The Pin-up Files

TJ Rappel pin-up artist

Inspired by everything from classic cartoons and the glamour of vintage Hollywood to comic books and geek culture, TJ Rappel’s pin-up girl art is a rich, colourful explosion of everything that is beautiful, fun, and awesome about women

TJ favors working with gouache, but also paints with acrylic and watercolour, draws in graphite, and colors digitally in Photoshop.

TJ Rappel pinup artist

With close ties to the current pin-up and burlesque scene, TJ's cartoon-style girls have been seen in classic-style, single-panel gags for Bachelor Pad Magazine, in key art for the Naked Girls Reading event franchise, and exhibited in Wisconsin, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, and England. He also worked on the logo for the New Orleans Burlesque Festival and is a supporter of the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas.

Although having taken art classes throughout school, TJ considers himself mostly self-taught. In 2003, after a six-year stint as a graphic designer, he switched careers and began learning the art of tattooing, and in 2013 celebrated his 10th year as a professional tattoo artist. His pin-ups are a popular request from his clients, and he is happy to tattoo them in any style, be it his own cartoon girls or a Gil Elvgren reproduction.

TJ’s influences and favorite artists include Alphonse Mucha, Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, Jack Cole, John Kricfalusi, Gil Elvgren, Fritz Willis, Drew Struzan, Olivia DeBerardinis, Doug Sneyd, and Adam Hughes. "All of them," he claims, "have taught me something, and I will never stop learning."

In 2009, TJ launched his own company, Krushervision Art Industries, as an umbrella brand for all of his artistic output, including fine art and commissions, tattoos, cartoons, art prints, and merchandise. His ambitions to expand the company include apparel, publishing, games, and animation.

All images in this gallery are copyright © TJ Rappel. All rights reserved.

Go to Krushervision (the official website of TJ Rappel) | network with Krushervision Art Industries on Facebook