Owner / Tattoo Artist
Matt Thrash is a lifetime resident of the Black Hills. He is owner and operator of Thrash’s Tattoo and Piercing, and Wild Idea Tattoo and Piercing, alongside his wife, Cathy Thrash. Since 1997, Matt’s primary artistic focus has been the serious pursuit of properly applying pigment graphically to the human body, constantly pressing its limits and promoting the cultural acceptance of tattoos. He has worked as an artist in several different mediums (paint, airbrush, jewelry, tie-dye, you name it!) but tattoo is where his heart is.
Matts says, “I live for the perfect tattoo and enjoy sessions with my clients… visiting, laughing, and listing to great music. People are naturally excited to be getting tattooed and I feed off of that. I believe this is why the tattto art medium has moved me the most over the years.”
Doing great tatttoos is one thing, but Matt also gets satisfaction working around other experienced tattoo artists and developing the skills of up-and-coming artists. “I simply want to see and enjoy a tattoo I wouldn’t natually draw myself. It’s just more fun working around a group of diverse artistry,” he says. “And operating a busy tattoo studio takes a crew where everybody takes a part of the preparation, maintenance, and customer service. Everybody gets to create more when we are all in the picture.”
For inspiration and reference, Matt studies nature’s colors and textures in plants—like the fine textures in bark or an exposed root system in a tree—and of course the sky and other landscapes. He pays attention to the features of people’s faces, which lends well to creating portrait tattoos. He tries to memorize and reproduce what he sees. “I dream of a world full of colorful, textured surfaces where none existed before. I feel almost obligated to create something. Our tattoo shops and our great clientele provide a place to do this kind of work. I’m really challenging myself with advanced tattoo work.”
You can bet that right now Matt is thinking about his next tattoo, shop project, or out reference-gathering.