Artist Profile: BUGS
03:01 PM
Bugs tattoo art.jpg
For the December/January issue of Inked magazine, I had the pleasure of interviewing tattoo artist, painter, and now sculptor BUGS, whose blend of cubism and art deco inspired tattoos have earned him international acclaim as an innovator in the industry. You can pick up a copy at local news sellers in the US & Canada or download the digital mag via Zinio. Here's a taste of our Q&A:

Because there's such a demand for your work, how do you keep things fresh and find new ideas to answer this demand?
Well, it's been about fourteen or fifteen years since I started doing my own style. I've been improving my style over these years and now it's kind of strong and powerful. When people see my work on others, they recognize it right away. I reached what I was looking for. To keep it fresh is a lot of work. You take a lot of time to progress but to stay on top of your game is the hardest part. Every day I draw. I paint a lot. I practice, and the more I do it, I discover new things.

How do you find the balance between very angular design and the contours of the body?
That's hard to explain. It has become natural to me--it's the way I draw things. When it comes to designs like flowers or women (there are a lot of women in my work), I try to avoid too much detail and information. I try, in just one outline, to show the silhouette of the body, for example.

What do you think is one of the biggest challenges?
It is to be creative every single time. Consider that all my work is custom and original--that's where it becomes complicated. When you do flash, you can do the same design ten or a hundred times with little variation, but when it comes to my kind of work, people are expecting original art. It's a lot of work. How many cubic women or flowers can I do? They all have to be different--in my style--but different. I never do the same tattoo twice.

Read more in Inked. You can make an appointment with Bug's at The Tattoo Lounge in LA.

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I would hardly consider this guy an "Innovator" by any means. Orbiting around the same tired and dated ideas since the 90's.

Anyone that's been around tattooing long enough will tell you that this dude is completely Overrated!

You want a true Innovator of Cubist style of Tattooing?

Try looking up MARCUS PACHECO, if anyone revolutionized an industry, it's him and not this arrogant frog you seem to think is so amazing.

I rest my case.

Bugs is such a sick tattooer. What a neat style. Nice write-up!


Dugan, I absolutely agree that Marcus Pacheco is excellent and an "innovator" in tattooing. I'm a huge fan of his work.

But "anyone that's been around tattooing long enough will tell you" that Bugs indeed has pushed forward modern art influences in tattooing; and naturally, this doesn't take away from any other artists doing so themselves.

Despite what you may feel about him personally, his body of work is solid.

Marisa, I completely disagree.
How can you say his body of work is "Solid" when he's been pretty much doing the same stuff for the past 20 years!!

I have nothing against him as a person, but his work is Overrated and Honestly the only thing he's been pushing forward are the Baguettes and Camembert sandwhiches he eats on a daily basis.

His Work is mediocre at best, I'm sorry Marisa but I'm just not convinced that he's as Great as you say he is.

Dugan, we can agree to disagree on the tattoo work, no problem. But your French stereotypes are about twenty years old yourself!

i think that it's cute that you have a sticker on your site saying WORKING OUT THE BUGS, lol.

but seriously - bugs should be rated, he's been around a long time and has pushed forward the art of tattooing - not just his cubist style, but good quality tattooing, for a long time now.

cherie x

I would be very interested to see Bugs' sculptures. That might be the best way yet to render his cubist style.

I like how Bugs' floor perfectly matches his art.

I'll stereotype the french all I want, I was born and raised there!

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