Interview with Kyle Warwick | Unique Tattoo Style | UK 02/02/2022

 Hello Kyle Warwick! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. Please start by telling us something about yourself and your background. What made you to start tattooing? I was the weird kid in the corner of class drawing comic sketches in the back of my maths book. I lacked interest in educational art at the time - I found myself painting graffiti in my teenage years which led me to visiting a tattoo shop that offered my first apprenticeship.

Q: Tattooing is not an easy skill, even if a person can draw or paint... Still it takes a lot of practice and dedication. Did you have any help or you're a self taught artist?
A: As an artist I'm certainly self taught - keen observation is key and consistently focused application. I've seen many artists draw fantastic portraits yet, can't seem to pull a clean line after 3 years of tattooing. Tattooing is a craft and artistry is artistry, if you can combine the two. Bingo!

Q: When did you do your first tattoo? What was it?
A: 2016 - I think it was a birdcage for my sister. It wasn't very good.. it still isn't!

- How long it took you to gain confidence in your work and regular customers?
I gained confidence within a year as my Seniors were fairly neglectful of my progress, but only now in hindsight can I see a truer performance and confidence in my methods.

Q: Your style is really interesting. I like how you combine many different images into one cool design. Very creative. It's like graphic design in a way, but cool way! How would you call your style?
A: I haven't yet thought of something catchy, but if it is anything it is: abstract-realism with elements of graffiti and new-school/illustration.

Q: I love the color tattoos. Vibrant and detailed. The graffiti vibe is so nicely implemented. Bravo! Tell me more about the creative process. Do you draw some sketches for each client before a session or the inspiration can come spontaneously while tattooing?
A: I try to keep a process that flows and feels natural - I basically do what I know! I find the right portrait then I add in extra light sources and starting doodling graffiti and cartoons until it feels ready - my style is pretty recognisable and consistent so most be know what to generally expect.

Q: Have you ever refused to do a design simply because you didn't like it or it was completely different from what you do?
A: Yes. Not that I feel above particular tattoo choices, however if I'm not feeling it at that particular moment then I won't do it - equally, if customers are being difficult and won't listen to my advice then I am not the right artist for them. I still enjoy doing small flash tattoos from time to time, I am a tattooist after all.

Q: How important is to be open for ideas but also maintain a "signature" style as an artist?
A: Absolutely necessary. If you stay open to new ideas you can grow as an artist. Simultaneously, if you stray too far you may not be what you envisaged - which isn't always bad. That being said, I think most great styles aren't curated with intention - usually they're formed and find themselves over time, but once you've found it, it's good to repeat the formulae.

Q: You also do graffiti. I love it! Do you try to bring tattooing and graffiti all together as a nice mix? Do you express yourself through your art?
A: Yes, that was always my intention - it just took a while to figure out. I don't necessarily intend to express something in particular with each tattoo however, you can always take a little something of myself from it - some characteristics perhaps or particular moods from the moment of design.

Q: What's more fun to do, tattoos or graffiti?
A: It depends, but generally graffiti is way more fun. Graffiti is pure freedom, you move at your own pace and it is a full body craft - it comes through your feet and legs and to your wrist in swift movements. Small tattoos can be just as fun with heavy linework and whipshading but generally large tattoos are a labour, a labour of love.

Q: Are you an indipended graffiti artist or do you have a crew?
A: I'm a part of a crew that isn't very active currently - life gets in the way and a hardcore graffiti lifestyle has consequences and sacrifices. I now enjoy painting graffiti for the joy and socialism - not the thrill and reputation. Although, I'm a bit of a lone wolf in most things I do.

Q: Tell me about the UK tattoo scene. Do you see progress? What do you think we the media should be doing more in order to promote new artists and support each other?
A: I love the UK tattoo scene, it is strong and there are a lot of incredible artists, a lot! We seem to be particularly well rounded in Black & Grey, Linework/dotwork, Mandalas etc. That doesn't really interest me though, I like to see a bit more risk in people's work. I've always preferred the scenes in USA, Spain and Russia for example - they have far more abstract artists, graffiti influences, bold colours and tend to be more intuitive and progressive with their work, most of my influences are from these regions. It makes it a little tricky to be an artist of unusual styles in the UK as most people go for Black and Grey.

Q: We live in very uncertain times now with the pandemic. How are you? How this whole situation affected you as an artist and as a person?
A: It wasn't the easiest transition at first but we are creatures of habit, adaptability being one of them. It's given me time to refocus and think clearer. It is what it is.

Q: Hopefully, we will be out of this weird situation soon and finally we will get back to normal. What are some of your plans for the near future?
A: The same as now - keep growing and making cool tattoos. I may be interested in starting my own shop in the near future however, solid tattooing and growth is the main focus. I will be attending various conventions.

Q: What would you recommend to all the young people who want to try getting into this business?
A: No shortcuts, no bullshit. Do it because you care about what you're creating. Perfect your craft, not your image. Unless you have something outstanding to add, leave the industry how you found it. You are not above tattooing - people have done this far longer than you. Respect your clients but do not undersell yourself, your time will come. Respect your peers, but tradition is always the way - take some risks. Enjoy it, it's the best job in the world!