Ypsi-based Tattoo Artist Captures Cannabis Culture in Ink

. August 1, 2017.
DestroyTroy creates permanent pieces of art on cannabis enthusiasts
DestroyTroy creates permanent pieces of art on cannabis enthusiasts

Talk about cannabis providing a full-body experience. Troy, who prefers to be identified as “DestroyTroy,” started tattooing in 2007 and has spent time honing his skills as a tattoo artist around the world, working in Australia, Europe and Hawaii. When he landed in Denver, perhaps inevitably, what was happening in the community inspired his tattoos to evolve to incorporate the increasingly accepted culture of cannabis.

“They were that starting point, they were the ones brave enough to go ‘Hey, we can legally do this, and we’re going to prove it’,” Troy says. “I would say [Denver is] one of the strong points of cannabis culture in America.”

Troy’s work pays homage to the earliest masters of tattoo art, with bold line-work and clean shading. The finished tattoos have a vector-like quality, incorporating bright colors that give the pieces a contrast that makes them pop when applied to a human canvas. His time spent growing cannabis in Colorado gave him an intimate familiarity with the anatomy of the plant, helping him stylize the flowers through his own unique lens. Options for interested customers include art featuring cartoon character Marge Simpson’s iconic hairdo replaced with a bounty of leafy green.

Once he started incorporating elements of cannabis into his art, his following grew and people embraced the permanent memorials to weed. “When I first started doing it,” he adds, “I knew it would be somewhat well received, because at that time, there weren’t very many people doing it.” A catalyst to his work taking off in the cannabis world was being noticed by an editor for High Times, who got tattooed with one of Troy’s pieces and ran an interview in the magazine.

Troy came to Michigan in the past year on the recommendation of a friend and now works out of a studio in Ypsilanti. He can be reached at destroytroybookings@gmail.com and found on Instagram @DestroyTroy.