FKN Exclusive – Mikey Graffiks

FKN Exclusive – Mikey Graffiks

We’re bringing something new to FKN Famous! We’ve got a FKN Exclusive with tattoo artist & painter from Denver, CO by the name of Mikey Graffiks! Check out some of his latest painting, as well as get to know him a little more an how he started in the industry!

Artist Name: Mikey Graffiks
City/State: Denver, CO
Website: | coming soon

So tell us a little bit about yourself?

– My name is Mike Nance, but I go by the alias Mikey Graffiks. I’m a 24 year old tattoo artist and painter living in the west side of Denver, Colorado. I’ve been tattooing for about 15 months, and painting for only 9. Self-taught in all of my mediums, I specialize in realism and portrait work. Including pinups and still life, which mostly involves sneakers. Recently, I drew the album cover for hip hop recording artist Smoke DZA’s second album, Rolling Stoned.

What inspired you to start in doing artwork?

– Not too long ago, I was in college. I studied physics at Colorado State University, but decided to discontinue admission and do some soul searching. My life needed a change, and dropping out of college was the start of it. I had no idea what I was going to do with my life, and the answer, quite literally, fell into my lap. What I had always considered a hobby began to appear as a career, as a lifestyle. I was blessed with a talent that shouldn’t be ignored. Turns out, creating art is what I was made to do and it made me the happiest I’ve ever been since my childhood. Now that I’ve been enlightened by this discovery, I cannot see myself doing anything else but what I’m doing.

Is there anything that sets you differently from others out there?

– My drive, my attention to detail, my subject matter, and my ability to learn quickly definitely sets me apart from other artists. If I can produce the type of work I’m producing now with strictly talent, sky’s the limit on what I can do with time and a little practice under my belt.

Were there any hard challenges you had to face in the industry?

– One of the greatest challenges I’ve had to face is simply getting my name out there. It’s a full time job. It’s easy to be just a name, lost in the sea of other people doing the same thing I am. For the amount of time I’ve been in the art world, I think I’m far beyond other artists who has been around a lot longer than I have. Unfortunately, we all live in a Capitalist society, where we are molded to consume. We all have to eat, and provide for our families. I don’t create art for the money, but money is a necessity. I’m grateful and honored that I get a somewhat steady paycheck from tattooing. If it weren’t for tattooing, life would be much more difficult as I’ve only sold a few paintings, not nearly enough to make a living off of.

What ways have you found was the best way to promote yourself?

– Social media definitely plays a large role in my marketing and self-promotion. A lot of my business comes as a result of the internet. After all, it is free advertising. But, I truly feel the best form of advertisement is word of mouth. Art shows and galleries enable people to see my art up close and they can talk to me as well. See what I’m like in person and the angle I came with on a particular piece. I feel like when people can physically interact with an artist, they appreciate the artwork that much more. The internet definitely has its benefits, but you just can’t beat old school word of mouth.

What would be your craziest designs you’ve done?

– Definitely one of my favorite pieces I’ve done so far is a painting of Tyler, the Creator, the founder of the upcoming rap group Odd Future. I completed the painting right around the time he released his freshman album, Goblin. The painting is open to interpretation. It’s unclear whether he’s going to kill himself, or he’s planning on killing someone else. He’s a creepy guy, and it’s a creepy painting. I really wanted to capture that aspect of him through my painting.

Are there any goals that you would like to achieve?

– I’d like to continue having local gallery showcases, and possibly start showing my work off in other states. I have the opportunity to be involved in showcases in New York, Los Angeles, and other major cities around the country. Farther down the line, I’d like to have my own tattoo shop. There are a lot of crappy tattoo shops here in Denver, and I’ve yet to see one that impresses me. My ultimate goal is to make my name a common household name. Mikey Graffiks the brand. Has a nice ring to it doesn’t it?

What can we expect from you in the future?

– In my near future, I’d like to start traveling around the country, filling guest spots at other tattoo studios. Till then, I’m going to continue to learn my craft and produce amazing art. I’m always trying to expand my knowledge and artistic reach. I plan on experimenting with aerosol art and possibly digital art as well. I’m also in the process of creating my own clothing line, which will feature some of my best paintings. My website will be completed soon, which will feature anything new I’m working on. Stay on the lookout, my website will be launched by the end of the year.

What do you think of FKN Famous & how did you hear about us?

– I’m really diggin the website. There’s a bit of everything for everyone. Definitely a site to visit frequently to stay up to date on upcoming artists and trends. I heard about you guys from a homie down in Arizona. He’s working on his own clothing line, Geek’d University, which we’re working on some designs together for his fall line. He sent me your way, thought it’d be a good way for me to help promote myself.

Any last shout outs?

– I definitely would like to thank my family for all of their support and love. I really wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for them. We’ve been through the bad, and we’re getting to the good. I want you guys to know that all this hard work will eventually pay off. I’d like to give a special thanks to my longest and closest friend, Trenton. You helped save me from my demons and bring me back to life. I’m forever indebted to you and grateful we are still friends after all of these years. You’re my road dog, and none of this is possible without your support. Lastly, I’d like to thank my daughter, Aubrey, for coming into my life and forever changing the way I approach and look at life. You are a diamond in the rough. You will forever be the love of my life and my reason for pushing forward.

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2 Comments Leave yours

  1. Natasha #

    your work is awesome! I’d like to get another tattoo here soon maybe you could help me out!

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