By Juliana Moxley/The State News
Local Lansing tattoo artists collaborated on Sunday evening for Artonica, an event meant to benefit the Greater Lansing Food Bank and Capital Area Humane Society.
But these artists weren’t focused on their typical work. Rather than creating artwork on skin, the artists rotated around 10 different canvases every 20 minutes and drew whatever came to mind with charcoal.
The pieces were sold at an auction later in the evening.
Monica and Greg Drake started Artonica three years ago as a way to give back to local charities.
Greg said the artists don’t get paid for the work because the night was just about giving back to charity.
The tattoo artists at the event were hand-picked by Greg for demonstrating exceptional creative skills.
“We look for custom shops,” Monica Drake said. “We look for artists that have the ability to actually be able to draw.”
The Drakes partner together to run Local Tattoo & Laser Co. in Lansing, a shop that only uses vegan ink for its creations.
The artists rotate to different canvases for a total of about two hours and once the artwork is complete, it gets framed and auctioned off to the crowd. Proceeds from the auction go towards the Greater Lansing Food Bank and Capital Area Humane Society.
Photographer Michele Hoffman heard of Artonica and the praise its artists received for their skills, so she came to the event in the hopes of finding artists that she could use for her own photography project.
VanGogh Tattoos artist Ian Wallace was participating in Artonica this year for the first time. Greg Drake got in contact with Wallace and invited him to the event.
“I’ve done a couple art fusions in the past with Greg,” Wallace said. “This is my first art fusion at Artonica.”
The artists at Artonica come recommended and display a strong passion for their work.
“I’ve always loved doing art and the idea of putting your art on somebody is probably one of the best things in the world that could possibly happen for me,” Wallace said. “You are leaving your mark on somebody and it’s going to last forever.”