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Tattoo Culture > View Culturama

Tim Lehi

Tattooist Extraordinaire

by jasonsweet

September 30, 2005

Tim Lehi is one of the best tattoo artist's in the world. When one looks through his portfolio at his shop, it consists of page after page of sleeves, back pieces and bodysuits. His body of tattoo work is so large that looking at his portfolio is mind boggling. When I asked to interview him, I was a little intimidated. I expected a man with a large ego that probably had no time to speak to me, but I was pleasantly surprised at the man I did meet. Tim is a very welcoming person, but not overly so. He is a soft spoken and gentle man who deeply loves tattooing. He spurns tattoo magazines as a joke and rarely attends tattoo conventions, content to stay at his shop and tattoo. Fortunately for us, he was willing to give us a few moments of his time to shed some light on his views of tattooing.....

tim lehitim lehi

Jason Sweet: How old are you?tim lehi

Tim Lehi: 31

Where you from?

I was born in Colorado and I grew up in Kansas.

How long have you been tattooing?

Around 15 years.

Tell me a little about your artistic history and what led you to tattooing?

I grew up drawing all the time. My dad was an artist and an art professor and that probably had a lot of influence on me. Music got me interested in tattooing. I drew flyers for shows as a kid and I met tattooers through that and it kind of evolved from there. Because of that I started tattooing pretty young.

How old were you?

I started tattooing around 15 or 16 years old.

How is that you were to start tattooing so young?

People really encouraged me and let me practice on them. I never had a formal apprenticeship, but I got a lot of pointers from local tattooers that weren't that good.

Anybody you would want to mention?

No, not really. They were mostly ex-cons and burly Midwestern bikers.

What was your first real tattoo shop experience.

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