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Life & Work with Matt Kerley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matt Kerley. 

Hi Matt, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I started tattooing in Greenville, NC while I was attending the School of the Art at ECU. I have a double BFA in sculpture and painting. I graduated in 2005 and have been tattooing ever since. I traveled a lot during that time tattooing all over the country and overseas. I recently relocated three years ago back to Raleigh, NC. A year ago, Dean Caves and I opened Old Ghosts Tattoo in downtown Raleigh. 416 W South St I also run and operate a clothing company called Death Mask. Selling everything from t-shirts, prints, and patches to coffee mugs, resin sculptures, and original art 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It’s been a bunch of ups and downs as is any business I suppose. Traveling and tattooing for four years was difficult but very rewarding at the same time. I enjoyed my time on the road but am also enjoying staying at my home shop in Raleigh and being a part of the local art community. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’m mainly a tattooer. I own/operate Old Ghosts Tattoo in Raleigh, NC. But im also a professional freelance illustrator. Making album covers, shirt designs, and other logos for companies all over the world. On top of all that work I run and operate Death Mask. Which is a soft goods company selling shirts, prints, socks, bandanas, etc. which showcases my original art. My work sets me apart from the rest purely based on the imagery itself. I tattoo and illustrate a darker more surreal image. 

I’m most proud of the body of work I have put out. Most of my clients fly in from all over the country to collect a tattoo from me. I proudly welcome them to the Raleigh/Durham area 

How do you think about happiness?
A solid day of work at Old Ghosts Tattoo or in my private studio. Nothing more rewarding than self-made progress. 

Contact Info:

  • Email: KerleyOnTheRoad@gmail.com
  • Website: MattKerley.bigcartel.com
  • Instagram: @Mattitude
  • Other: @oldghoststattoo_nc

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