Steamboat Springs artist Mike Moore developing his own pinstriping style |

Steamboat Springs artist Mike Moore developing his own pinstriping style

Luke Graham

— It might take some digging to find Mike Moore's first piece of art.

But somewhere in the realm of second-grade math tests, English papers and science exams, the margins and open spaces of paper tell the story.

"I've always been drawing or doodling nonstop," Moore said. "Any papers in school all had a drawing on them. All of them."

Now Moore's art has turned into more than column filler. It started with an interest in pinstriping and has evolved into a full-blown hobby.

Moore's art will be on display at Deluxe Tattoo as part of this month's First Friday Artwalk. The event runs from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday.

Moore draws inspiration and style from famous pinstripers Ed "Big Daddy" Roth and Kenny "Von Dutch" Howard.

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"If you enjoy that style of art, you'll like it," Moore said about his work. "It's out of control. It's different. It's not aspen trees."

Moore has been doing art all his life, but his passion has really grown in the past six years.

The Commerce City native previously lived in Chicago and El Paso, Texas, before moving to Fort Collins for two years. He has lived in Steamboat for about a year. His art follows in the same vein as famous pinstripers, but he's recently developed his own style. Pinstriping generally is defined as art that uses very thin lines of paint.

Moore is now working with graphite and charcoal, focusing mostly on portraits.

His show today will include portraits of John Wayne and Johnny Cash. Among the 12 pieces he'll show is his favorite, a skull set in roses.

"It's something different," he said. "It's crazy looking (stuff). Hopefully people smile."

For Deluxe Tattoo, Moore's art continues its inclusion into the First Friday showcase. Owner and artist Melissa Freeman said she started hanging "lowbrow" art because there aren't many places in town to showcase the work.

Although it may not be for some people, there certainly is a crowd for art like Moore's.

"I grew up in Steamboat and there wasn't really anywhere to hang artwork if you weren't painting barns or aspen trees," she said. "There is not a whole lot of lowbrow art and not a lot of places to hang it. As the owner of a tattoo shop, I thought it would be a cool opportunity to open the door for that."

See a list of participating venues here.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

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See a list of participating venues here.

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