About Andy

A Semi-Brief Biography

Greetings and thank you for finding my website.   My name is Andy Howl and I am a tattoo artist, illustrator, painter, vocalist, publisher, and priest.... That's the short list. 

If you would rather see a list of interviews rather than read this long rambling essay, click here.

I was born in 1976 on a B-52 air force base in Northern Michigan.  I grew up a middle child near Lansing and Detroit Michigan and spent most of my time in basements playing Dungeon & Dragons computer games in DOS, watching horror movies on VHS and collecting comic books.  I was completely focused on drawing and fine art as a kid and was encouraged by my mother to pursue art from a young age.   My first piece of exhibited artwork was in a Russian gallery while I was in 1st grade.  I was obsessed with visual art through grade school and published my own underground newspaper and comic book (via long nights at Kinko's) as a high school senior. The underground paper entitled the "Hymenopteran Proctologist" was almost immediately banned by my art teacher and the principal.  But it began a DIY career of making and doing shit on my own, including t-shirts and large print-runs.

It was also during high school that I became acutely aware of death.  My sister Kristy, right after graduating high school, was the only survivor of a car crash that claimed the lives of her 3 best friends.  I did a deep dive into reading about life after death and absorbed everything I could on witchcraft, occult philosophy and anything out of the box.   My Grandpa was a Methodist minister, and I had an automatic repulsion to anything biblical on a gut level.  I didn't want to feel like I was being coerced into a cult when adults spoke to me.

After graduating high school, I left Michigan to attend Savannah College of Art & Design.... studying comic book illustration and script writing.  My love of high contrast black and white horror comics, logos, and op-art was quenched when my professor, Bob Pendarvis (who created the sequential art program and also nicknamed me "Satan-boy"), brought comic book legends Bernie Wrightson and Charles Burns for private workshops with us.   During this time, I also started to crystalize a dark, psychedelic and pop art influenced visual language that I had been working on since high school. My influences of horror movies, comics, psychedelic art, metal, and pop art began to coalesce.

Before graduating in 1997, I taught myself screen printing and started a t-shirt company with my black and white artwork, Kobra-La.  The name was based on the GI JOE movie from the 80's, which featured an army of pre-human snake people bent on reclaiming the earth.  The shirts were sold in headshops and counterculture shops around the country, including Noir Leather in Detroit and Planet 3 in Savannah.   

I moved back to Michigan in late '97 and eventually got a real job working for an educational software company illustrating stories, doing interface and package design, and web design.   I eventually stumbled into a fulltime online art job working in the High Times realm.  Running websites like Marijuana.com, 420times.com, 420girls.com and Legalbuds.com, doing magazine ads, packaging, photography, logos, and general marketing. 

In 2002 I had my first and only child, Zane, and soon after began learning to tattoo, with the intent of getting away from working on computers full time.  Essentially an early mid-life crisis because I wasn't drawing and painting like I wanted to be doing.  I had the realization that I was now a dad, and my own life was beginning to pass me by.

HOWL GALLERY/TATTOO
In 2004, we relocated to South Florida, and I bought my first home.  For the next 5 years I worked from home and raised my son in the Florida Everglades.  I eventually found a group of tattoo artists in Florida, and we opened a shop in downtown Fort Myers.  In 2008, I signed the lease for HOWL Gallery/Tattoo, an art gallery and tattoo shop.  I hosted shows with well-known artists like Derek Hess, Death album cover artist Rene Miville, BASK, Skot Olsen, Seldon Hunt, Frank Frazetta (via Sara Frazetta) and many more.   We also hosted well known tattoo artists such as Mike Fite, and Clay McCay.  While in downtown Fort Myers, I also created, managed, and did artwork for the popular community events Art Walk and Music Walk, that continue to drive business to the historic district of Fort Myers.   The first year in business I was also featured on German television, Tattoo Berlin on DMAX and hosted a monthly local morning news segment on CBS WINK-TV featuring local bands.  Within a few years I was awarded the 40 under 40 business award from Florida Gulfcoast Business magazine, Best Tattoo Shop in Southwest Florida award from Spot Magazine, and Trailblazer award from The Fort Myers News-Press.

