Bio – Nathan Menke – Professional Tattoo artist and piercer for 10 years. I have been doing art my whole life. I just started with electromagnetic machines before brushes really, I learned mechanical application before art theory. Now I am doing art in every medium I can get my hands on and enjoying art and life every day.
Artist must have: An environment conducive to the production of whatever kind of art the artist needs. Everyone does things different, me personally…MUST have music. Proper lighting and something to work on.
Trained or Untrained? How’d you find your style: Um…highly trained sort of. Graffiti and comics were my first love as a youth, stuff that made my brain tingle. When i started to learn to tattoo at 19, I was trained in how to produce tattoo-able art first…take any image and make it solid in the skin. not all art translates to the skin as well, or to canvas depending on the medium. I learned and continue to learn as much as i can about every medium i can get my hands on from every artist i can find, I am like a huge sponge soaking up all the art i can find and then spitting my own version of it right back out. Its like sports you have to train your mind every day, you have to train your hands every day to control the translation from your mind to the Canvas.
When I’m not making my art, I’m: Making art for others. Thinking about art. Learning about art, Working on Motorcycles or my Jeep. Advertising, tattooing….painting.
My Favorite Gallery / Museum: The world outside is the greatest gallery and museum. You can see and experience so much art and history in person just by traveling.
Greatest annoyance with the art world: Mislabeled styles… Such as “water color” when the style is actually Abstract art done with a water color medium. Artists who don’t have the clarity of mind to understand someone else’s style. Thus they criticize and play down others art to in their minds make their own art seem more impressive. The problem is no two people see art the same, the only thing that makes someones art truly great is the people who appreciate it.
Favorite medium: Skin and Ink, Then spray paint or airbrush, then oil and acrylic
Biggest challenge making art: As I started tattooing first before pursuing other art, Learning to not be “perfect” on a canvas is my biggest struggle. Learning to do abstract or just relax and let the paint flow is super hard for me.
What makes My style original: I was once told style is the things you have to work hard to improve on. Things that you don’t do as well naturally end up defining your style. For me my personal preferred style is something between comic and graffit, bold lines solid smooth color, kind of a graphic illustrated look. But what my style has become is more of a sudo-realistic type of art. I had to work hard to do portraits or more realistic things in tattooing so the more i practiced the more i incorporate those things into my existing style. Blending realism in with more defined things and unnatural elements like hard lines and overshot highlights.
What’s next for me: Conquering the world one tattoo or one painting at a time. Producing as much art as i can and impacting as many lives with a positive artistic message as possible. Painting things that i want to see because thats really the point. There are so many amazing pieces of art by so many different people, but Im just not seeing what i want to see. Hopefully always learning.