Kevin Stewart

Hendersonville, Tennessee

How long have you been tattooing since?

2005

Any special training?

I have a background in volunteer search and rescue. I'm certified in First-Aid, CPR, AED operation, and TCCC. I utilize these experiences and skills to approach body-art from a medical perspective.

How would you explain your style?

I don't believe in having a "style". As a tattoo artist, it is my job to produce the request of my clients. I endeavor to master a variety of techniques from American Traditional to Hyperrealism. However if I had to pick a favorite, I like emulating the styles found in graphic novels and comic books.

Been to any conventions lately?

I don't work conventions. I think they are gross. Nothing screams sanitation more than some dude spilling his beer all over the plastic floor that will be in place for several days (yeah, Knoxville). While I do go sometimes as a visitor, I refuse to work them on principle.

What was your apprenticeship like?

I apprenticed in a shop in my hometown. It was a typical "old school" apprenticeship, where the owner hands you a needle and says "Don't $%#! up". I wasn't satisfied with my "apprenticeship", so I studied everything I could get my hands on. From magazines to those elementary level how-to-draw books, I read all I could. I practiced shading techniques in Disney princess coloring books, just to ensure I was out of my comfort zone. Eventually I learned how to not suck, but I still continue to pursue my education of tattooing. Now, when I see an interesting piece, I just stare at it until I have understand how it was accomplished.

Any artists you admire or want to shout out?

I admire any tattooist who respects the artform and is interested in advancing the industry as a whole. Some of favorites are Dmitriy Samohin and Josh Carlton.

What advice do you have for people looking to get tattooed?

Eat a good meal about two hours before your appointment, Lay off the energy drinks and other highly caffeinated beverages, Drink plenty of water, and don't do drugs.

How'd you get started?

I fell into tattooing by accident. I couldn't draw a stick figure when I started out. I was originally hired on as a piercer, which was a second job for me at the time. As I was exposed to the artform, I started to enjoy being around it enough to pursue it as a serious career.

What inspires you?

Inspiration comes from each my clients. They bring me their ideas and their stories, and it's my job to manifest those ideas and stories into art.

What do you look forward to?

Effectively, I color on people for a living. I love my job, and I look forward to doing it everyday for as long as I can. There has never been a tattoo that I didn't want to do.

Is there anything you've been dying to do?

My favorites are the nerd tattoos. I'm a huge Star Wars fan. Comic books, games, cartoons, and the like are the ones I enjoy the most. I always look forward to doing those.