THE DEVILS REIGN
In 2014, during a Frank Frazetta exhibition at HOWL, I was introduced to Peter H. GIlmore and Peggy Nadramia, the High Priest and Priestess of The Church of Satan, by my longtime friend, Thomas Thorn of the Electric Hellfire Club.   Being a huge fan of CoS and the writings of Anton LaVey since grade school, I was eager to pursue more conversation with Peter and Peggy.    We ended up creating The Devils Reign art book series and art exhibitions.  The first show toured Florida, New York City (via Stephen Romano Gallery), and Boston.  Each of the first four books featured a different Satanic theme, The Infernal Names, "Psychedelic Blasphemy", "Daikaiju" (giant monsters), and "All of Them Witches."  The 5th Devils Reign book, "Tyrants," is in the works, but currently on hiatus.   In 2019, I also hosted the 50th Anniversary of The Satanic Bible and held the first US screenings of The Devils Avenger film and An American Satan, both documentaries on the life of Anton LaVey and the history of the religion and cultural movement he created.

BURNED AT THE STAKE
In 2019 with a divorce looming and the need to create a new emotional outlet, I created the metal band, Burned at the Stake, with friends in the local music scene I had previously hosted at HOWL.  James S. Scott, a widely known metal guitar virtuoso and skilled guitar maker, was one of the first to join.   Our debut video was released in 2021, directed by my aspiring filmmaker son, Zane.   The band mixes black metal aggression with doom/black sabbath groove.  Most of the lyrics I write focus on concepts of hopelessness, betrayal, and the history of public execution.  We've had countless band member changes over the last 5 years but are working on finally releasing an album within the next 6-8 months.  The band has been fortunate enough to get street level success for our live shows and build a decent following in South Florida and Tampa.  

BLACK SUNDAY
In 2023 I was asked to host Satanic Baptisms on stage in Tampa for an event that I had been featured tattooing at for several years, The Tabernacle of Oddities.   The convention was created by my good friends, Liz and Dan that run Dysfunctional Grace in Ybor City - Tampa, with the help of "Tall Dan" who helps run The Orpheum.   Having been previously awarded a Priest/Reverend title by Peter and Peggy for my work on The Devils Reign and related events I hosted.  I had yet to use the title for any specific purpose, so I began planning a stage performance in-line with the original theatric presentation in the tradition that LaVey and Gilmore had established.  I worked for about 8 months with Peter crafting the baptism ritual and creating a backing track with my theremin and keyboard.  The event, which I titled 'BLACK SUNDAY', was held at The Cuban Club in Ybor, on their (known to be haunted) large historic stage.  I baptized around 20-30 people that night and followed it up with an additional ritual at BLACK MASS, held at The Brass Mug in Tampa on Devils Night, October 2023.    In early 2024, I was asked to add weddings to a follow-up performance at Tabernacle.   I soon became a notary in Florida, in order to legally complete marriage documents.  Tabernacle of Oddities will be held on August 17 & 18th 2024 in Tampa.

Obviously, I'm a workaholic and don't want to do just one thing.  But we only have a little time here.  Might as well make it count.  Do what you love and hold true. Otherwise, what's the point?

Click here for a list of Interviews with links.

Andy Howl 2009 - HOWL Gallery Grand Opening
Andy with Peter H GIlmore and Peggy Nadramia - 2018
Burned at the Stake - Photo by Maeden Photography
BLACK SUNDAY 2023 - Photo by Dreamscream

Art & Tattoo Inquiries

Below are a few types of projects I handle pretty frequently.  For art job inquiries, performance and wedding/baptism booking please use my contact form or my business text number, 314.666.HOWL

Projects I normally handle:
- Concert Posters
-  Album Art & Layout
- T-shirt Designs
- Book Covers
- Comic Book Covers
- Logos & Branding
- Package Design
- Signage & Storefront Design
- General Merchandise
- Biker Club Patches