The artwork of artist Kirt Silver

Where were you born and where are you from?
I was born in Kingston Annapolis Valley N.S. Canada. I then moved to Truro N.S. at the age of four and now I am happy to call Elmsdale N.S. Canada my home.

How did you get introduced to the tattoo culture?
I recall at about 13 years old going into magazine stores and reaching up to the top shelf to sneak a peek at these colorful tattoos in tattoo magazines. At this time these mags were considered too risky for young eyes, so I got kicked out a lot. I became fascinated by the idea of a tattoo as a permanent living art form. So I started to visit and get kicked out of a lot of tattoo shops, also for being too young.

When did you get started?
I started tattooing in 2002 after failure to get an apprenticeship. I bought a former tattooist machine, a few tubes and a power supply. I tattooed a lot of grape fruit and oranges before I finally received an apprenticeship with, Iron Mike Leblanc in Truro N.S. Canada.

Do you remember the first tattoo that you did?
I will never forget! It was some sort of Ying and Yang angel, devil kind of thing. My hands were trembling and I was sweating through the whole thing. I quickly found out tattooing was a lot harder than it looked.

How would you describe your style of tattooing?
I had been the only artist at Silver City Tattoos for about 7 years so by clients request I became well rounded to different styles of tattooing. At first people sought me out for my larger black and grey Japanese inspired work, which I still enjoy doing today. I found myself really wanting to expand from there, so I started to focus on portraits and color. I began studying and following the tattoo art of Tom Renshaw, Bob Tyrrell, Guy Aitchison, Joe Capobianco and Mike Devries. With these and other great artists inspiration, I built my current style around color realism. I feel that I am always seeking to learn new and different styles to keep my art fresh and myself humbled by the challenge.

What influences your artwork?
Wow that’s tough to answer! Everything! As an artist you are dissecting everything around you, studying its color, form and texture. The building blocks that tell the eye what it is. So everything I see has some influence on my art. Also my client’s requests train me to think outside the limits of just my own imagination. This builds a larger library daily to draw influence from.

Are you involved in any other areas of the tattoo industry?
I am working with StarBrite to release my own color set. Also I designed a new rotary machine for a company that you will see on the market soon. I have had the opportunity to travel this year to teach my seminar, Back 2 Reality, based on my approach to color realism. I also have a color realism DVD out and plan to release a second DVD this year. For any readers interested you can find more info about all this on my website

What were you doing before you got into the tattoo business, and what made you change?
At most people’s surprise I was actually a Hair Stylist. I found myself disinterested with the job and seeking new direction in life. Through reflection and prayers I felt the desire to go back to my roots as an artist. I had doors opening in front of me as opportunities arrived for me to pursue tattooing.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get their first tattoo?
Be patient, do your homework so you are getting the safest procedure with the quality art you would like to carry for the rest of your life. Also remember Tattoo is an art, it doesn’t have to have a dramatic story or some deep meaning, it can be just because you love it! If you love it enough to wear it and share it, than that’s enough.

Do you see yourself doing anything other than tattooing?
I do not, it is where I am supposed to be! I found something I can do day in day out and be just as excited as my first day on the job. Maybe just a little less nervous.

Do you have a favorite quote?
“Do not become overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”.

Where do you see the tattoo culture 10 years from now?
Like all things it will have some game changers, such as equipment advances and increased level of artist skill set with variations and reintroductions of past styles. I believe it will still be alive and well just with a splash of change.

Anything else you would like to add?
I would like to thank my wife Amy for all her support. Also thanks to World Wide Tattoo supply, StarBrite Inks from the creators Tommy’s Supplies and to T-tech Device, professional tips, grips and needle cartridges.

You can check out more of my work and contact me at: