Featured Artist: Baylen Levore

Posted by | June 03, 2014 | Artists, Blog, Interviews, North America | No Comments

levore_baylen_artist_headshotBaylen Levore….
Currently tattooing at Freaks & Geeks in Asheville, North Carolina.
1. Where are u from?? I am originally from a suburb of Houston called Cypress, TX
2. Where do you currently live?? Right now I’m living in Asheville, North Carolina
3. What Made you Want to Get your First Tattoo?/When did u first become interested in getting tattooed? I’ve wanted a tattoo since I knew about them pretty much. I got my first tattoo when I was about 16. Illegally. Ha. And of course its a kanji symbol. I still have it. I don’t think I’ll ever cover it.
4. Where did u get your first tattoo? I got it at some guy’s house. I was very uneducated at the time so I didn’t understand the dangers of doing that!

5. How did you start tattooing? My brother’s girlfriend at the time was friends with a shop owner and she informed me that they were looking for an apprentice. I had been researching taking on an apprenticeship at the time. It seemed like the opportunity just landed on my lap. It was at a shop called Unique Body Styles. It had a low rider vibe to it.levore_baylen_artist_shoulder_blackandgrey levore_baylen_artist_flowers_thigh_blackandgrey
6. When you are not tattooing, how do you like to spend your free time?When I’m not tattooing I’m usually sleeping. Haha. Tattooing usually leaves me somewhat exhausted. My other hobbies though include playing music. I have some solo stuff and I’m also currently doing vocals for a black metal band here in Asheville. I just started working with them so we don’t have recordings just yet. But we are called Black Mountain Hunger.  I also recently got into comics.  I’ve been studying the occult since I was about 15. I love to read Tarot. I try to be outside with my boyfriend as much as I can. I netflix a lot. I’ve been trying to paint more these days but it’s very hard to find the time. I have pet rats.I’d say overall I mostly hang out with my boyfriend and rats, play music and sleep when I’m not tattooing.

levore_baylen_artist_blackandgrey_person7. Who are your artistic influencers?/Mentors? My artistic influences include the painter Luis Ricardo Falero, and a Russian painter named Natalia Smirnova. I also get a lot of inspiration from comic books, video games and tumblr and my dreams.
8. Any heroes? How sad is it that most of my heroes are fictional characters? I grew up reading a lot of Nancy Drew. I have a tattoo of her and have even written a song about her. My favorite comic book hero is Madame Xanadu. In real life though i’d say my biggest heroes are Nevin  Yildirim, Gertrude Bell, and Billie Holiday.
9. How has being tattooed affected your life? Being tattooed hasn’t really effected my life much other than the occasional conversation that I have with a stranger who is interested. I’ve never really lived anywhere that frowns upon being tattooed. I feel like if I wasn’t tattooed It would be in an alternate reality and I would be a completely different person. Who knows?
10. What tattoo has the most meaning for you? The tattoo that has the most meaning for me is my Hermit tattoo. The Hermit is one of the major arcana in the Tarot . I feel like like my character closely relates to his.
11. What are your inspirations inside & outside of tattooing? I think I answered most of that in question 7 . But some tattoo artists that inspire me are Duncan x, Thomas Hooper, Guy le Tatooer, Sarah Carter, Anderson Luna, Alice Carrier, Philip Yarnell, Jondix, Alexander Grim, and a few others. Outside of tattooing I get a lot of inspiration from occult books and nature.levore_baylen_artist_floweronshoulder_blackandgrey
12. What tattoo has been your most favorite/memorable? My favorite tattoos are my alchemical symbols on my hands. They look so beautiful and each one has a different meaning.levore_baylen_artist_halfsleeve_blackandgrey
13. Favorite shops to tattoo at? I haven’t gotten to travel a whole lot yet. I’ve only been tattooing for about 5 years. But so far my favorite shops that I’ve worked at are Spadeball ink in Butte, Montana  and Golden Age Tattoo in Austin, TX .
14. Favorite people to tattoo alongside? My favorite people to tattoo alongside are Darryl Hanna, and Annie Mess of Golden Age Tattoo, and Mike Terrell and Nikki Jo of Gullycat Tattoo in Austin.
15. Favorite style of tattoos? My favorite style of tattoos has to be black and gray. Especially the cholo style tattoos. They are so smooth. I do enjoy Traditional a lot too. Also Russian prison tattoos and primitive hand poke tattoos are also beautiful to look at.
levore_baylen_artist_backpiece_veiledwoman_blackgrey levore_baylen_artist_upperarm_blackwhitegreylevore_baylen_artist_veiledomanearrings_blackandgrey
16. Do you have a “specialty?” In a broad sense, I’d say I specialize in black and gray. I like tattooing illustrative, ornamental, etching, woodcut styles. Floral tattoos are my favorite to tattoo. Lately I’ve been wanting to do weirder stuff that involves otherworldly, fantastical subject matter.
17. Best way to set up an appt.?The best way to set up an appointment with me would be to email me at baylenlevore@gmail.com. Check out my Faq on tumblr too!  baylenlevore.tumblr.com/faq
18. Do you have any favorite places to travel? & Where would you like to go? I haven’t done much travelling but I would love to travel to the west coast and eventually Europe. I hope to travel anywhere and everywhere if I can!
19. How do your travels inspire the tattoos you like and like to do? When I do travel its fun to pick up tips and tricks from other artists that I work with. I like to try everything at least once and stick with what works for me.
20. What music are you listening to currently? I have discovered “Doom Jazz” recently and I’ve been digging that. Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensamble is an example of a great band from that genre. I also have been listening to black metal more these days. As far as the lighter side of things go, there are a series of compilations called “Nigeria Special” that I listen to a lot at work.
21. Last words? Thanks for liking my work enough to interview me!  levore_baylen_artist_womanface_blackandgrey _RTDsize
22. Shout outs? Shout out to my boyfriend Nic Fox. With out him I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today. He’s such a big help and I owe a lot to him. He let me try out a lot of stuff on him. I’ve done some of my best tattoos on him and some of my worst! He always pushes me to be better and I appreciate that so much. <3



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