The Greaser

The Greaser

ShiftyDevils
— Originally published in FLL#36 • Written by Alyssa Clark • Photos by Bianca Cordova

I walked into Dean’s house in West End Lancaster to him, his wife Cindy, and his daughter Deanna all wearing the same shirt. The shirt had a handcrafted logo printed right in the center. “Grease and Grace,” I read.

Dean Hogg, a Lancaster man, grew up right around the corner from his current house. A mechanic by day, Dean grew up around automobiles, as his dad was a mechanic before him. Dean has been drawing since grade school and over the years he has mastered his meticulous hand. Growing up, he gravitated towards his father’s old magazines, getting inspiration from the classics, such as Von Dutch, Dean Jeffries, and Larry Watson.

Pinstriping, an art that’s making a current comeback, is an art that Dean’s been practicing and perfecting for years, where the lines must be precise and delicate. The art can be used for decorating almost anything: purses, cars, or skulls, all of which Dean has successfully pinstriped. Not only does Dean have a room in his house dedicated to his work, he also creates his art in the garage studio behind his house. There in the garage, odds and ends are used as a base for his ideas.

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Dean Hogg custom pinstripes anything from automobiles, guitars, skulls, and purses.[/pullquote]

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Dean began professional training with the late Rick Straub, who was a professional sign painter in Lancaster county. Through Straub, he learned the commercial aspect of the business before moving onto his own personal work. Besides Dean’s apprenticeship with Straub, he never had any art school training. His gravitation towards pinstriping lead him to try the craft on anything he could get his hands on, including the oil tank in his dad’s basement, which he assured me is still there. The composition of the lines that Dean draws follow the form of the object he’s working on to create movement throughout the piece. “I let the piece tell me what it needs,” he says.

Pinstripe2Before he started selling his art, it was a hobby. However, soon after Dean started working on pinstriping the back of a guitar for a friend, he discovered he was partially colorblind. In his work, he had always gravitated towards reds, purples, greens, browns, and yellows. So, when his friend wanted purple, black, and silver designs on the back of the guitar, he discovered he only saw two of the three colors, making it difficult to decipher which lines he had painted black and which he had painted purple.

When it comes to the style of his art, Dean sticks to the classics. He draws inspiration from the late 50s and early 60s of the Kustom Kulture. Not only is he known throughout Lancaster County, but his art was recognized by the Von Dutch Official brand. He now sells his art worldwide. A recent skull that he pinstriped was about to make its way to France when we had our interview. Out of all the products he pinstripes, though, the purses are his most popular product. “[Deanna] always makes fun of me. She’s like, ‘Who would have thought you’d become the purse guy?’”

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As we all sat there and talked, I realized the depth of Dean, Cindy, and Deanna’s connection. They were all artists, feeding off of each other’s creative energies. Where one of them had a weakness in their work, the other would have a strength—and a solution. “[Working together] comes really naturally because everything we do is so different,” Deanna says. Cindy and Deanna are also masters of their own particular crafts, selling their art on the Grease and Grace website.

Even now, artists are learning sign painting and lettering, crafts which are now obsolete. “It has its highs and its lows, but it’s on a real comeback.” Dean says pinstriping and the Kustom Kulture movement are here to stay.

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