Artists: Kris Busching
What year did you start tattooing?
I started tattooing in 2007. I was 19 at the time and eager to learn realism.
How did you first get into tattooing?
I first got into tattooing because I wanted a career in the art field. I wanted to continue my hobby at the time, which was realism art. As long as I can remember I’ve always been drawing. When I got to high school, realism and portraits seemed to be my strong points, and that’s what I enjoyed doing most. When high school was over, I refused to get a job that had nothing to do with art.
What was your first shop experience like?
My first shop experience was pretty intimidating. When I first started tattooing I was mostly tattooing my friends. I was fortunate enough to have had a shop that allowed me to take my time and work at my own pace. When I went from tattooing people I knew to tattooing total strangers, it was a bit stressful. I always had a sense of confidence in my tattooing, even in the beginning, but I used to be shy around new people.
How do you describe your style?
I describe my style as photographic realism. I always try to make my tattoos look like the picture exactly and try to avoid substituting colors. I wanted the art that I was doing on canvas and paper to look like what I would be tattooing on skin. When I started tattooing I immediately started working toward the style I was used to.
You recently won several awards at the United Ink Summer Vibe Convention. What were your winning pieces?
I won first place for large black-and-gray on a piece from the movie Jaws. It is the old man Quint, and underneath I incorporated the boat in the water; it was neat. I also took first place in large color for the Avengers sleeve. I have to finish the sleeve, and there’s still an appointment left for Captain America, so keep your eye out for that one. I took second place in large color for Mike Richter, and third place in large male color for a sleeve I did of a painting called Umbrella Sky. I also took second place in medium color for a portrait of Gizmo.
What tattoo artists do you admire most?
I admire a lot of tattoo artists, but some of my favorites are Paul Acker, Nikko Hurtado, Cecil Porter, Dmitriy Samohin, and Bob Tyrrell. I always try to talk within the guidelines of Nikko Hurtado’s portrait style, because his style has stood out to me.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
I love doing portraits, but what I really look forward to doing is when people ask me for movie portraits. Growing up I have always been a huge movie buff, and I still am to this very day.
Is there a tattoo that you haven’t done yet that you are dying to do?
There is a tattoo that I have wanted to do for years and nobody has ever asked for it. It’s a piece by M.C. Escher, a painting of two hands drawing the other; it’s always been a favorite of mine. Another tattoo I would love to do is the girl from a movie called The Village of the Damned. I have the perfect picture as a reference for it. It’s the young, evil girl with her glowing red eyes.
What has been one of the strangest pieces you’ve tattooed?
The strangest tattoos I have tattooed recently have been Dr. Evil, and Jonah Hill from The Wolf of Wall Street.