So, about a month ago, we published an exclusive interview with the one and only Jeremy Hanna – the co-owner of Sullen Clothing. That was just the first part, and althought we said that we will publish the second part a week later, we just got freakish busy and didn’t find the time. Anyway, here’s the second part of the interview, we hope you’ll enjoy it. Feel free to share it and comment on it.
Casa Tatuajelor: Today, under the Sullen roof are artists like Bob Tyrell, Charlie Cartwright, Carlos Torres or Dmitriy Samohinand many many more. From Cartwright to Samohin, there are two generations of amazing tattooers, how did you manage to attract them to the Sullen Family?
Jaremy Hanna: It all happened organically. At first we were working with the new generation of up and coming artists. But we were introduced to Jack Rudy through our friend Sage and really hit it off with him. Having Jack back us helped us to win over some of the older OG’s of the tattoo community. We developed strong bonds with many of these guys. WE BBQ together, attend weddings, baby showers etc. We dont have to hit it off with everybody, but we became really good friends with many of them and shared similar interests. It really is a great relationship because we are consistently looking to help each other out. Working smarter and not harder.
Ryan and Jeremy at the Sullen Headquarters. Courtesy of Jeremy Hanna.
Q: How do you select the Sullen artists? I guess that there is a selection process, not anyone can join whenever they want. (If i’m wrong, consider this my request to join the Sullen Family :)))
A: (laughing) Ryan is the Art Director and picks which art will work on a shirt. Anybody is welcome to submit art by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Most of the relationships are formed organically though. They are usually introduced to us from a friend and it goes from there.
Q: This reminds me about the awesome division – Sullen Angels. How do you select the angels? Beauty or tattoo work? Or both?
A: Bernadette (nr. Bernadette Macias) holds Sullen Angel contests all over the world. She chooses which ones will be in the contest and then they go through a process of elimination until one is chosen. They help us to brand our womens line of clothes.
Ryan, Jeremy and BIG Gus Ink at the Sullen Headquarters, putting up the graphics for the new fall collection. Courtesy of Jeremy Hanna.
Q: Can you tell me more about the Sullen Musik Division, and please tell us some artist to follow that are under your label.
A: The label sort of landed in our laps. Mike De Armond approached us a couple years back. He already had a label and was the nephew to the Music Industry Icon Ted Field of Interscope Records. He pointed out to us that we were already doing what many labels do and that we could help distribute music for these guys. We didn’t start the label to make money. It was more to just help all of the talented musicians that were already wearing our gear. If we happen to get a big hit song or album then that would be great. But its more to help our friends with the marketing machine that is Sullen.
Q: You have a huge and awesome collection of tattoo’s. What was your first tattoo and where?
A: My first tattoo was done by my Uncle who had just got out of prison. Actually it was supposed to be him, but when it came down to it, he had his girlfriend do it who was just learning. Done with his prison style machine. It was my last name in cursive and i put it up high on my thigh so that my parents wouldnt see it. Soon after that Ryan got an apprenticeship and began doing all of my work after that.
Q: Please name a few artists that have tattooed you.
A: The list is too long to mention. I enjoy collecting from friends. So as i have become friends with so many of our artists… I have collected tattoos from many of them. I have collected from probably over 40 artists. I really do need to count them and write them down.
Jeremy Hanna in different approaches. Courtesy of Jeremy Hanna.
Q: In these days, on most magazines, tattoo tv shows, tattoo shops and tattoo conventions, Sullen is present. How does that make you feel? Was there a moment when you and Ryan said – ok, dude, we’ve make it?
A: We acknowledge that we are a leader in the apparel side of the tattoo community. But we do not feel like we have made it yet. There is still so much room for growth. There are many people that still have not heard of Sullen. I feel like we are still an underground company. And we have witnessed so many clothing companies go out of business right before our eyes. So we stay on our toes, stay paranoid and continue to evolve and work hard so that we do not become a statistic. You cannot get comfortable or somebody hungrier will take your spot.
Q: Sullen Clothing with amazing new releases each week, Sullen music with amazing artists, actions sports with the biggest names in BMX, FMX and MMA, what’s next for Sullen?
A: We want to continue to collaborate with brands that make sense. We are excited to be releasing our first round of collaboration snowboards with Nitro. But we are not trying to become a snowboard brand. We simply have amazing art to put on these boards and Ryan and I both enjoy snowboarding so it made sense. We want to continue to put art from the Sullen Art Collective on other cool product that makes sense. We are also super stoked to be working with Rockstar Energy Drink for a second consecutive year in a row. It is a lot of work, but it has been fun to travel around the world spreading both of our brand messages.
Q: How do you see Sullen Collective in 10 years? How do you imagine it?
A: Thats tuff to say. We enjoy the ‘slow growth’ process. We feel that we will stay relevant if we keep with the slow and steady growth. We do not want o blow up and be everywhere. That will be the beginning of the end. We like being the underdog. Still sort of hard to find.
Q: Please tell us two thing about Sullen that aren’t that known.
A: The very first conversation about starting a clothing company together happened in my parents back yard during my sisters birthday party. It didnt develop until a year or two later. But the thought process started that night. A second story that not many people know about Ryan and I is a crazy one that involved watching 3 of our friends get shot right in front of us with a TEC-9 in our apartment in Arizona. I had a bullet go through my shirt that i was wearing but i was missed. Everybody survived but you will watch and hear the detailed story on Sullen TV coming up soon.
Q: Any message for Sullen’s european/romanian fans?
A: Thank you for your continued support. Thank you so much for putting these questions together for me. I had a good time answering them guys