Bart-Willis-Southside Tattoo

About Me

My fascination with tattooing began in the early eighties. In Western Canada where I was raised, it was difficult to even find a tattoo shop, but I had the good fortune to find Paul Jeffries and Ken Cameron at the Smiling Buddha in Calgary. They were the real deal.

I moved to Austin in 1990 and my friendship with Ken eventually inspired me to want to learn how to tattoo. So in 1992 I set out on the path that has brought me here today. Although Austin is home, my hunger to tattoo has led me to many interesting places and introduced me to many interesting faces all over.

In 1999 I followed my heart and the Killer Whales to the remote village of Alert Bay, British Columbia. You can still find me tattooing in my little shop there during the summer. After a few years in the Bay I decided to head even further North to Haida Gwaii, where I have worked since 2003. Both of these communities are extremely rich in their native arts, and I am very fortunate to have been able to study and tattoo so much it. I pride myself on having a strong knowledge of, and respect for many of the indigenous tattoo forms of the Pacific–from Polynesia to Japan.

My considerable experience with black tattooing has provided the opportunity to try my hand at many styles, and I enjoy working with them all. What I enjoy most is the opportunity to combine them into a style of my own which I call Pacific Fusion. However, I don’t limit myself to Pacific Fusion exclusively, and still love to do all kinds of work. I take pride in understanding all aspects of the art of Tattoo with emphasis on the power that a well-crafted, well-placed, & well-executed design can have on a person’s life.

Although I travel for a good part of the year I am proud to call Austin, Texas home. Come see me at my shop there, Southside Tattoo, which we opened in 2001, and where we have the reputation of one the best shops in town.