Tyler Hackett is an artist based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. We recently commissioned Tyler to create a larger-than-life (at least for most anglers) woodcut of one of our favorite local species, Morone Saxitilis. As a bunch of hearty New Englandahs we can’t help but get stoked when the striped bass return to their summer home in our coastal waters. We are super excited to have Tyler share in that stoke with us, and even more excited to have his work hanging in our new shop. Read on below for a brief about the artist and some process photos of our new masterpiece. Follow along with Tyler on Instagram, Facebook, and his website.
From the artist:
Equipped with carving tools in one hand and a fly rod in the other, I enjoy creating pieces of fish art and finding places to drift a fly in and around my home waters of the mountain west. I am not sure if I would be best characterized as an artist with a fly-fishing problem or a fly-fisherman with an art problem. I have been interested in both art and fly-fishing for as long as I can remember, and have just recently begun to combine the two disciplines. My main focus is on creating handmade woodcut prints that bring together the beauty and boldness of the printed image with my unique view of the wide world of fish and those that pursue them.
I see my process of carving the image of a fish into a piece of wood, (as well as making prints from the carvings) as having a lot in common with the practice of fly-fishing. There is quite a bit of thoughtful repetition, attention to detail and passion for what I am doing that goes into each piece. The Postfly Striper began as a simple drawing on paper, which was transferred to a large piece of wood I had prepared by staining and sealing it. With the drawing transferred the carving is started; usually, I do the general outline first and proceed to the details like fins and the head. As you cut through and carve the stained way the natural wood allows for an image to be seen. The scales were left until the end, and with that many to do you just make sure all your tools are sharp and try to enjoy the repetition. I get a lot of motivation from watching the carved image come together, which I think shows in the final piece.