Kit King {E} Artist Feature

by Christina Diaz

Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Tattooer turned fine artist Kit King works full time from a small studio in her Ontario home. Kit has slowly made the transition from tattooist to artist over the last year. She found herself more attracted to creating fine art and drawing; she admits that her tattooing has shifted to more of a hobby.

Creating since she was a child, Kit’s only been drawing with pencil for the past 10 months. She’s also begun using charcoal, conte and carbon in the last couple of months. Before drawing Kit painted, dabbling with watercolor, acrylic and oil dry brush. She started tattooing at a studio in downtown Ontario in 2006. Before that, she drew constantly with pen and markers in school, selling her artwork out of her school locker. Even when I was a child, my mother let me paint and color all over the walls.

Kit says, “I create every day, seven days a week. An average day consists of 9 hours creating and the remaining hours are spent working on the business side such as promotion, e-mails, website, prints, fundraisers and such. I recently started a new endeavour called “The Art Project” to help my fellow artists sell their art work. I set aside some time each day for that as well.”

Q & A with Kit King (KK)

{E}: Were you artistic as a child?
KK: Very much so. I would draw with anything I could find.

{E}: Are you self-taught or did you attend a trade school?
KK: I never went to art school or took drawing or painting lessons. I’m self taught in that regard. However, I did have an apprenticeship for tattooing and I feel the skills I took from
that easily transferred over to other mediums.

{E}: How would you describe your artwork?

KK: My art is constantly shifting and changing. As I grow, when I change mediums and as inspiration changes. However, the last several years it’s been heavily focused on achromatic

{E}: What inspires you?

KK: I draw inspiration from all around me — From other artists to fans, textures, concepts, life events, circumstances and dreams.

{E}: Who are some of your favorite artists and why?
KK: My list of favorite artists is quite vast. I can’t just name a few and not mention them all. They range from different eras to artists today. I think they have influenced my work by showing me what can be done and to keep an open mind — that nothing is impossible. However, I think my parents have probably been the biggest influence. They are both artists. I’ve always looked up to them and admired their work. I wanted to grow up and be able to do what they did.

{E}: What are some of your favorite art tools and why?
KK: I prefer graphite for the precision and cleanliness. I like conte and charcoal for the values and depth you can achieve. I also like to play with oils for when I need to loosen up.

{E}: Tell us about the first tattoo your performed.
KK: During my tattoo apprenticeship, my mentor wanted me to tattoo myself before I tattooed other people. I was so nervous I dropped everything while setting up. I was shaking so much it took almost an hour before I could even touch the needle to skin. It was a simple black design just above my knee cap and what should have taken thirty minutes to do, took me almost three hours. I didn’t stop shaking until about an hour into it. But I had so much fun. After that all I wanted to do was tattoo.

View more of Kit’s work here:

Kit King {E} Artist Feature