Journal

Artist of the Week: Em & Dave Lang

Presenting our Kindred Artists of the Week series! We are big fans of all the artists we work with and we are so excited to share their stories!

This week we are featuring the dynamic duo responsible for High Tide Tattoo here in Juneau, Dave and Em Lang! These two are phenomenal artists and we are so lucky to be collaborating with them on our new Local Threads apparel collection. We began planning this project back in 2019 and it has reached the final stages, launching TODAY. They will be here tonight, 4:30 - 7, to sign your new Local Threads shirts and sweatshirts. Read on to see what they're all about!

"If you truly love what you’re doing not only are you going to be working hard to make it work, you’re going to be working hard BECAUSE you love what you’re doing."

Em Lang

Who are you?
Em Lang, local angry girl.

What do you do?
I’m a tattoo artist, weenie wrangler, bonus mom and all around swell gal.

Who/what inspires you?
Wild animals, bank roll, and womxn supporting womxn.

What is your favorite moment in the process?
I enjoy being able to sit down and draw without intention, and seeing what spills out. A lot of times when I’m generating design ideas I don’t where I am going with it, but a few minutes of doodling and shapes start to build... I get into a groove where I can see an image materializing and that feeling is incredible. A lot of what I do in my career is very specific and structured- often times directed entirely by non-artists and when I get the opportunity to just draw freely, it’s always a gift. I love that I live a life that affords me the time and support to hone my craft.

What is a trick of your trade or a piece of advice for artists in your medium?
You always hear the phrase “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”- honestly, to me, that’s complete garbage advice. If you truly love what you’re doing not only are you going to be working hard to make it work, you’re going to be working hard BECAUSE you love what you’re doing. If it’s starting to feel easy, it’s time to push harder. Complacency is a killer.

What is next?
Oh boy- my husband Huk Yuunsk and I have a lot on our collective plates this year. We are organizing a big tattoo event in Metlaktala with some fellow tattooers to raise money for the local Boys & Girls club, I’m very excited about it. There are some projects coming up I can’t quite talk about yet... but individually, one of my big shows this year will be a solo exhibit at the Juneau-Douglas city museum called “Spit Shade”. Spit Shade will feature works done entirely with spit shading, a watercolor technique typically used to paint tattoo flash. So if tattoos and painting with spit peaks your interest, you can catch that in December 2020 at the Juneau-Douglas Museum.

Love Letters Tee at KindredPost.comLove Letters Tank at KindredPost.comLove Letters Hoodie

"...Establishing a language and dialog in professional tattooing that brings more understanding to both sides about a living tradition, not a relic of the past."

Dave Lang

Who are you?
Huk Yuunsk di waayu, Lukwil Tsimshianu, łgu Gidiganeetsu ada kumshuwamk.  Gitsbutwada di ptegu. Dzünüü ligi Tlingit anii di waatgu ada dzogu. David Roger Lang di waam kumsuwamk.  My name is Huk Yuunsk, I’m Tsmsyen and Tlingit and euro white mutt mix. I am of the Killerwhale Clan. Juneau, which is Tlingit land, is where I was born and live today. My English name is David Roger Lang. 

What do you do?
llustration, tattooing and fine art with study and emphasis on my culture and language.

Who/what inspires you?
Em Lang. First and foremost. Sigoop Price, Gamaas Bolton, Mike and  Mique’l Dangeli, Johon and Tia Atkinson, and all the native artists and language learners in my social media feed. Keep bangin! In tattooing, Bert Grimm, Ed Hardy, Rudy Fritsch, Fillip Leu, Tim Lehi and all of Atlas Tattoo in Portland, Oregon. They do it right. 

What is your favorite moment in the process?
The time right after you put it down. You had your face in it so long, you can’t see it for a whole, just parts you’re working on. Then you sleep and look at it and you can see it again as a whole with fresh eyes. I feel like that’s when you really see what you’ve made.

What is a trick of your trade or a piece of advice for artists in your medium?
Travel, read, and stop working long enough to recharge and appreciate it.

What is next?
Establishing a language and dialog in professional tattooing that brings more understanding to both sides about a living tradition, not a relic of the past. The people and culture are the lifeblood of our expression and art, so acknowledging the standards set and working respectfully within them will help build a language and understanding that will supersede “cultural appropriation” arguments and sensitivities.

Carrier Tee at KindredPost.comCarrier Kids Tee at KindredPost.comCarrier Crewneck Sweatshirt at KindredPost.com

You can shop the entire Local Threads collection here!

 

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