I have been tattooing for 12 years. I was always fascinated by tattoo art but never thought I would be good enough to do it. One day I was getting tattooed by a friend and told him I’d take over if he got tired. He knew I was into art and said he’d let me tattoo myself. I was so excited and asked if he was serious. He responded, “yeah, as long as it’s on your ankle so you can cover it with your sock if it’s all fucked up!” He also said he didn’t want to tell me how to use any of the equipment because it was for his entertainment. I absolutely loved everything about the experience and knew it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. From there I worked daily on my artwork until I was able to get an apprenticeship and begin my career.
That was the first tattoo I ever did and it was classic “Mom” lettering in a heart.
My current tattoo style is New School. As a child I loved comic art and drew a lot of cartoon characters. As a teenager I was heavily influenced by graffiti. When I was in college and began my apprenticeship I was studying realism, making most of my oil paintings from this time period photorealistic. When I started tattooing my art looked more Neo Traditional and illustrative, but it always felt rather forced. At some point I realized that going back to the beginning and drawing cartoonish/warped versions of daily objects and characters felt natural.
Everything can become an inspiration. Sometimes it’s simple, like a shape I see in something that sparks an idea. (Staring at weird patterns on a floor, or clouds, etc.) Other times I’m inspired by stories. They could be folklore, or just a random story, or even a joke that was told that I felt like illustrating. I think one of the biggest inspirations would have to be other artists. These days social media makes it so easy to view other artists work and swipe through to see so many amazing pieces of art in seconds.
There are so many artists that I admire. I could go on and on listing people, but I would feel terrible if I left anyone out. I have been lucky enough to befriend almost all of the many I admire and I am truly grateful. (I’ll always list a bunch if asked in person, but there’s too much pressure to put names in an interview!)
Do you have any memorable tattoo story or a customer that has stuck with you through all the time you have been tattooing?
There are so many stories and memorable customers that have stuck with me throughout the years. People ask this question often and It can be hard to think of specific ones when there are crazy things happening on an almost daily basis. I’ve picked a customer up from the police station (they were late, but awesome), had customers cry in my arms because the tattoo was so meaningful, unfortunately I’ve had to let go of some clients due to their behavior, heck I’ve even gotten ordained in order to perform a marriage for two of my customers. With all of the ups, and even some of the downs it’s been an amazing career.
Is there any art form that fascinates you also except tattooing? Maybe do you have any other passion or something that you really enjoy doing?
Graffiti, I freakin love graffiti.
I often attend tattoo conventions. I haven’t lately because of the recent pandemic but I would definitely recommend doing any tattoo convention available. I’m not going to list any specific conventions because I feel like there is something inspiring that happens at every one. I have learned so much about tattooing and art in general from attending conventions. I’ve also made some great friends and had so many amazing networking opportunities come about from attending. Don’t rule out the after parties either! It’s a great place to talk to artists afterward since most of the time we are too busy physically tattooing while the convention is open.
I’ve been tattooed by a lot of artists over the years but I am currently undergoing a huge project. I have had laser removal on my entire left arm except for my hand tattoo that was done by Kelly Doty. I am in the process of having Timmy B and Lindsay Baker do a cover up on the rest of that arm. My right arm is currently being lasered so I can have a cover up project done on that one as well. I know it sounds insane to get two sleeves, then get two sleeves lasered off, and then get two new sleeves, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. (Don’t bitch about pain when you’re in my chair, I’ve been through it twice)
I haven’t really thought about a ten year plan. I just hope I don’t suck and can continually grow as an artist.
Kevin Boudreau Instagram Account