Jake “Creep” Crawley makes motorcycle-inspired designs that make our tattooed skin tingle.
Jake Crawley may be a creep, but he’s the best kind of creep. He’s the kind of creep that likes getting bugs stuck in his teeth when he’s zooming through the desert on his Harley, the kind of creep that likes stick and poke tattoos and Bob Seger tunes. He’s the kind of creep that always has something funky stuck under his fingernails. He’s our kind of creep.
“Well, my last name is Crawley. So when I was in grade school the kids used to call me ‘Creepy Crawley’ and I’ve always drawn what people call ‘weird and creepy’ stuff,” confesses our resident California creep, Jake Crawley. “People will ask me if I’m on drugs, but I don’t need that shit; I’m kooky enough.” Jake’s work borders on the psychedelic, the abstract and the surreal, but it’s hard to pin him down, as his illustrative work and lettering are just as mind-blowing, fitting for a guy who can’t seem to stop switching gears. “I think that I have too many hobbies. I’m kind of a spazz, jumping from skateboarding to going home to paint, then switching back to drawing. Then I’ll pick up my guitar or maybe chop up a bunch a veggies for dinner and wash it all down with a brewski.”
A dizzying day in the life of Jake Crawley revolves around three things: his art, his bike and his family. His art stands on its own, but the latter two have always been intertwined. “My relationship with the world of motorcycles is lifelong,” Crawley says. “My pops has had a bike since I was a little squirt and I remember tooting around on the back with him till I got old enough to ride my own.” Going from dirt bikes to a Harley Sportster modified for long hauls Crowley has spent most of his life on two wheels. “I remember when me and all my skateboarding buddies got motorcycles. It was all downhill from there. There’s nothing like mashing through the winding country roads to get away from everything and everyone. I have the most fun loading up everything I need for a road trip and hitting the open road with my pops and few buddies.”
Jake’s love for the road is reflected in his art. Whether it’s the fine lines of his lettering or the lewd and crude line work of his illustrations, it’s all a nod to the bike culture of the ‘60s and ‘70s, tricked out for present-day creeps. There’s a sense of nostalgia to his work, be it his love for vintage bikes, his trippy artwork, or the tattoos that he wears. “I have a bunch that I’ve done on myself,” Crawley explains. “I got ‘Night Moves’ because I’m a big Bob Seger fan as well as ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’ because I grew up listening to the Eagles and every time I hear their music it takes me back to bouncing down the road with my mum and pops in their old Chevy pickup.”
Crawley’s life’s work is just that, his family and friends, the stuff that keeps him going, splattered on wood, canvas, metal and sometimes skin. “The last person I tattooed was my pops, and after we were done, I asked him to tattoo me. He was like, ‘I’ve never tattooed before,’ and I said, ‘That’s exactly why I want one from you.’ I asked him to tattoo ‘POPS’ on me in his own handwriting. I’ve always liked how he wrote in all capital letters.”