Tattoos hurt, there’s no getting around that. From time to time an artist is forced to tattoo a real crybaby, that’s just part of the game when you’re a tattoo artist considering that it is one of the most popular motifs in American Traditional. Oh wait, did you think we were talking about the client? No, silly, we’re talking about the art. In this latest episode of SESSIONS, Pete Chilly tattoos a pair of baby heads — one laughing and one crying — on a client who is most definitely not a crybaby.
For the past five years, Chilly has been tattooing out of New York City’s Daredevil Tattoo, a beautiful shop that doubles as a museum of tattoo history. The walls are covered with iconic vintage flash from legends such as Bert Grimm, Ralph Johnstone, Gus Wagner and so many others. It is the perfect environment for an artist to thrive and find inspiration.
“I’m inspired by everything in life,” Chilly explains. “You know, just people killing it and being cool, working hard. With a tattoo, I think you can really tell either how cool someone is that did it, or how much hard work they put into it. How much discipline and patience they had to make something really amazing.”
Looking at Chilly’s portfolio it’s clear that he has put a lot of dedication into his craft. His lines are strong and clear, his colors bold and well saturated. On occasion Chilly will create some fine line black and grey tattoos, and his attention to detail is impeccable. More than anything it is Chilly’s grasp on all the fundamentals of tattooing that stands out.
In July Chilly made the big decision to open a shop of his own. He and his family relocated from New York City to the slightly more laid back locale of Oshkosh, Wisconsin where Chilly has opened up Easy Street Tattoo. Now located in the state that Amund Dietzel called home, Chilly will continue churning out solid tattoos that can be read from across the room. The Badger State is lucky to have him.