Artist Profile: Joshua Carlton
Artist Profile: Joshua Carlton

Artist Profile: Joshua Carlton


7 Jan 2022

Name: Joshua Carlton

Occupation: Tattoo Artist, Co-owner Evergreen Tattoo Invitational, 208 Tattoo Fest and Owner of Black Brush Tattooing and Fine Art

Insta Handle: @joshuacarltonofficial

Current Location: Eugene, Oregon, United States

About the Artist

How would you describe your artistic style?

Realism/ Contemporary Realism

Where do you like to draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from work of the old masters such as Rembrandt & Caravaggio. I love artists who use dynamic light and shadow.

Is there a specific direction that you see education within tattooing going?

I definitely see education in tattooing moving forward on a positive note with people concentrating on classic atelier training and then incorporating that into tattooing.

Do you believe in a more academic approach to tattooing?

I believe it is important to learn and understand things such as colour theory, the importance of light and shadow, soft and hard edges, contrast, and value. So in that sense yes I do believe an academic approach can greatly aide in better quality tattooing.

Has your music made a difference to or influenced your tattooing and other art forms?

Absolutely. I feel a connection whether I’m painting, making music, or tattooing. Ultimately it is about self-expression.


What makes good reference to you?

The number one thing I look for in good reference is contrast. Being that we never actually have true black to use since it is tattooing, the stronger the contrast the more readable the tattoo will be.

Why is high quality reference so important?

You can tell when someone has used reference as opposed to when they haven’t, so the better quality the reference the better the tattoo will be.

When you think of the future of tattooing, what do you see?

I see tattoo artists being able to push the art further with the advancement of better quality pigments, bandages, machines, as well as having access to amazing reference.

Do you have any concepts in mind that you’d like to do in the future?

I’ve always wanted to do the tattoo of a full sleeve where it looked like it was snowing.

Do you have a favourite piece you’ve already done?

I’m very happy with the work that I’ve done on my wife. She has a hare on her hand and a bat on her forearm that I enjoy seeing every day.

Is there anyone you’re really into on social media at the moment? Why?

I follow several art pages and am constantly inspired by them. A couple of specific artists would be Daniel Sprick and Michael Klein.

Most bizzare design you’ve been asked to tattoo? Did you do it

I’ve been tattooing for almost 30 years so I’ve definitely run the gambit of crazy tattoos.


How do you approach your design work? E.g set time aside, only at night, weeks before and then come back to it etc.

I have horrific insomnia so I do design work after everyone else has gone to bed in the wee hours of the morning.

Is there anything you’d say no to or at what point does it just not work out with you/the client?

There are lots of things I say no to these days. If I’m not excited by it I’d rather the client find an artist that is.

How do you get into the zone when you’re not ‘feeling it’? How do you deal with creative blocks?

Exercise. It helps to clear my head.


Are you involved in any interesting projects outside of tattooing?

I put on the Evergreen Tattoo Invitational and 208 Tattoo Fest every year. I have toured the world with my band "This Patch of Sky". After a 7 year run we parted ways last year but I’m still proud of the music we created.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

What’s that?

How would you describe your pack?

A combination of skulls and flowers dynamically lit.

What inspired your images and bundle pack?

I took photos of things I would be excited to tattoo myself.

Josh's Artist Bundle Pack is being released Thursday 16th January at 12pm NZST - set your alarms, you won't want to miss this one!

Written By: reference87


7 Jan 2022