Artists can express themselves in many different ways. Tattoo art is one of these expressions. A majority of actors and athletes have had tattoos on different parts of their bodies. Recently, the San Francisco-based tattoo artist, Ben McQueen, spoke to GQ about his two passions – tattooing and skateboarding. The artist tried to create a bridge between them.
Ben McQueen started as a passionate skateboarder before becoming a tattoo artist. McQueen discovered his inspiration from countless skateboarders at the age of 11. His latest book, however, is his last. Don’t let it kill you The artist explored the connection between tattooing & skateboarding.
Ben McQueen discusses tattooing and skateboarding
GQ interviewed the artist to discuss how his two passions, tattooing and skateboarding, were similar. It is not easy to understand at first but it becomes easier once you learn the nuances of both the art and the sport. Both require creating spectacles for the audience. He said that both art and sport exude energy that is only felt after witnessing the spectacle.
McQueen says that tattooing and skating are likened to being in a treefort. He explains, “It’s like a clubhouse, right? It’s a tree fort, but it’s just this bigger, more professional version.” Skateboarding and tattooing draw a large audience who will always be there to witness the action unfold. McQueen however, also suggested a theory.
Whenever there’s an audience that hangs around for a while, they end up making a decision. McQueen used the example of a tattoo parlor as well as a skateboard shop. Even if they were just there to help, people who are there would still consider getting a tattoo or buying a skateboard. While they don’t always intend to do it, the atmosphere and the energy are strong enough for them to consider getting one.
McQueen believes there is a strong link between his passions. They create a stage and encourage others to express their passions. The artist has been speaking about his book since its release and hopes his book will provide enough evidence to support his claims.