Inking Up

These Doodled Celebrity Images by Cheyenne Randall are Causing a Cyber Stir

Cheyenne Randall is a big hit with us at The Plus Paper. In fact, we’re rolling up our sleeves in the hope that he might do a ‘Wills & Kate’ on us – we too want to be transformed into punk hippies with purple hair. His work developed from that high class art called doodling. Yep – the carpenter-by-trade found himself thumbing through mags, drawing tats on celebrities – as you do. He then discovered the power of photo-shop, and the rest is history.

His tumblr site has attracted millions of hits, and features countless tattooed stars – from Albert Einstein, George W. Bush to Kate Moss. As a collector of traditional tattoos, Cheyenne has a selection of images in his mind which he often works freely from. “I don’t like to sit and plan, I like to break ground and wing it.” The artist loves transforming celebrities into completely different characters; for him it’s like creating a ‘parallel universe’. It’s a credit to his skill that the images are proving to be so provocative, but he is philosophic with regards to the media backlash they can cause, “There is a lot of hating going on and so be it. It’s definitely not for everyone.” But for those who love his work, a long stint down the tattoo parlour has never been so inviting.

The Plus: How did you apply tattoos on each image, any difficulties?
Cheyenne Randall:
I apply them using Photoshop and it can definitely be challenging. The technique I use is pretty simple in step form but it took me a lot of hours to get it down, the first ones look ok, but not anywhere as realistic. My biggest problem is I have a bad habit of not saving mid- project and my computer will crash and I lose an entire project just like that!

TP: How long does one image takes you to make?
Each one depends on a couple key factors. the quality of the photo and how much skin is getting photoshopped. But I can usually get them done at the most complicated level within a couple hours.

TP: Will you keep making more pictures?
Absolutely, even though my shopped tattoos went viral and it’s causing a lot of mixed reaction, I try not to pay attention to what people are saying. I don’t feel pressured to keep making them or stop making them, I just like doing them. It’s actually quite relaxing and the original curiosity to see someone like Mick Jagger fully suited in tattoos is still there.

TP: What if people want to buy your work?
Nothing I have done with the shopped tattoos is for sale due to copyright laws as well out of pure respect to the subjects and primarily the tattooers whose work I used. This was never a money motivated project, so that’s fine but, at the end of the day, I’d like to get that word ‘starving’ out from the front of Artist. I will always be working on my fine art which often times incorporates a lot of my Lakota heritage.

TP: Which one do you like the most in your previous shopped work?
My personal favourite is hard to pick, but I love Wynona’s. It’s a full traditional bodysuit minus the face. Lots of people are angry for some reason even though these aren’t real, that I tattooed the subjects faces or that I went over the top. That’s was the point for me. anyway, it fits Wynona well.