Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Interview with Tattoo Artist Brian Basabe

Brian Basabe is a tattoo artist, painter of custom Vans, and all around good personality from Boise, Idaho.

Nikki: What's your deal?

Brian: I'm 28 years old. Basically i'm just a guy from southern Idaho who always liked to draw. I got into the skateboard culture in the late 80'sthrough Thrasher Magazine. I grew up on a farm with only one small sidewalk to skate on. So I spent most of my time drawing all the skate logos and designs until I had them memorized, skateboarding, and listening to the bands in the magazine. Looking back I guess I got brainwashed by it. Anyway, my interests in drawing, skating, and music stuck with me into adulthood. So here I am.

Nikki: How did you get into the tattoo world?

Brian: I started getting tattooed as soon as I turned 18. But I never considered doing it myself, I didn't know how one became a tattooer. But after almost ten years of non-stop labor jobs, I just said "Fuck it, I'm gonna tattoo or die trying." So I called a few tattooers I knew of and they gave me some leads. I wandered into Nobody's Hero Tattoo on my day off and told TJ that I was gonna learn and asked if he wanted to apprentice me. He said probably not, but he'd look at my drawings. He did, and then told me to come back the next day. He said I could watch him work, answer the phone, take out the trash, clean the shop, etc. I put in my 2 weeks notice at the tire warehouse and that was that. I was tattooing full time about 3-4 months later.

Nikki: What's your favorite shoe you've painted?

Brian: The Big Lebowski pair are my favorite so far. They were the first attempt. I've done other pairs that were artistically way better, but I like the Dude and Walter.

Thanks Brian. Nice chatting with you. See more of his work on MYSPACE.COM/MRBASABE.