WEST LEISPIC — Is it a tattoo parlor? A church? Or one thing sinister?
Reasonably, it’s the Drews.
Mycala and Tobe Drew are a novel sight in rural Putnam County. Coated in tattoos and often carrying no less than one shade of black, the Drews took up residence in an previous church just some steps away from city corridor in West Leipsic. They haven’t any plans of leaving any time quickly.
For them, it’s only a return to their roots.
Tobe Drew, 46, mentioned he’s initially from Continental (his father, Paul Drew, owned the Peg Leg Bar), however he had his sights to come back again to rural Putnam County to calm down after 30 years of being a well-regarded skilled tattoo artist. Right this moment, he’s on monitor to opening up a parlor, Handcrafted Physique Artwork, in Defiance.
“I grew up right here and I by no means thought that I might wish to come again.” Tobe Drew mentioned. “At 18, you wish to be wherever however Putnam County. After which at 46, I don’t wish to be wherever however Putnam County. Yeah. It’s loopy. I by no means thought I’d hear myself say that.”
The rumor is that he’s there to transform the previous church right into a tattoo parlor — he’s needed to push away some prospects knocking on the door — however Tobe Drew mentioned that may’t be farther from the reality.
As a substitute, the church is their private residence, which he and Mycala Drew have known as the Black Cat Manor after their two rescue cats, Jack Skellington and Onyx. The 2 darkish creatures wander concerning the extensive open dimly lit area, and so they undoubtedly match the décor.
Since taking up the property, the Drews are working to flip what was as soon as a church into an ode to the gothic and macabre. Tobe takes satisfaction within the small touches that he and Mycala have slowly been making to the place. On one wall, Edgar Allen Poe stares down into the area. As a substitute of ceiling followers, bat wings flow into the air. The sunshine fixtures have been aged and changed with Edison bulbs. Darkish artwork in Tobe’s type hangs on every wall.
Actually, Gothic artwork and callbacks to mysticism linger all over the place all through the residence now, and Drew mentioned he expects a serious overhaul — together with a Victorian type wrought iron fence for the yard — within the subsequent few years.
“You assume individuals are speaking now, you wait ‘til subsequent spring. I obtained plans for this place. Yeah, it will appear to be a museum. Okay. It should appear to be a museum,” Tobe mentioned.
“Persons are not gonna prefer it,” his to-be spouse Mycala chimed in. “However they’re going to have a very arduous time not liking it, as a result of it’s going to look so fairly.”
No matter occurs, there’s going to be black concerned.
A Black Wedding ceremony
Like Tobe, Mycala additionally likes black. It’ll be the colour of her marriage ceremony costume, which she plans to put on throughout her Halloween marriage ceremony.
A whole bunch are being invited for the shindig, and so they anticipate to double or triple the inhabitants of the small city only for that day. The 2 pulled a allow from the city to shut down a road to make it occur.
“She’s obtained a black costume. She’s coming into her form of music. We’re having a masquerade afterwards as an alternative of a regular reception. It’s what her dream is,” Tobe Drew mentioned. “Oh, and she or he’s having a potato bar. Her different dream at her marriage ceremony is to have 5 completely different sorts of potatoes.”
And all of it’s being made for tv. On prime of flipping the church, the 2 at the moment are engaged on making a actuality tv docudrama about their masquerade gothic marriage ceremony. Known as “Certain by Ink,” the characteristic is anticipated to hit quite a few streaming providers sooner or later.
The factor is, due to Tobe Drew’s tattoo profession, he additionally runs with some well-known of us. Resulting from consumer confidentiality, he couldn’t drop too many names, however there’s a video of him on-line giving Dustin Diamond, or “Screech” from Saved by the Bell, a spooky pumpkin tattoo. He mentioned he obtained his begin on the celeb facet of issues by tattooing Two Reside Crew, and folks have been impressed along with his “fashionable macabre” artwork type, which options loads of snakes, spiders, skulls and girls.
It’s form of his factor.
“My faith is artwork.” Tobe Drew mentioned. “And I see the wonder in all the things. I sit down and take footage of flowers and bugs, and I see magnificence in all the things. I don’t wish to say I’m classically educated, however I’m a educated artist that discovered how you can break issues down. Whether or not it’s scary, whether or not it’s stunning, I sit down and I map it, and I discover the wonder in it.”
Some on the town aren’t elated concerning the Drews’ plans. An area group of ministers preserve monitor of the church buildings on the town, and when the Drews grabbed it, they weren’t precisely anticipating the form of adjustments the Drews had in thoughts.
Throughout a latest mass, Father Invoice Pifher, of St. Mary Catholic Church, dropped their names right into a homily primarily targeted on Halloween and Halloween imagery, which some Christians contemplate to be “spiritually harmful.”
Pifher mentioned he’s by no means met the Drews nor has any intention of attempting to be unfair towards there way of life, however from a non secular perspective, he mentioned such imagery that the Drews are inclined to thrive on will be dangerous.
“We do contemplate the occult to be spiritually harmful and never one thing we wish our youngsters to be dabbling in, even out of curiosity,” Pifher mentioned.
He mentioned he understands the attraction because of the “edginess” and “riot” related to gothic artwork, however as he described it, those who dabble in it might open themselves as much as being influenced by evil spirits.
“Our free will is essential when it comes to what we let into our life. Once you have interaction in one thing within the occult in no matter means, you’re opening your self freely of your individual free will of an engagement with that actuality,” Pifher mentioned.
Tobe Drew emphasised repeatedly that he’s in no way a satanist, however that form of occult spirituality and its associated imagery does permeate all through the home. Mycala Drew, particularly, has some curiosity in these areas, and she or he plans to make a profession out of being a mystical investigator by learning demonology in the identical vein because the well-known Ed and Lorrain Warren.
She initially was on monitor to be a vet tech on the College of Findlay.
“I began trying on-line looking for programs that might enable me to do one thing that I truly wished to do, with my curiosity within the occult, in with the meta-physiology and my spirituality and all the things else that I’m focused on,” she mentioned.
“That’s not me,” Tobe chimed in. “I name it her hoobie joobie stuff, and it freaks me out. I’m not a fan. I’ve by no means been a fan of that. She will be able to. That’s her. I paint fairly footage and stuff.”
Corners of the previous church have been arrange as completely different seating areas, and loads of creepy objects of curiosity have been used as decorations.
Mycala and Tobe Drew have transformed a church into their very own gothic lair as an ode to among the identical scary media they each take pleasure in.