Page 127 - South Mississippi Living - October, 2021
P. 127

     When you think of a tattoo studio, chances are you’re thinking of a dark, dank place like you’d see in a television show or a movie. Somewhere with lots of black and mediocre sketches on the walls.
Twisted Anchor Tattoo is none of this. The space
is bright, thanks to its open concept and the many windows that line the walls. The space is colorful, thanks to the many containers of tattoo ink and the incredible pieces of art adorning the walls. Not only is Twisted Anchor a tattoo studio, but it is also a fine art gallery.
“I decided to open Twisted Anchor almost ten years ago. I wanted to work in an artist-focused shop that didn’t exist at the time,” owner Matt Stebly explains. “So, I decided to take the leap and create it myself. I was lucky to find a group of people to help make it possible.”
Every artist who works in the studio is encouraged to explore their art outside of tattooing. He wants each artist in the space to feed off the creativity and energy of each other to make themselves better. Hanging on the walls, mixed in with many other artists, you’ll see some of Stebly’s own paintings. His art is also available
to purchase printed on t-shirts, socks, ball caps, and more.
While Stebly’s artistic talent is obvious in multiple mediums, he finds the artistry and history of tattoos his biggest draw to tattooing. “It was
the tattoos themselves that inspired me to become a tattoo artist,” he says.
He describes his current art style as “a bit of stylization mixed with a bit of realistic elements” and loves to work with a teal, green, and coral color pallet. He credits his art style to the other artists that he’s surrounded himself with throughout his life.
Stebly has, truly, been surrounded by art for his entire life. As the great-grandson of Walter Anderson, Stebly was born into one of the Coast’s most artistic families.
“Who wouldn’t love living and working on the Gulf Coast?” he asks. “It’s such an amazing place. You have the water, good food, nightlife, and, of course, the art.”
When asked about his favorite tattoo that he’s done, he can’t choose. “What I enjoy most about tattooing is getting the opportunity to create every day,” states Stebly. “It can be stressful at times, but also very rewarding.”
Some of those stressful times include trying to separate his vision for a tattoo from the client’s vision. “I’m creating tattoos for people – not for myself. Their vision may be very different from mine.”
Some of these people he’s created tattoos for include doctors, lawyers, moms, dads, and people from almost every walk of life. “I’ve had so many amazing clients over the years,” he reminisces.
His advice for those thinking of entering his profession? “Draw, draw, draw.”
Stebly is married to his loving and supportive wife, Gina. “She has been putting up with me for almost ten years,” he jokes. He is the proud father of two amazing kids, Kennedy (10) and Anderson (8). The family has four beloved dogs: Freckles, Jet, Leo, and Nelly.
Twisted Anchor Tattoo and Fine Art Gallery
1101 Government St., Ocean Springs
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