Lydia Bruno of Wyld Chyld Tattoo
This weeks Artist Spotlight, we caught up with Lydia Bruno of Wyld Chyld Tattoo (Sarah Miller’s Wyld Chyld Tattoo). Lydia Bruno has over 9 years of experience tattooing and has a very impressive art portfolio. Lydia Bruno was also on Spike TV’s Ink Master on Season 4 but was eliminated on episode 8.Most people remember episode 8 as the show Kyle Dunbar has enough with the judges and walks off the set. We caught up with Lydia to see what she has been up to since her time on Ink Master.
How long have you been tattooing for?
I have been in the industry tattooing for 10 years. 1 of which was my apprenticeship and 6 spent working in a street shop, I started studying and truly understanding the medium 7 years into it and continue to stay hungry, learn and push myself.
We understand that you used to work in the medical field before starting your tattoo career. What led you to make a career change?
Working as a mental health professional for 3 years at a mental hospital , and going to school for behavioral and abnormal psychology has given me the perfect tools, insight and knowledge to interact with and relax/help/listen to my clients.. I randomly fell into my apprenticeship and found I could use those tools learned as an MHW more efficiently. Effectively, and freely with my tattoo clients, as I could help give them the closure or peace of mind they were looking for ,within the artwork chosen. I encountered less red tape and politics helping people within a tattoo shop than a mental hospital. I never sought out to be a tattoo artist, I have been an artist since I opened my eyes at birth, but falling into tattooing was a complete surprise,and turned out to be a path I never looked back on….
We had read that your apprenticeship was a “traditional” old school one; what do you think of all these newer styles of artists paying thousands of dollars to learn the craft and be pushed out on their own in months – not years?
I firmly and truly believe you have to earn your place in this industry , earn the respect of your fellow artists and collectors through hard work and gratitude. I will never judge or talk down upon anyone else’s path in this industry, but I myself am grateful for my torturous old school apprenticeship, as it has given me the drive to push myself to the limits, and to respect the limits I push , and understand where they came from.
Your portfolio is quite impressive, especially your black & grey work; what drew you to this style of tattooing over other styles?
I have always favored drawing in pencil and the simplicity and impact of black and grey, that definitely translates into my tattooing. I truly can “zone out” and effortlessly go into the meditative zone with black and grey that we all crave.
What artist(s) have influenced your work over the years?
Salvador Dali, Da vinci, Michelangelo, Giger, Jeremy fish, ect… As far as tattoo artists there are MANY that I admire , but I try not to let their styles affect mine.
If you could be tattooed by anyone who would it be? What would it be?
Albert Einstein.. A stick figure.
You were a contestant on Spike TV’s Ink Master for season 4; you were your thoughts when selected to compete?
“OH FUCK”, I was petrified, and electrified at the same time. I did not try out. I was selected by a producer and there was no turning back after that. I’ll have to admit it was not expected and at the time I was not prepared.
Looking at the “stats” of how the artists did on season 4; you were in the bottom only once before the episode you were eliminated. To be honest we were disappointed as we felt there were others who should have not even been on the show to start with; what were your thoughts?
The structure of the show is organic and made to elevate those that “play the game” and “play to the judges taste”. In retrospect, I understand it all now, and if given an opportunity to compete again I would change A LOT and do dramatically better.
Now that you have had some time to think and reflect about the whole “TV Tattoo” experience; any regrets? Anything you would have done differently?
I have no regrets but I would absolutely do a lot of things differently. Ink Master is set up to either elevate you, or break you. After the show ends you are left with the criticism of the judges and America resonating within your brain. You can either give in, or use it as fuel to elevate your craft the the next level. The experience was a catalyst for my artistic growth and I am thankful. If I went back It would be with a different mindset that would allow me to put aside my fears and apprehensions, and just kick some ass with my art.
Would you ever entertain the thought of either returning to Ink Master or another show?
Yes, In a heart beat.
How has being on TV changed your tattoo career, life, etc..?
It has forced my work into the public eye and made me a better artist and more critical of every piece of art I create. I am grateful for that.
Any advice you would give any artist thinking about being on TV?
Do it big. Do it right. Push yourself to your absolute breaking point, and then push some more. Stay positive ,hungry and humble. Don’t let anyone stand in your way.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I am on a mission to accelerate my artwork and push my limits. I am working on a book of art, a smart phone app, and have many other projects in the works. You can expect to see a trail of fire and fury coming from me, as I break down walls, and tear up everything in my path . 🙂
Any upcoming tattoo conventions that you will be attending?
Yes, Atlantic city, D.C, Milan, Philly, Ink or Swim, and Amsterdam.
Best way for someone to book an appointment with you?
~ ☠ AnoTat2 ∴