Derek Tuder

When they coined the phrase “Black don’t crack,” they must have had Derek Tuder in mind. Time means nothing to him, at 51, he never seems to age. His healthy lifestyle and personal pride keep him forever young. Always smoothly dressed, he possesses an air of quiet dignity about him which he pours into all those who come into his orbit.

Born in Indianapolis and a single parent, he’s been an artist since he was ten years old and started his first business at twelve years old. His art informs his entrepreneurial spirit as he has: an art studio (he loves to do murals), does personal training (life coaching), and has a tattoo shop (which he sees as an extension of his art).

He has a soft heart for people. Living people, as he clarifies, “I don’t want to chase corpses. After someone’s dead, we can have a candlelight vigil, too. But I want to stop corpses.” He loves life, he loves God’s creation. “He made man in His image and said he was good and we should honor that.”

No Black On Black Slayings came about from the news. Looking at it every night with reports of black folks killing each other, broke his heart. As a man of God, he poured his heart out to his Father. “God, please do something.” What stirred in his heart was “No, you do something.”

All of his efforts go back into the neighborhood. He wants to mentor youth. His has an open door policy, especially to those men coming out of prison. He shares his shop and ink to get men started in their own business to build a clientele. And they can come workout to blow off steam when things get tough.

Artist statement:

-No BOBS door: Tupac and Biggie, two of the biggest martyrs to black-on-black slayings. We count the cost and the tears.[Learn more about No BOBS]

-The Negro League door: He wanted to highlight our brothers who have gone. Show the youth what came before. Our ancestors left us before their time. They couldn’t play in the Major Leagues, so they started their own. A philosophy which has fueled his life.

-The Happy Birthday door: It’s about community, to give something everyone can relate to and celebrate. Either their own birthday or take a picture with it and send it to someone for their birthday.

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