The artwork on your favorite can or bottle of beer is the face of the beer. The label can set the tone of the beer, express the brewer’s emotions of the beer, or give a hint at what flavors you may encounter in the beer. Sometimes, it is just a crazy image that has nothing to do with the drink at all. No matter what the intent of the artwork, it is there to create an emotional attachment with the beer. Or to just look really really rad.
Here is where Alex Renie comes in. An artist at heart, diesel mechanic by trade turned tattoo artist who just so happened to land at the doorstep of Centerpoint creating the artwork for their upcoming release, Jetty, a pineapple and coconut Milkshake IPA. Indy Craft Brew was able to have a conversation with Alex about his journey from mechanic to label artist, his inspiration for the label, and what is next for him.
ICB: How did you get into creating art and moving into tattoos?
AR I remember wanting to be a tattoo artist as early as 14-years-old. However, I did not pursue it because I was terrified of messing up and was not sure if I could actually make a good living from it. Then last year I was getting a tattoo and had my sketchbook as a reference for the artist. The owner of the shop asked if he could look through it, loved my work, and told me he had been looking for an apprentice. I nearly turned it down due to lack of confidence in my work and, to be perfectly honest, was terrified that I would mess up on somebody. Thankfully, they pushed me and helped me to be confident in my abilities. That was about nine months ago and now I tattoo full time and love everything about it. So thankful to have a mentor that helped me achieve my dreams.
ICB How did you hear about the upcoming beer from Centerpoint and how were you selected to create the artwork?
AR: I heard about the beer release because one of my best friends, Ricky Smith, is one of the brewers at Centerpoint and actually came up with the idea of making a pineapple, coconut, milkshake IPA. We had discussed me potentially doing art for Centerpoint in the past, and he felt this was the perfect beer for me to give it a shot. I am extremely grateful to him for the opportunity because he had the vision for it and was able to make it a reality.
ICB: What drove your inspiration for the design?
AR: So the only guidelines I was given for the design was that there needed to be a jetty (essentially a pier) in it. I didn’t even know what a jetty was at the time. I was told what the flavor was but had not tasted it or anything at the time. I had all kinds of different ideas, but essentially knew I wanted to make sure there were pineapples and coconuts present in the design. I have always been into drawing unusual things that catch people’s eye, and love drawing animals, so I narrowed it down to the basic idea. After a lot of practice sketches and about 20 different animals, I got to the version that is now on the can. I really appreciate everyone at Centerpoint for allowing me to run with my own ideas and to trust me to come up with something that they would like.
ICB: What’s next? More tattoos and can art?
AR: I am in the process of doing another design for Centerpoint right now. I cannot thank them enough for the opportunity, it means the world to me. I have no idea what the future holds for me as far as doing can labels, but for right now I am just really enjoying the process. It is surreal to think that less than a year ago I was a diesel mechanic and now I am a professional tattoo artist and have artwork being mass produced on beer cans. I hope that these opportunities keep presenting themselves, and in the meantime, I am going to keep grinding and keep producing the best artwork that I am capable of doing. Tattooing is still my main passion, but I absolutely love being able to share my art in different forms like this and to be able to reach more people in this way.
ICB: Thanks for your time Alex, appreciate it. Any hints on the next beer and what the theme will be?
AR: The next beer I am doing a label for is a double IPA, a seasonal. The art work will be a yin and a yang and earth and space.
Check out Jetty now in cans and on tap at Centerpoint, and for the next DIPA coming from Centerpoint here soon! If you’d like to see more or Alex’s’ artwork, check him out at alexrenie.tattoo’s on Instagram, and Zen Body Art Studio.