With a portfolio boasting impressive artistry both on skin and on more traditional, non-human canvases, Justin Weatherholtz is diving into a new creative endeavor – releasing a book.
Weatherholtz, a seasoned tattoo artist at Good Luck NYC in Greenpoint (68 Greenpoint Ave.) and Kings Avenue Tattoo in Manhattan, has seen the pandemic shape not just where he does his work, but how and through which mediums.
“When the lockdown happened, coming out of that, it was time for a change – I’ve been living in Greenpoint for six years, and I really gained a new love of the neighborhood because I was around a lot more. I felt really grounded here and just wanted to be here,” Weatherholtz explained. “I landed at Good Luck and it was the right fit. I feel like I have a new relationship to my tattooing and to my art, how I’m approaching life and my schedule with more autonomy.”
And this new relationship to art influenced the creation of his upcoming book, Death at Sea, which features 25 original paintings highlighting death and its many themes, a motif seen frequently in his art and tattooing. Inspiration struck a year ago in January 2021 after a trip to Desert Island Comics (540 Metropolitan Ave.) where he discovered a book with a particularly intriguing, full-color-bleed format.
“I got [the book] and when I opened it up, it had a record in it and a bigger, oversized ‘zine in it, and I was having an experience,” Weatherholtz recalled. “A lot of the work that I do is a lot of repetition with the visuals, a lot of water and a lot of death themes, and it just kind of meant that this is what I want to do. This format was really speaking to me.”
The book is available tomorrow, January 27, via Afterlife Press, as well as at an in-person event at Saint Vitus (1120 Manhattan Ave) where Weatherholtz will be presenting art from the book, as well as personalizing copies. The event is open to all and free to attend; for more details, click here.
What’s next for Weatherholtz after his book release and guest tattoo spots on the west coast? A Valentine’s Day merch collab with Saint Vitus (and he’s always open to working with more local spots), plus hopefully more traveling and future events at Good Luck. But another priority is highlighting all of the talent at the tattoo studio.
“Everyone [at Good Luck] does a wide variety of work and I’m definitely lucky to be working with so many talented people over there; it’s an awesome job,” Weatherholtz said.