Welcome to the world of Cosmo Cam; his creations are dripping with hallucinogenic hues and psychotropic scenes. Merging that energetic aesthetic with pop culture icons such as Rick and Morty or Wu-Tang, the result is a slice of phantasmagoric illusions slapped straight onto your skin. Taking inspiration from Surrealist masters, and his own street art background, Cosmo Cam has created a visual language that perfectly embodies the crazed craving for unique and energetic imagery within the tattoo industry.
Portrait of Cosmo Cam by Jordy Clarke #CosmoCam
How did you get into tattooing and why were you drawn to it?
I got into tattooing through growing up on skateboard listening to punk rock in a small suburban town in Ontario, the culture drew me in and tattooing was in every facet of the lifestyle. The ability to express yourself outside the “norm” was very appealing to me.
Can you talk about your style and how it’s developed over time?
My style is a made from a few aspects that inspire me, street art, traditional tattooing, pop culture and nostalgia for sure. In the beginning of my career I was more leaning towards the new school side of things but always loved bright colours and trippy drippy work. As the years gone on I have shifted to a more traditional heavy black approach with the bright colours and trippy aspects holding true throughout my career.
What tattooers, films, books, art movements, etc. inspire you?
The tattooers that inspire me are for a couple reasons, their work and of course hustle, I have a big respect for artists that grind hard and create and push themselves everyday. My top are Davee Blows, Grime, Norm (r.i.p), Matt “machine” Anderson, Randy Randerson and many more. For films, I love Quentin Tarantino‘s work and always have a soft spot for old Disney and also 90s cartoons. Also Dali has always been a artist I have looked up to since was a kid.
Can you talk about what the tattoo community is like in Toronto? What do you love about working and living there?
Toronto is a crazy place and that’s why I moved here about 7years ago. The tattoo community is big and there are so many positive tattooers here I have had the privilege to meet and it pushes me to improve myself. I love living here and having the chance to see and experience many different forms of art, from the tattoo industry to the street art community and the vast amount of live music that comes through here, never a dull day. Also great skateboarding spots.
How do you feel about the future of the tattoo industry? What needs to change and what should stay the same?
As far as the industry goes it’s something that I love and I’m glad to see we are moving forward through the advancement of equipment, quality of work and the removing of negativity to make tattooing something everyone from every walk of life can enjoy and comfortably get done, still a few that need to change but I feel as a community we are getting rid of that quickly through social media bringing that to light. One thing that needs to stay the same is respecting where tattooing came from and the people that got it here so that we can all enjoy it today. Also keeping true to what can be done on skin, it’s not paper and some of the new trends are showing things that look great fresh but don’t age, we need to remember what works well and will be good for the clients while life.
Beyond tattooing, what are you really passionate about? How do you spend your vacations or time off?
Outside of tattooing my number one passion is skateboarding, still skate everyday to work and go out to the park as much as I can. Spending time with my wife and cat is always a stress reliever. Also the outdoors, as generic as that sounds, nothing like getting to spend a few days out away from the city and social media.
Do you have any projects, events, or plans upcoming in the future you’d like to share?
Covid has kinda delayed a few of them but I have a secret tattoo project I’m doing this month that I’m excited to share once it’s done. Also have some art shows currently in the works, based heavily off street art and today’s current social climate in a few aspects. Also once travel is safe again will be going on a pretty good stretch around the globe, nothing like being able to travel and do what you love at the same time.