Badass Barber Kyle
Read Kyle Bigwood’s answers in full:
What was your first tattoo?
My first tattoo was a Maltese cross on my left arm at 14 years old. My mother took me, it’s my heritage, Maltese, and I guess that was the only thing I could persuade her to let me have tattooed haha. It’s been blasted over with a black panther head by Henry.
Did your collection advance quickly?
I started getting tattooed from 16. From there, all my first tattoos are now under either lots of black or blast overs, nothing has remained the same. It can take anywhere between months or years to build on my collection. I go through bouts of getting tattooed a lot in a short amount of time to year long breaks. It’s a never ending process and a lot of thought and research about what to have and where, as I don’t want to burn up space too quick!
How do you choose your tattoos?
I do a lot of research. I collect tattoo books. I take a lot influence from folk art, tattooed guys and girls from the 1900’s, the originators of American traditional, that being guys like Percy Waters, Bert Grimm, Charlie Wagner, Bob Shaw, also combined with tribalism and prison tattooing composition.
What’s your favourite tattoo?
That’s so hard to answer. Honestly I would say my back piece by my main guy Henry Big, it has a lot of significance to me. It’s a huge step in anyone’s tattoo ‘journey’, as cringey as that sounds, to get your whole back tattooed. It’s a lot of hours, blood, sweat, pain of course… a huge area to cover. But once it’s finished it’s an incredible feeling to have, knowing you have your whole back tattooed is incredible. Not a lot of people do and I can see why… it hurts. I love it, the image is the rock of ages. It’s bold, it’s black, it’s fucking tattooing to me.
How do people react to your tattoos?
Depends on the person. I get mostly positive reactions, if I’m being honest. Ive been employed since I left school, so no problem there. Sometimes you get the odd look and people staring .. but that’s always going to be the case. People ask and approach me all the time about them. I’m happy to talk, curiosity mostly, about why I’ve blacked out my arm and such. You get the odd old lady in the post office moving her handbag to the front of her hahaha… it’s all good.
What was the last tattoo you got?
The last tattoos I got was a cuffed rose and “sans espoir”, which translates as “without hope” in French, done by a local up and coming tattoo artist called Tristan Ritter. It was inspired by the French prisoner tattoos of the 1890-1930 era.
Who are your favourite tattooists?
In no particular order. Henry Big, Sway Tattooer, Guy Le Tatooer, Adam Vunoir, Austin Maples, Louie rivers, Bailey Hunter Robinson, Rich Hardy, Joseph Bryce, Richard Warnock, Thomas hooper, Aron J Dubois, Justin Olivier, Gusak, Om-Kantor, the list goes on.
Who do you want to get tattooed next by?
I want to get tattooed next by Rich Hadley, Ruby May Quilter and Liam Sparkes. I have the ideas in my head and these are the people to do them.
Best tattoo story?
I really wish I had something interesting and cool, but all I have is: I had a tattoo artist years ago, when I was round like 18, tattoo me fully coked up and shade in the wrong section of a shitty nautical star (we’ve all been there). So he had to black the whole star out as it wouldn’t make sense. What a shit tattoo and story. Guess I’ve been lucky.
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