The Rad & The Wild // Artist Feature with Kyle Ward – Tattoo Artist in Tempe, Arizona.

Today’s The Rad & The Wild feature gives us an inside scoop on how Kyle Ward, tattoo artist at Black Locus Tattoo in Tempe, Arizona. He is Bird Trouble’s very first, and not last, tattoo artist to be featured on TR&TW. If you’ve been a reader of mine for a while, you’ve probably have seen pictures of me and you know that I’m a big fan of tattoos. There is often a negative view on the art of tattoos and the work of the artists (mainly felt by older generations). I’d like to help change that by opening up your mind a little and showing you ALL art is one’s own expression, and THAT is beautiful. I’d also say to anyone reading this who is thinking negatively about others getting tattoos or tattoo artists… GET the F OFF MY BLOG! 😉 – Hugs and besos, Alexz

BT // Hey Kyle! How’s it going?!

KW // It goes well over here!  I moved out west to the desert about six months ago.  Everything is still new and all the plants make me feel like I’m on an alien world in a Space Madness Ren and Stimpy episode.

BT // Tell us one to three sentences; it could be about yourself or three thoughts on your week.

KW // I have been thinking a lot about the old interview with Bruce Lee where he says “You must be shapeless, formless, like water…”

BT // What projects are you currently working on?

KW // I am a tattooer, so im working on quite a few projects there.  Other than that, my interests lie hugely in oriental art. Specifically Japanese influenced.  Ive been doing a little project of trying to draw at least one geisha each day.  Usually as part of my morning warmup sketching.  (warmup sketching – as silly as it sounds is extremely helpful).  Ive also been playing a lot with pulp art style.  I just love old adventure comics and stories.  Especially the type of stuff when someone from the 1940s ends up in a prehistoric world.

BT // What can spark inspiration for you?

KW // I am fortunate enough to have an older brother who is an amazing artist.  He has helped me and really been a main cause why I am in the position that I am in.  I wouldn’t be half the artist or the tattooer or really the person that i am without him. I think that inspiration can really come from anywhere and anyone at any time.  I think that people can train their mind to be more open to inspiration around them.   I feel it is just as much of a never ending journey as mastering your craft.  I am convinced that my mind will never be as open to inspiration as i need it to be.  But if I keep pushing myself I can certainly get it very close to that. 

BT // If you could work with one person, who would it be?

KW // I honestly have no idea who I would want to work with.  There are so many people that I admire.  There is a tattooer named Jeff Gogue who i very much admire.  He seems to have a great attitude toward the craft and is constantly putting down inspiring work.  As far as fine art goes the list is nearly endless.  I really like certain aspects of so many.

BT // Who have you worked with that you really, really dig?

KW // I have been able to work with a lot of people who i really admire.  At the start of my career as a tattooer i was fortunate enough to meet a guy named Jack Mosher (Horimouja).  He has a good reputation in the industry and multiple books published on oriental art.  I was fortunate to be taken on as a student of his.

BT // Create a playlist with your current favorite songs: 

The Devil Makes Three –  pretty much any song
Andrew W.K. – Totally stupid
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats – Withered Hand of Evil
Man Man – Van Helsing Jukebox
Hank 3 – 3 shades of black
Camper Van Beethoven – Lottery
Anti-Nowhere League – Woman
Trampled By Turtles – Gasoline
Donovan – Colors
Hank Williams – Jumbalaya
Queens of the Stone Age – Better Living Through Chemestry
Monster Magnet – Powertrip

BT // What are you wearing right now?

KW // Vans white slip-on shoes designs by a tattooer named Grime, a hoodie with a design by an amazing LA based artist named Kevin Llewellyn, and the only jeans I really wear are G-Star!  My brother got me hooked on them years ago! Currently rocking out this pair. The cut causes them to twist around to your ankles. For lack of a haircut, this Kangol hat.

BT // What is your favorite vintage item, thrifted, or handy-down that you own?

KW // I have a couple cool vintage things.  I have an old brown Leather Jacket that was my Grandpas.  I was also able to stumble onto an old winter coat from the 60s or so that was worn by Detroit Police.  Each button has the Detroit seal on it.

BT // What does self-expression mean to you?

KW // Self Expression.  For me its just being comfortable.  Just being me.  Whatever little bit I can do to make myself smile.

Here is where you can find Kyle!
Instagram – @Kyledubb

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