Images by John Hook
Thirty-three stories above the Honolulu skyline, O'ahu native and tattoo artist, Lucky Olelo welcomed us to the Soul Signature Tattoo studio to talk story about our debut collaboration aloha shirt and the inspiration behind its design.
Can you tell us a bit about the print you created for Kahala and the concept behind it?
First I’d like to say thank you to Kahala, for allowing me to be a part of their collection. The inspiration for this design comes from my love for Asian art & tattooing. For me, any good collaboration starts with the relationship between the person or company you’re working with. That usually determines the tone and pace of the project. Kahala approached me with a loose idea, giving me full creative freedom to run with it. We went back and forth with a few ideas and ultimately the team at Kahala, did a great job combining my artwork with their classic style and craftsmanship.
What’s your story?
I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. I’ve been involved in the tattoo industry since 1999 and plan to be until the universe deems otherwise.
Who or what inspires your work?
Without getting too deep… Traveling, nature, real people, real things, hard work, risk takers, honesty and integrity.
What is a favorite project you’ve done?
This one of course!
What is your favorite failure?
I’ve had many failures in my life, not sure if any are my favorite. Failure never feels good but it is necessary for growth and success.
What is some advice you would give to an aspiring tattoo artist or someone who wants a creative career?
Prepare for failure LOL. Don’t rush. Practice, practice, practice, practice and more practice!
What are some of your favorite places in Hawai‘i?
I’ll keep those a secret.
What’s your “holy grail” wall to paint?
I guess my “holy grail” wall to paint would be one that belongs solely to me. One with no rules, no community guidelines and no repercussion of what the general public feels or thinks. Most importantly it need to have shade from the sun. This can also apply to most projects, not exclusively to murals.
Where are you traveling to next?
I have an upcoming trip with some friends to Switzerland, London, Italy, and Germany. It’ll be my first time to Europe, hopefully it’s not the last.
See more of Lucky Olelo's work on his Instagram @luckyolelo.
SHOP THE COLLABORATION
|Men's Shirt in Black
|Men's Shirt in Blue
|Women's Blouse in Blue
|Women's Blouse in Black