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WITM | Noelle Jones is The Mastermind behind TGR’s Outlaw Surf Club Collection

The Calgary-bred, Squamish-based tattoo artist Noelle Jones expressed her cowboy-country roots through a unique collection of hoodies, tees, hats and crewnecks for TGR. | TGR photo.

Meet Noelle Jones. The Calgary-bred, Squamish-based tattoo artist expressed her cowboy-country roots through a unique collection of hoodies, tees, hats and crewnecks for TGR. Inspired by her love for surfing, the outdoors, & psychedelic rock, Noelle took detail to the next level with this collection of bold, hand-drawn designs.

Where are you from / where do you live?

Noelle: I grew up in Calgary, went to university in Vancouver, and currently live in Squamish.

Why do you love it there?

Noelle: After living on Vancouver Island for a few years, I craved the same kind of peacefulness and proximity to nature, but wanted the opportunity that the mainland provided. Squamish is the perfect in between.

How long have you been creating art? How’d you get into it?

Noelle: I’ve been drawing and creating since I was a young kid, but only started to take it seriously during and after college. I grew up an avid athlete competing in luge, rugby, and ski racing. After getting into a serious car accident at the age of 19, I was unsure if I’d be able to use my body in the same way. So I started illustrating, which put me in the same kind of “flow state” that my sports and the outdoors always did.

How long have you been tattooing? (how did you go from art to tattoo, if applicable)

Noelle: Three years. I started doing hand-poked tattoos on myself and my friends after university as a fun way to pass the time but fell totally in love with the process and started learning everything she could about tattooing. I got an opportunity to guest tattoo at a shop called Space in Ucluelet and eventually got hired full-time. That’s where I gained mentorship through a few of the senior artists and learned machine work alongside my hand-poke practice. I now work as a full-time resident machine artist at Grateful Tattoo in Squamish.

What’s your process for creating artwork / tattoos for clients?

Noelle: My process has been very dynamic over the years. I love to draw flash pieces from my own ideas for people to get tattooed as is, but I’m also so stoked on many of the custom projects my clients approach me with. They’ve turned out to be some of my favorite pieces.

What inspires your artwork the most?

Noelle: Music and growing up in cowboy country aka Calgary - old west and rodeo imagery of the past paired with the re-emergence of the Outlaw cowboy type of vibes. Also a lot of contemporary, alternative country and bluegrass music by musicians like Orville Peck, Sierra Ferell and Nick Shoulders. Specific music inspiration includes Grateful Dead, 60s/70s classic rock, metal bands, the early Southern California folk scene, and classic country. I grew up listening to the Eagles, Dire Straits, and Springsteen with my dad. I almost always had my walkman or CD player on as a kid.

I’m also super inspired by gig posters that came out of the classic rock and psychedelic scene; vibrant, bright, hand-drawn posters by artists like Wes Wilson, Rick Griffin, Bonnie McLean etc. I try to incorporate an element of music in every piece I create (based on songs, album covers, posters, and general styles).

Relationship with TGR before this collab?

Noelle: Grew up going to TGR film premiers throughout university (19-24) and was part of the University ski/snowboard club; I would go see TGR films at the Rio theater in Vancouver. I found TGR years ago and always loved being a part of the culture.

Tell me about this TGR Collection - what inspired this artwork / these graphics?

Noelle: I was largely inspired by the Grateful Dead collection that just came out; so very psychedelic Grateful Dead inspired plus my own desert cowboy vibe. A bit of an ode to the classic surf road trip.

Favorite thing to tattoo?

Noelle: Vintage rodeo style pieces, inspired by cool, hand-drawn 60s/70s vibe & turning into tattoo ideas. Specifically longhorn skulls and anything inspired by music with a lot of detail!

What's your skiing background?

Noelle: I’ve been on skis since I could walk. I was always an adrenaline junkie, from ski racing as a kid to night skiing every day after class during college at the coastal mountains resorts in Vancouver.Now I’m back in Whistler and exploring getting into backcountry and touring

How do you balance your love for the outdoors and tattooing?

Noelle: It’s been tough at times. The last couple years, I’ve thrown lots of energy into refining my tattooer skillset & the music industry. I’ve been enjoying lots of creative projects with bands. Whenever I have a day off & don’t feel guilty about not working - I go to the mountains. I really just feel out when to take breaks and balance the two.

Get Noelle's Lonely Bandit x TGR collab products here.

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