The four tattoo artists and painters met while working at Splash of Color in East Lansing.
The grand opening will happen today from noon to 3 p.m at Eclectic, 615 E. Michigan Ave. in Lansing; $1,500 in Eclectic gift cards will be raffled off.
All proceeds will benefit the City Rescue Mission of Lansing, a neighbor of Eclectic. An after party and art show will start at 7 p.m. at 621, at 621 E. Michigan.
“We wanted to find a way to try to give back to our community, even if it is only in this small gesture. The work that is done at the City Rescue Mission on a daily basis is an inspiration to us all," Morrill said.
“It makes me proud to be a member of this downtown business district. It illustrates the kind of results that can be achieved through hard work, compassion, and civic-mindedness.”
Morrill said it was friendship and a creative bond that brought about the collaborative business effort.
“When we all worked together at Splash of Color we developed a relationship where we pushed each other a lot to do better,” Morrill said.
“Working with these guys there is a real good flow of constructive criticism. I feel like I tattoo better being around these guys because if there was a way to improve on a design, they would say it. We are all open to it and not intimidated if someone gives you some advice.”
Morrill moved to Long Beach, Calif., in 2009 where he worked for a short stint at Kari Barbara’s Outer Limits, a renowned tattoo shop. After learning some big news, he and his girlfriend decided to head home to Michigan.
“My girlfriend and I found out we were having a baby and she wanted to move home to be around our family,” he explained.
“I decided if I was going to move home I didn’t want to feel like I was going backwards. I had done a lot to get myself out there and I didn’t want to feel like I was giving up. I had to progress and keep moving forward. I wanted my own studio.”
Tattooing aside, the next project Morrill and company have in mind is transferring Eclectic’s large basement into an art studio for the staff, who all double as painters. Each have some original paintings hanging on the walls inside the shop near their work stations.
“One of the reasons we opened this place is because eventually we’d all like to be known as artists, not tattoo artists,” he said. “I love tattooing, it’s been really good to me, but that’s not the only thing I do. I’m hoping this will be a springboard for all of us to get our other mediums out there.”
Eclectic Art Tattoo Gallery Grand Opening & Fundraiser
Nov. 24 Noon to 3 p.m 615 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing $10 ticket includes
entry into raffle
Eclectic hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11
a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday; closed Sunday www.eclecticarttattoo.com