Catching up with Alex Matus

It's always inspiring to hear from ANP Artist Alex Matus on where the road has taken her and where she's headed next. Kind of makes you want to drop everything "normal" all at once and do it like she does. Here's Alex's reply to our "What have you been up to?" and a few photos from the road below:

Oh, hey! I didn’t see you come in there…hold on, let me put on some pants and give you the latest from my life on the road.

I’m currently writing from the parking lot of one of my favorite haunts on the beach near Morro Bay, California. Being that I’ve spent a few absolutely heinous summers in this oven-on-wheels, this year I’ve been sticking to the west coast to beat the heat and keep my tattoos from vaporizing.

I’ve been tattooing mostly in LA, SF,and PDX, but spending most of my down time along California’s central coast hiking, swimming, picking up trash and playing jukebox DJ at the local watering holes (where I have become affectionately known as “Judas Priest” for the vest I always wear).

There is this strange and bewitching vortex of energy extending from Santa Cruz, through Big Sur, and down to Pismo that I can’t seem to escape. Perhaps it’s the decreased density in people, the open and rugged coastline, or the meandering pace that seems to preside here, but I can’t seem to shake it. Each day it gets harder and harder to leave.It’s hard to explain the feeling, but I feel as if I am made from this place. All of the colors and textures seem right.I feel as if I could just be another piece in the landscape, that it is where I fit.

I’ve been drawing and writing on the trail or roadside turnouts, where I’ll spend hours working on future tattoos, shirts, and my travel/heavy metal zine Stone Deaf. Quite a lot of my RVCA designs come from time out in the field, so to speak. Many of the subjects and landscapes are taken from then exact spot where I’m situated.

Otherwise, I spend my days walking the beach and pondering such existential conundrums as: “What is the meaning of life/consciousness?” “If we are all a loose collection of particles manifested into wave functions, vibrating together from an initial universal spark, why are we so awful to one another?” and “If I boogie now, will I be able to catch the taco stand before it closes?”

When I’m not trying to solve the mysteries of the universe and beyond, I try to punctuate some of my lonely days by exploring new towns and kidnapping friends on impromptu road trips. I recently made one such abduction to Big Sur and Monterey where I successfully stunk up the Fernwood again (love you guys), melted a few faces at karaoke, and shocked the gallantry in Carmel with my leather, tattoos, and colorful language. I’ve caught a few neck shattering shows in LA and Santa Cruz, most recently Weedeater and Necrot, and will often plan my work trips to coincide with them. Music tends to be the most influential force in determining where I travel to tattoo, with the weather following closely behind.

The central coast right now is lousy with whales and white sharks. I’ve been spending a few afternoons watching them from the south lot in Cayucos with some of the local folks while blasting metal from their work trucks. There are a surprising amount of metal heads here, in, what is otherwise a quiet and mellow surf town.

Tattooing has been a bit harder on this old broad these days, but I’ve had a blast catching up with my good friends at Idle Hand (SF), O’Reilly’s (Santa Cruz), State of Grace (San Jose) and Torch (Anaheim). Each of these fine shops are home to brilliant tattooers and sterling human beings. I’ve been fortunate enough to get to trade tattoos with a few of my heroes and feel pretty damned grateful to be invited to work at these shops, and invited back depending on if I can find a shower before work.

Not sure where the road is going to take me next, but I’d like to get back out the Eastern Sierra in the winter and to the Southwest once it cools down a bit.But who knows?

Well, it’s near sunset and I’m going to try and find some grub and a place to lay my weary head for the evening. Last night was spent on an avocado farm in Cayucos, which is going to be pretty tough to beat.

Cheers and safe travels.

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