(Nick Baxter with his mom)
Nick Baxter is a renowned name in the tattoo field and today I am glad to publish his interview for you. He began his journey into the field of art When he was a teenager and apart from tattooing he has interests in oil painting, drawing, and photography. This year you can see his seminar presentation on “Fundamentals of Realist Oil Painting” at the 5th Hell City Tattoo Festival in August.
Mostly there is a symbolism behind his tattoos, however, enough said, know him better in his own words in this interview.
Disha: Let’s start with your first rendezvous with the art. When did it start and how?
Nick Baxter: I started tattooing in 2000, at the age of 19, after beginning to get heavily tattooed upon turning the legal age of 18. I learned to tattoo through a typical tattoo shop apprenticeship, which lasted about 6 months and taught me all the basics.
Disha: What fuels the fire within you to keep going on and on? What sense of fulfillment do you get after inking a design?
Nick: I’ve had a lifelong interest in art, and expressing myself visually and creatively, so tattooing for me is just one extension of this passion. Creating art produces a great sense of fulfillment in me, because it’s a very primal, instinctual process of communicating, and in sense you get to ‘play god’ for a short period of time, and make the image in your head appear in front of you on the canvas, or on skin.
Disha: Is body art an obsession for you? How deep are you soaked into it?
Nick: I don’t consider it an obsession, but it is certainly a fascination and something that gives me pleasure or satisfaction, especially upon creating or viewing a piece of body art that I think is really beautiful. I have many other interests and priorities, and end up tattooing usually around 3 to 5 days per week. I try to balance it out with other important things in my life.
Disha: Nick, could you please share any good or bad experiences/requests you’ve encountered for a tattoo?
Nick: Some of the greatest experiences I’ve had with tattooing occur when I am able to really make a positive impact on someone’s life or appreciation of themselves, by doing a meaningful tattoo on them. In those moments the technical and business aspects of tattooing are transcended by a more important level of human connection. Some of the worst experiences I’ve had with tattooing occur when the client somehow doesn’t like the tattoo I put on them, but luckily that hasn’t happened too often.
Disha: For our readers’ information please tell us how much does a piece cost?
Nick: I generally charge by the hour, at around $120. Cost is almost always determined simply by the length of the tattooing session.
Disha: How have things changed regarding your inking over the years?
Nick: So much has changed, it’s pretty difficult to put it all into words. All artistic creation is linked to the time, place, and conditions under which it was conceived. The most obvious things that have changed with my tattooing have been my overall level of artistic knowledge, and my knowledge of the intricacies of the tattooing craft in particular. In other areas things have changed in that I now do only custom original artwork, and I am afforded the luxury of being able to pick and choose the projects I want to take on. I am more of my own boss nowadays.
Disha: How far would you like to take your body art?
Nick: To the limits of my ability and creativity, and as far as the medium of skin will allow those ideals to be realized. Hopefully, when I’m done people can look upon my body of work and all I’ve done and be able to gain something positive for themselves from it.
Disha: Tell me frankly, what is there in tattoos, despite all the pain, that drive people and of course, you, crazy?
Nick: Well, besides the pain, there are a lot of things that drive me crazy about the tattoo industry as a whole. Like, certain business practices, attitudes, ethics, etc. But, as for tattoos themselves, just having to deal with and compensate for the limits of the human body is really the only thing that can drive me crazy sometimes. Human skin is in a constant state of slow deterioration, and it eventually dies altogether, when the person dies, so the beauty of tattoos is often a fleeting feeling. They are both ‘permanent’ and impermanent at the same time.
(Nick and his pet – Danny)
Disha: In addition, who is Nick Baxter apart from a being a tattoo artist?
Nick: Aside from tattooing, I enjoy all kinds of artistic expression, especially oil painting, drawing, and photography. I tend to lean far left toward anarchism in my political and social beliefs, and I am into trying to make the world a better, more cooperative place. I am vegan (strict vegetarian-no animal products whatsoever) and straight edge (completely sober-no drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc).
Disha: Finally, I would like to know your outlook about Tattooblog.
Nick: I think that any media outlet that portrays the artform of tattooing in a realistic and positive way, with the input of real, dedicated tattoo artists, is a great thing.
Thanks Nick for sparing out time for this fantastic interview and wish you luck for all future endeavors.