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Artist Feature: Nick Baxter


Nick Baxter's background in fine arts has helped him to develop a style that blends old world classical art with the technical limitations of tattooing.


Nick Baxter has been tattooing for less than a decade and has already made waves within the tattoo industry. Receiving international acclaim from artists and critics and having his work published in every major tattoo magazine has turned him into a household name, and earned him respect within the business. Nick’s background in fine arts has helped him to develop a style that blends old world classical art with the technical limitations of tattooing.

A strict follower of straight edge and sober living, Nick uses his mind to explore the smaller and overlooked aspects of life and seeks to represent them through mediums such as tattooing, painting, photography, and media. Born in 1981 in New Haven, California, Nick has had a lifelong passion for any form of self-expression, and it was this dedication which helped win him a place in the Visual Art Department at the Educational Centre for the Arts in New Hampshire. He then furthered his artistic education by attending the Paier College of Art in Hamden where he made the Dean’s List. He became interested in tattooing after decorating his own skin with a wide collection of body art, and eventually dropped out of art school at 18 to begin a tattoo apprenticeship.

Nick is known for his stunning organic designs which show his wide eyed respect and wonder at the beauty of nature. His work is usually brightly coloured and intricately detailed and his talent for realism is awe inspiring.

His full sleeve design shown on the left arm and depicting a surreal war scene (above) shows how much Nick’s fine art training has been incorporated into his work. The colors used in the design complement each other perfectly and the whole piece comes together in a harmony rarely seen in tattooing. Although he is a relative newcomer to the business his work has the mark of an experienced professional as his understanding of the difference between working on skin and canvas allows him to create incredible designs.

His glistening design of an eyeball on the back of the heel (above) was no doubt an incredibly difficult place to work on, but the piece looks as though it could have been done with oil and canvas. The use of color, light, and texture within Nick’s work is mind blowing, and many artists will continue to be inspired by him for many years to come. As he is not currently working at any particular studio, those wishing to get a design from Nick will have to check his website for his itinerary as he appears at a number of tattoo conventions.

Incredibly realistic oil painting by Nick Baxter, entitled "Light Shines Through"

As well as his tattoo artwork, Nick has continued to paint and exhibit his work (he excels in the art of drawing and painting, as well as digital art and photography) in various galleries across America. His painting style is similar to the abstract, organic style of his tattoo work and it is easy to see how the two influence each other. Since 2003 he has been exhibiting his artwork at various group exhibitions and in 2007 he held his first solo exhibition in East Hampton, Massachusetts. The exhibition entitled ‘Surreal’ consisted of a photograph and 10 oil paintings which could be combined to create a single image. He also worked alongside renowned artist Alex Grey at a live painting session called ‘Visionary Primitive’.

Nick has attributed his talent partly down to his decision to live a clean and healthy lifestyle. He doesn’t drink, smoke or take drugs of any kind. His political views lay firmly in the left and he follows an anarchistic, free spirited existence. This natural theme is expressed through his art and his respect for the universe is evident in his work. Whether this clean living is the reason for his enviable artistic talent is anyone’s guess, but at only 28 years of age Nick is creating art that can easily hold its own against that of artists twice his age, and it remains to be seen how his art will evolve over the years.


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