I can't tell you how many times I've seen a cool tattoo and asked who did the work and the response was "Tony Max". I'm not even surprised anymore, I almost expect it. There are some very talented tattoo artists in the Memphis area, but tattoo artist is too limiting for defining Tony. Tony is just a fucking artist. What medium do you say? "What have you got?" would probably be his response. The guy clearly loves the creative process and is one of those types that has to noodle with something until he figures it out. He paints on everything. Paper, canvas, shirts, even shoes. He really and truly is a virtuoso that can't be contained by one creative medium. If you are in the market for some swell skin ink you can find Tony at No Regrets Tattoo Emporium.
Fairly recently, Tony began work on a tarot deck and I was thinking it would take him forever to crank out almost eighty pieces of art. EIGHTY PIECES OF ART! No, not really, because the guy lives and breathes art. In no time at all, it was finished and now he's back on point for our project (cough cough). Take a look at his blog and see a very different side of Tony's art. This series evokes comparisons to the super talented Dave McKean. Not many artists can jump around so freely from style to style like Tony can. He definitely deserves your attention and most probably your money. Just put it into a wheelbarrow and take it to him. He'll probably fix you up with a piece of art on your skin or maybe even something to put in a frame.
So a few years ago, I approached Tony and asked if he would like to try his hand at some comics. I was chomping at the bit to get something going and I knew Tony was a very good artist, but at this point I didn't know the depths of his talent. He got started and it was looking good. But then he got busy and just sort of hung up on the process. I think maybe he not only wasn't comfortable with the style he chose, but he was also finding his way around the medium. A lot of time passed without seeing any progress and occasionally I would plead with him and ask if there was anything I could do to speed the process up. "No, I'll get to it", would be his usual response. I was starting to think I was going to have to move on from our collaboration when something wonderful happened. I'm not sure what caused it, but something clicked inside of Tony and he pumped out a bunch of pages, each one more beautifully rendered than the previous. I think he made like 22 pages in one month and he was still clocking his normal hours at work. Woof! Where had this productivity been? Gotta figure out how to tap into this aspect of my fellow collaborator.