Sloth tattoo by Mike Boyd

We’ve had some great guest artists here at MBA over the past few months and from the 5th – 7th September, we have the extremely talented Mike Boyd. He has a very distinct style, and we’re really excited about working with him. Here’s a little Q&A we emailed to Mike recently.


What is you very earliest memory of tattoos or tattooing? Was anyone in your family tattooed for instance?

My first memory of tattoos was a group of lads in a park, not entirely sure where. But they had a tape deck playing some thrash metal and they had tattoos. I remember saying to my mum “I want to look like that!” She was not impressed.

Can you remember the moment you thought “I wanna do this”, or “this is something I can do”?

I never planned to be a tattooist, I fell into by accident. Life kind of lead me to it really.

 How long have you been tattooing and where have you worked so far?

I have been working in tattoo shops for 9 years, and I have been tattooing almost 7 years. I started at Indigo in Norwich then moved to The Circle, London two and half years ago.

How do you tend to work? Do you draw ahead of time or freehand on the day? Do you let customers see the design before the day etc?

I usually start drawing a day or two before the appointment. I’ll send a design the day before usually in the evening, however I do like free handing stuff but only subject matters I am comfortable with.

Do you consider yourself to have a style? If so, what is it and was it a conscious decision to focus on that, or did it just naturally happen?

I would say I have a distinctive style, which I have been developing for three years. I would class it as a cross between street art and abstract cubism. I made a real effort to find a style around 4 years ago, as I was in a busy street shop doing anything that walked in. Which is good way to find your strengths in tattooing I believe. Then you can focus on those and push them in a new direction.



Do you enjoy the social media side of tattooing or is it a necessary chore?

I fucking hate it.

Do you think tattoo TV shows have been good or bad for the industry?

They have made it very popular, which is good for business. More money than ever has been put into tattooing. So inks and machines are the best they have ever been. However, brands and companies are now making stuff that isn’t necessary. They are filling voids that don’t exist or need to exist. I’ve seen some parts of those new shows from America, which make tattooing look like X factor which make me cringe.

Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of tattooing over the next 10 years or so?

I can only see good things for tattooing. There are now talks with scientists on the molecular make up of inks and we are understanding more about skin than we have before. It’s good to see professionals working together. Also, what Russ Abbott is doing on the digital side of things is incredible.

What was the first, and the last concert/gig you went to?

First proper gig was One Minute Silence at The Astoria in London in 1999. The last was Deftones, last week.

Who is your favorite artist, not including tattooists?

Franz Marc.

If you were sent back in time, would you be able to stamp on the head of little baby Hitler?

Nope, I don’t want to mess with the space time continuum.

 Was Michael right to kill Fredo?

From a business point of view yes, but I couldn’t do that.

Since you are coming to Birmingham, Black Sabbath, Duran Duran or Nick Drake?

Black Sabbath.

Would you rather be an ugly genius or a hot moron?

Ugly genius.


For appointments, contact Mike directly at