Jason is the Boozy Doodler. A gifted tattooist. Black velvet painter. Menu graphic artist. Tiki cartoonist. Cocktail tinkerer. Prop master craftsman. Tiki bar glass designer. If it’s tiki, he’s doing it.
Jason and Casey Straughan invited me to stop by the Taboozy Lei, their home bar located in New Braunfels, Texas for a Jungle Bird. Once I stepped inside, I didn’t want to leave.
The bar has amazing vibe. Classic tiki. Jason and Casey’s creation has layers of collectibles, an A-frame thatch feature, beautiful large tikis, and masks from local carvers. It also features Jason’s own creations of skulls, motion activated ships in bottles, and art; as well as Casey’s touches of leopard and zebra prints to the vintage lounge furniture.
When I asked Jason how tattooing and painting black velvet were similar or different, he didn’t hesitate to answer. You can’t make a mistake. You’ve got to get right the first time. Black velvet is not forgiving, and certainly you have to get a tattoo right from the start.
It all started for Jason by getting hammered on tiki cocktails and drawing (doodling) drunk people. Jason grew up seeing the old UPA cartoon styles, and he was drawn to the jazz album styles of artists like Jim Flora and Cliff Roberts. But later, Jason and Casey’s adventures translated into a love of everything tiki. The Taboozy Lei is the third home bar for them.
Jason calls himself one of the world’s oldest juvenile delinquents. So that’s what you call him: The Boozy Doodler. That, or uh, His Doodlerness, or uh, Doodler, or El Boozy Doodlerino if your in not into that whole brevity kind of thing.
For me, the Doodler abides.