From his first skilled tattoo at 14, Brian Woo—higher referred to as Dr. Woo (@_dr_woo_) to his 1.6 million Instagram followers—has left his distinct, minimalistic single-needle designs on among the world’s greatest A-listers. (Did we point out he has a three-year ready checklist?) Right here, we faucet the artistic visionary for extra on his L.A. upbringing, his iconic profession and some thrilling ventures within the works.
How does it really feel having turned a fascination with tattoos into an empire? From the best way I grew up and what I used to be instructed I may or couldn’t do, I’m fairly joyful and blessed to be the place I’m. … It’s much less of a prideful factor for me and extra of a present for my dad and mom to indicate that they raised me proper and so they did every part completely and I ended up proper the place I used to be speculated to be. … It was many, many hours of fixed exhausting work, so it was exhausting to take a seat again and mirror whereas it was occurring, however once I do have a second to see the entire accomplishments and achievements, I’m nonetheless hungry. There’s all the time one thing on the horizon for me.
Who influenced your artistry essentially the most throughout your profession? In a way, all of it goes to my mentor, Mark Mahoney, who introduced me into the tattoo world. He is without doubt one of the authentic legends of single-needle valve tattooing. Simply being on the Shamrock Social Membership tattoo parlor and Mark, absorbing all these strategies and visible aesthetics, it type of spoke to me, and you’ll learn all of it within the tattoos that I make now.
How has 2020 impacted your work, and in what methods have you ever pivoted your model to perform in the course of the pandemic? Earlier than the pandemic, I used to be touring so much, had a set routine and was transferring tremendous quick. … This 12 months turned out to be an excellent reset and a time to prioritize, dig in deep and actually concentrate on my targets. It’s undoubtedly bizarre, however I’ve discovered a brand new rhythm that I’m very pleased with. … The 12 months has additionally allowed me to reconnect with my household and have a little bit bit extra time for myself.
You lately launched your personal skincare line, WOO Skin Essentials. What sparked this new enterprise? Skincare is one thing that spoke to me. From a younger age, I used to be all the time conscious of taking good care of my pores and skin and the significance of pores and skin well being. There by no means was a creative aspect to that, and it’s all the time been a fascination of mine to construct a model and have a lifestyle-curated product rooted in every part that I discover inspiring below my umbrella and in my universe.
Your star-studded clientele contains the likes of Justin Bieber, Drake, Katy Perry and plenty of others. What’s it like attending to work with high celebrities? Working in a well-known tattoo store, we had been raised to not be starstruck and to deal with everybody the identical. … That’s the cool factor about tattoos: Below the needle, everybody’s pores and skin is similar. For me, I simply attempt to hold everybody on the identical stage, be actual and have an sincere second with one other human.
Pictures by: Rick Rodney/ProjectWoo