We first discovered artist Kyle Huskey whilst scrolling through our Instagram feed. What really caught our eye was not just his concoction of old school tattoo style designs- pin-ups, tigers, skulls & snakes, but also his more ‘alternative’ canvas choices. His hand-drawn gloves, flags, wood and even bone creations have received hundreds of re-blogs on Tumblr, but little is known about the creative behind these imperfect yet incredible artworks. So when we reached out to Kyle about creating a pair of his iconic riding gloves for our ‘5 Years Wild’ lookbook shoot, we took the time to get to know him a bit better.
P&Co: There is a clear traditional tattoo influence in your art, but where would you say the majority of your inspiration comes from?
Kyle: Well I’ve always been inspired by many styles, American traditional being the one that caught my eye the most, but I wanted to give it a darker feel, so I think that’s where I started to study illustrative work, Blackwork, and Russian/French criminal tattoos and try finding a way to incorporate them all together.
P&Co: When we first reached out to you a few months back you mentioned you’d recently moved near Seattle- a city known for its American counter culture/ underground scene & the coffee, how’re you finding it? Would you say it’s influenced your work at all?
Kyle: To be honest, I don’t know if I’ve really found it. It is a big city, but I was expecting more art/cultural influence than what I’ve come across. It definitely took me awhile to adjust, but it gave me the time to actually focus on my art and I think that’s when I actually found a technique/style that worked for me.
P&Co: Tell us about your tattoos, have you got any of your own designs inked?
Kyle: I actually have not. I always try letting the artist create something that represents them self, so I give them an idea and let them go to work.
P&Co: The materials you work with aren’t the most conventional, what do you like about working with more unusual canvases?
Kyle: I always want my work to stand out and have character. Some of the materials I’ve tried creating art on aren’t the easiest by far, but sometimes it takes a couple tries and the final outcome on some make it hard to want to let the piece go. And I think that’s why I love working with unusual canvases, because I know someone’s going to appreciate the time that was put into it to make it unique.
P&Co: We’ve seen that you have also tattooed designs directly on to bone etc, have you ever thought about becoming a tattoo artist yourself?
Kyle: I have actually, still trying to find my place and practice along the way, but I hope someone will see something in me and my art and want to teach me.
P&Co: Where did it all begin? When did you decide to start selling your work?
Kyle: Growing up I was always artistic, but more so used it as an outlet to express my emotions. When I actually started to take my art seriously I feel like I was going through the hardest time in my life. I could shut everything else out when I put a pencil to paper and I feel that’s when I started to focus on trying different crafts/styles until I found what I was good at or liked.
A big stepping stone was when I started getting into woodworking. I partnered up with a friend building furniture while he customized pieces with wood burnings. We would do art walks and parties to try selling our pieces and it seemed that people liked the custom wood burned pieces the most so I gave wood burning a shot and was actually a lot better at it than I thought I was going to be. I just continued to draw and wood burn and started selling quite a bit. I wanted to branch off from just that and try some other things so painting was what came next for me.
P&Co: And is this a full-time thing for you now, or still a bit of a side project?
Kyle: As of now this is only a side project. I do have a full-time job and try creating a couple new pieces a week.
P&Co: What kinds of things do you get up to aside from your art, any other hobbies we should know about?
Kyle: I love thrifting, that’s where I find new pieces to work with. I love being outdoors and fishing.
P&Co: What can we expect to see from you in the future?
Kyle: As much as I want to know the answer to that, it’s still a mystery to me and I think that’s what makes it so exciting. I’m going to continue painting on new things, and I’m hoping some collaborations with other artists as well as clothing brands.
P&Co: How did you come across P&Co? How was it creating the gloves for our ‘5 Years Wild’ shoot?
Kyle: I found you guys on Instagram a few years back and have purchased some items from you guys, as gifts and for myself and have followed you guys ever since. The idea of a company I envied wanting me to create something special was big for me, and I couldn’t have been more excited.
Check out his work on Instagram: