Lynn twins open tattoo, art studio

LYNN – Brothers Matthew and Ryan Murray now have one more thing in common besides being identical twins with a longtime love of art: They are co-owners of a new tattoo and art studio in downtown Lynn.The Black Veil Studio of Tattoo and Art, which opened April 6, is more than just a place to get inked. The 28-year-old brothers said they want the space to have an “art-gallery feel.” As such, their own art is hanging on the walls and they hope to display work from other local artists.?(We want to) sell our prints and use this as our studio, as well, for painting and making films and animations and that kind of thing,” Matthew Murray said.The Methuen natives and current Salem residents had envisioned joining forces one day, said Matthew Murray.?We?ve always wanted to work together making art. It was our dream,” he said.Ryan Murray said the idea to open a new shop also came in part because he had been tattooing in various shops on the North Shore for the past six years and wanted to move on.?I was always traveling, working for other people,” he said.Ryan Murray said he first started tattooing at age 17, when he got an apprenticeship at the shop Brothers in Salem, N.H.?I went to at least 10 shops, probably, trying to find an apprenticeship,” he said. “And they would all say $10,000 or some crazy number to apprentice.”Primarily a painter and drawer, Matthew Murray said he got into tattooing three years ago. He is also a 2009 graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, where he studied film and video. Ryan Murray said he took art classes at the college as well.The brothers are currently the only employees at the shop, but plan to take on a piercing technician and potentially add more tattoo artists. The shop also offers correction or repair of existing or unwanted tattoos.The brothers said they have a clientele of more than 500 people between them, including many weekly and walk-in customers. The downtown location is great for foot traffic, said Ryan Murray.Matthew Murray said they found that their Munroe Street location was available when their band, Goodnight Pilot, was using a practice space on Central Avenue.When tattooing, Ryan Murray said he likes doing both full-color and black and gray designs, and he said his brother enjoys doing faces and portraits of people. The most popular tattoo requests, the brothers said, are tribal designs, butterflies and Sailor Jerry-style designs.Ryan Murray said it has been a learning experience transitioning into a business owner.?It?s nerve-wracking but exciting,” he said.Even with the abundance of support the brothers have received from family and friends – including a friend who donated a chessboard for the waiting area – Matthew Murray said it still has not sunk in that they have their own business.?It seems pretty surreal waking up and coming to our own shop and unlocking the door,” he said.The Black Veil Studio of Tattoo and Art, 147 Munroe St., is open Monday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call 781-780-9096.Sarah Mupo may be reached at

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