Get to Know Tattoo Artist Nick Mitchell

Nick is well known for his caricature work, specifically, the zombie type. After 20 years of drawing, those zombies opened the door for him to the tattoo world.

“I used to travel around the country from convention to convention drawing people as exaggerated, goofy looking zombies,” Nick says. “We would work horror conventions, comic-cons and then the game changer… tattoo conventions.”

Nick is celebrating four years as a tattoo artist this year. Learn more about his journey in our interview below!

Click here to see Nick’s portfolio.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in New Port Richey, Florida, the land of Cuban coffee and bath salts.

What brought you to Richmond?

I moved to Richmond in 2014 to apprentice and start my tattoo career at Loose Screw Tattoo

What drew you to the craft?

After tattoo artists became my number one clientele, I finally felt like I was part of an art community that I belonged in. I loved the lifestyle, the culture, the freedom.  

What are your favorite kind of pieces to work on?

I specialize in caricature and in new school, which is a cartoon style of tattooing. I like to add a splash of realism when possible. I lean toward a horror theme with a lot of my work. That means, I love to exaggerate anything with a face–celebrities, animals, your mom. I’ll make them all look funny.

How do you like to practice as a tattoo artist?

Usually, you’ll find me drawing at home in my studio. No music playing, no TV–there’s just complete silence. I know it sounds strange. I just get lost in what I’m doing and the world simply disappears. By the time I realize there’s nothing playing, hours have gone by and I’m already done working.

What do you like most about tattooing?

I love getting to know my clients and learning about their tattoos… I’m very open and narrate everything I’m doing. It feels like a cooking show with me at times and I have a bad habit of singing to myself while I work. Nothing like that awkward moment when you catch yourself singing Adel in some dude’s ear that you’re tattooing…

What are your favorite Richmond restaurants?

One of my favorite spots in Carytown is Galaxy Diner. I’m there almost everyday for lunch. I usually get the same thing every time: “Bert’s breakfast BLT” with fries and ranch. There’s something about those fries. My second favorite spot is Proper Pie. They change the menu often. Get there early, stuff your face and enjoy. 

What are your other favorite places in Richmond to spend your free time?

I like to walk around Belle Isle and the flat rocks.  I love anything outdoors really, especially if there’s live music. I’ll visit the VMFA for inspiration from time to time. The Richmond Tattoo, Art and Music Festival is a local highlight for me every year, too.

What has been your favorite moment in your tattoo career?

My favorite moment in my career is pretty cheesy. I was sitting at home enjoying dinner and I remember looking at my plate of food and thinking, “Tattoos paid for this.” I paused for the longest time. That was the moment I realized that I wasn’t an apprentice anymore. All the work and time finally paid off and I was doing what I set out to do: making a living as a tattoo artist. 

What are you looking forward to at this year’s Richmond Tattoo, Arts, and Music Festival?

I look forward to this tattoo convention every year. It’s the one convention that I don’t need to travel for. I get to see talented artists from all over the world. Spend time with my clients and friends. Fun shows and activities. And FOOD Trucks. What else do you need?!