Our Artist Spotlight is on James Mullin of Lotus Tattoo located in Hemet, Ca. James Mullin is a versatile tattoo artist that can handle anything from traditional to realism with a love of neo-traditional as you can see in his work. James’ use of bold lines and bright colors will have his artwork looking good for years to come. We caught up with James to learn more about his work and his passion for tattooing.
How long have you been tattooing?
I’ve been at it for over 15 + years now. I started tattooing when tribal armbands were cool!
Did you always want to be a tattoo artist?
Ever since I was a young boy I was always Fascinated by them, but around the time I was ready to graduate high school I knew I’d be either a comic book artist or a tattooist.
How old were you when you got your first tattoo?
I was 18, and I went to the local shop to get it.
What was it?
Since I was a big comic book fan I got my favorite character, wolverine.
Any story behind it?
Yes, I hit it off with the artist and he ended up being my mentor in learning to tattoo.
Did you do a traditional apprenticeship?
Yes for about a year and a half, I didn’t tattoo for the first 6 months, I sterilized, cleaned, drew and ran errands. After a while I started tattooing on myself, than friends. I picked it up quickly, then eventually moved on to clients. He also taught me needle making which is an art long forgotten.
How do you feel apprenticeships have changed over the years? For the better or worse?
From the stories I’ve heard, for the worse. You really need to stick to the old school to appreciate the trade you are being taught. I’ve been tattooing over 15 years, and I’m still learning every day. I don’t feel I’m good enough to teach anyone. I trip on tattooists who have an apprentice after only tattooing for 3 years..makes you wonder.
What advice would you give an artist trying to break into the tattoo world?
Don’t do it! The industry is already over saturated with tattooists! Haha
What artist(s) have influenced you and your work over the years?
David Tevenal, Timmy B, Justin Harris, and Emily Rose Murray.
From your online portfolio it appears you like tattooing neo-traditional style tattoos; what drew you to this style?
Coming from a comic book background the illustrative style of bold outlines and bright color gained my attention and drew me into it. I love the style.
Do you work on any other mediums?
I paint with copic markers, water color and acrylics.
If you could be tattooed by any artist who would it be and what would you get?
I’d like to get a back piece done by Emily Rose Murray. I just need to get my butt to Australia….
Do you attend any tattoo shows or conventions? If so which are you planning to attend?
Yes I do between 8 – 9 a year. I got Pacific Ink and Art Show in Hawaii in August, the Steel City show in Pittsburgh in September, Tommy’s Tattoo show in Connecticut in October, and possibly Mississippi in December.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
Hopefully more kick ass art! I try to always stay busy..
Best way for someone to book an appointment with you?
Email is the best way! It’s [email protected]
Make sure to follow James Mullin on Instagram.~ ☠ AnoTat2 ∴