Striving for That Look with Tattoo Artist Kevin Johnson

Striving for That Look with Tattoo Artist Kevin Johnson

The sacred geometry neo-traditional, black and grey masterpieces of Kevin Johnson

ArtMay 05, 2021 By Will Brendza


@kevinjohnson_143
https://www.kevinjohnson143.com/
All Sacred Tattoo

 
Ten years ago when Kevin Johnson picked up a tattoo machine at Raven Well Tattoo in Clinton, New York, there was something so rebellious-feeling about it. The edgy history of tattoos, the taboo nature of the art itself, the bizarre act of putting ink into people’s skin, creating art that they’d carry forever — it all attracted him. And just like that he was hooked. 

@kevinjohnson_143
https://www.kevinjohnson143.com/
All Sacred Tattoo

 
Ten years ago when Kevin Johnson picked up a tattoo machine at Raven Well Tattoo in Clinton, New York, there was something so rebellious-feeling about it. The edgy history of tattoos, the taboo nature of the art itself, the bizarre act of putting ink into people’s skin, creating art that they’d carry forever — it all attracted him. And just like that he was hooked. 

Raven Well is no longer in operation. But Johnson is still tattooing — now, in Colorado, more than he ever has before, he says. And his style has come just as far as he has since those early days. 


“For a while I really only did full color neo-traditional style tattoos,” Johnson says. “So switching to black and grey was a whole new world to me.”

With that shift towards a new challenge, also came a shift in demand for his work. His books started filling up faster and he soon found himself doing more black and grey tattoos than color.

“With a boost in clientele strictly asking for black and grey it’s slowly became my preference over the past few years.”

And it's a preference that is clearly rooted in talent. Johnson’s artwork POPS off of the skin — it’s as elegant as it is striking, as bold as it is clean. The amount of depth, and variety that he attains with just two colors and a handful of needles is absolutely mind bending. 

“I strive for that look,” he says. Dimension, smooth lines, sharp edges, and clean execution of ideas are the hallmarks Johnson aims for. And he works hard to achieve them in his work. 

Browse his portfolio and you’ll see tons of beautiful geometric designs, scattered among a jungle of flora and fauna: flowers, moths, mandalas and other sacred shapes, all mixed up and stylized with Johnson’s classically neo-traditional and uniquely black and grey style.