Each week our intrepid artist liaison, and generally jovial Eikon staffer Patrick Coste, sits down with a tattoo artist to get to know them a little better. This week, he's catching up with Keith Winterbottom
Work is life and life is work, Keith understands that. He thrives alongside Mother Nature, and she’s got his back! - Patrick Coste
Name: Keith Winterbottom
Years tattooing: 20 years
Years good at it 😅 ? Maybe in 20!!! hah
Place of business: Winterbottom Tattoo Company, Dwight Muskoka, Ontario, Canada
Patrick Coste: Wassup, Mountain Man?! Geez, I have a hard time remembering when we last saw each other live!! I think it was NIX 20 last year, been way too long...
KW: Yeah man, been too long. A lot has happened since....
PC: True dat!! I’ve seen that you and your family have been busy reconnecting with nature for the past year, how’s that coming long?
KW: Amazing, you know I love the mountain life, walking on the property. I also built a cabin for guests. It’s a place to celebrate earth, and was my great-grandfather “Frank” Winterbottom’s. It’s an 8-acre kingdom.
PC: I’d like to talk more about Mother Earth. She holds a special place for me as well, it’s where we share a common passion, but you took it to the next level! It actually shows in all you do as art, sculpture...anything art really!
KW: Yeah man!! I love nature, earth and I love tattooing, so for me doing organic bio-mech is as natural as nature itself. I also love tattooing animals and nature of all sorts. I take inspiration from the trees, bark texture, for me it’s very important !!
PC: WOW, Man!! I’ve got to come and visit... I may stay for a few decades!! Hahah!
KW: You’re always welcome man, you know that!!
PC: Aww thanks man, but really, you’re ready to welcome not only me, but you’ve actually built an actual cabin and have a master place right?
KW: Oh yeah, you bet!! We built a small cabin to accommodate friends, clients, family for future tattoo retreat. We’ll get groups of tattooers and collectors and do Tattoo Tours haha! You know, people come and visit Algonquin Park, paint in nature, inspire themselves and more. I can’t wait.
PC: This is so good. I think you’ll need me as a guide, hahaha! Since the COVID crisis started, as a tattooer you basically were forced to stop and figure things out. I’ve seen quite few original paintings, some on wood, some on canvas and one on a freakin’ machete! Lol man!! Did you wish it was a zombie pandemic? Too soon?
KW: Haha, never too soon!! Hahah! Maybe if the COVID-19 dead rise as zombies it’ll be dysfunctional art, haha. Man, if we can’t laugh, who are we?
Seriously, it’s been a time to paint, and people react and buy paintings as a way to show support. It definitely keeps us going, and clients that support us even though it’s not a tattoo, they’re the best. They’re friends, and we’re in this together.
PC: You’re solid man. Tell me, what will your next move be? You know, post-COVID-19...
KW: We’re ready with the shop, well, as ready as we can get. We chat and talk with tattoo friends from the West coast to the East coast quite a bit, and try to stay up to date. It’s just normal. We were lucky to move when we did, and lucky the response was great, so we’re ready for the next step.
PC: Your family is pretty much all a tattoo family can be. Your outstanding lady @sara and joyful daughter RiverJean are in it with you big time!! You’ve also been doing an event for the past 10 years; “Dead Things”. Is number 10 coming?
KW: Yeah man, we’re going for it. A few changes to be made, but really, we’re stoked for this 10th anniversary. Man, you have the chance to tell the news to everybody: We’re gonna have a Fisher Skull this year!
PC: Wait, what? Fisher skull? You make it hard for a frenchman here. I had to look it up man, looks fierce!
KW: Hell Yeah! They’re in my backyard. hahaha! They’re like wolverines, they’re vicious! I was lucky to get them with Big Jake at Lil Bear Trading Post. You guys have been awesome in supporting the show, and we look forward to this year.
PC: Keith, it truly has been way too long. Even longer in these times. Tell me, while waiting to get back to tattooing, you’re fairly active with painting and doing art. Where can we see, purchase and enjoy all that?
KW: Social media is a great place to lurk. You’ll find my email there, we always answer those!!
Follow Keith on instagram: @keith_winterbottom