Like some super-cool online dating agency, we came across Matt Hoke on the web and just had to track him down to find out more. One look at his ink was all it took to convince us that you should see it too as we all agreed that this is what you get when you stick with one artist and have the patience to see it through to the end…
Matt Hoke is a gamer. A bad-ass gamer who swears he spends most of his time working on his condo with his fiancée Angelica but by revealing his gaming addiction, we figure the percentage split on that is way in favour of the console. Back in 2005, he got himself a small piece under his right arm and that was his first step onto the slippery slope:
“After that first one, which was quite small compared to what I’ve got going on now, I decided to keep going. My artist is Adrian Lee who owns and works out of Analog Tattoo in downtown San Jose in California.
“When I first went to Adrian I only had the idea for a half sleeve and instead of having a sharp finish on my shoulder, I wanted it to fade out. He liked the idea but he also said "when we do your chest and back it will be harder to continue over with the fade." My response was "I don't want to do my chest or my back!" Little did I know he already had plans for me. So after talking for a bit about what I wanted, Adrian had a drawing for me, he added the burst pattern around the male figure I had described to him. I immediately liked it and we got started! When we applied the stencil and got everything in the correct position Adrian said: "You know this would look a lot better as a 3/4 sleeve." After looking at the abrupt ending at my elbow, I decided he was right and we went to a 3/4 sleeve. Adrian has a way of talking you into doing what he wants. I swear he planned this whole tattoo out from the second I walked in the door. He just lets me believe I'm in control but it’s really his tattoo.
“Throughout my sessions, he would ask me what I had planned for my back and chest, I would always tell him that I wasn't going to do my chest or back - just the one arm. He would just reply "We'll see." Again little did I know he had so much more planned for me. We were just about finished with the sleeve and he asked me, yet again, and he then revealed he had been thinking about what we should do quite a lot. I just humoured him and asked him to draw it up to see if I liked it. I had no intention of getting it but I wanted to see what he had been thinking. I'm sure he must have told me a few times but I would tune him out at that point because I knew it was never going to happen.
“A few days later, he called me in to look at the drawing and to my own surprise, I scheduled an appointment to get it done - like I said he has a way of getting you to do what he wants. In my defence, it was a badass drawing and I’m really glad I got it done. It just scares me because he’s asking me what I have planned for my back now…”