Tattoo Artist Dr. Woo on New UGG Campaign, L.A.’s Post-Pandemic Rebound and New Skincare Line

Dr. Woo
Courtesy of UGG

Side hustles are nothing new for famed tattoo artist Dr. Woo.

He’s collaborated with brands like Converse and Sacai and even launched his own skincare line, Project Woo, earlier this year just as the COVID-19 pandemic set in. A virus crisis hasn’t put a damper on his latest effort, however, as Dr. Woo is debuting in a new campaign with UGG called “Feel ____.”

Appearing in print and on video, Dr. Woo — posing in the newly launched Iggy Sherpa Half Zip and Niko Sherpa Crewneck from the brand's ready-to-wear collection as paired with the Tasman slipper and Classic Mini boot — waxes on about his creative process and how L.A. has shaped his work. He even put his signature fine lines on some customized pairs (consumers can enter for a chance to win one of 10 pairs for an Oct. 8 giveaway hosted by Dr. Woo on Instagram). He talks to The Hollywood Reporter about how he’s adjusted to the pandemic, how L.A. can rebound and why UGG. 

You're known as a sneakerhead, why did you decide to partner with the brand and design a pair of UGG boots? 

I was interested in the idea of combining my aesthetic with a heritage brand. In realizing the unexpected nature of a collaboration, I felt it may tell a very cool story visually and creatively.

How was it to match your design to the brand for the custom pair? 

It was fun, I always like the idea of the young version of me who customized everything I could touch.

Los Angeles is a city in which you can see people wearing UGG all year long. What do you like about the fit and style? How does a pair complement your style?

All about comfort and casual vibes. … The Classic boot always goes well with any cozy fits.

Since the campaign is FEEL ____, I must ask you to finish this sentence: I feel ____.

Everything.

How are you doing amid the pandemic and what you have you learned about yourself?

I’m very blessed with what I have. I need to stop and smell the roses more often.

As part of the film, you reflect on your time in Los Angeles and how this city has shaped you. It's a city that is transforming due to the pandemic, and in some very challenging ways with closures and crises. What do you make of its future and how L.A. can rebound?

We need more empathy for each other as a community, but also a real understanding that we need to have informative and educated discussions on breaking the old norms that hinder us, into something that can help propel us along the path our unique city has been growing on.

What about your business? Tattooing is a very intimate process that makes it impossible to maintain social distancing. How have you managed?

Been enjoying the time-out of the studios to be home with the family as well as grow and focus on other projects aligned with my tattoo business.

Have you noticed a change in design or inspirations behind tattoos and what people are requesting right now?

Same as it ever was, to be honest.

Creative people like you can sometimes thrive amid challenging times. How are you funneling the stress right now?

Still have stress as always but definitely have a bit more breathing room to de-compress … hopefully not for too long though!

What's the best thing you've done during the pandemic? Content you've consumed? Project? Trips? Family time, etc? Anything like that? 

Launched a skincare brand in the middle of a hectic not ideal time...but learned a lot doing it and very proud of what my team and I have accomplished.