PAIN Willy Cutlip Interview


Willy Cutlip




Bad Apple Tattoo


Las Vegas

Years tattooing?



Illustrative, Neo-Traditional, Black and Grey

Obligatory question first: What originally brought you into tattooing?

I majored in art and didn’t really know what I wanted to do with it. I started getting tattooed and thought, “I could do this.” It took a couple years until I found a shop that I thought had decent enough artists who could teach me. I basically wouldn’t leave them alone until they agreed to take me on as an apprentice.

What tattoo artists have influenced your work the most?

I’m influenced by so many artists and friends . . . Dj Tambe and all the other guys I work with; James Tex, Josh Payne, Josh Duffy, Curt Baer, Jeff Gogue, Teresa Sharpe . . . the list goes on. I change up my style of tattooing/drawing often, so my influences are constantly changing.

Best part of being a tattoo artist?

Getting to do art everyday, and the fact that people walk around with it on them . . . constantly showing it off. People get to see the art I’ve done on a daily basis. It’s not just sitting on a wall, or put away in storage . . . It’s organic and changing and aging with them. There’s something about it that is just so rewarding.

As briefly as possible, describe a day in the life of Willy Cutlip.

Eat breakfast, take the kids to school, go to the gym, go to work, draw, eat lunch, tattoo, eat dinner, watch a little TV, get some sleep.

Best part of being a dad?

Getting to spend quality time with my kids and watch them enjoy things the way only a kid can.

On your Instagram page, you describe yourself as “Extremely happily married.” Could you elaborate on that?

I was married before, and at that time, I would’ve described myself as happily married. I wasn’t unhappy, for the most part. But when I met my current wife, I hit a new level of happy that I didn’t know was possible. My wife, Kris makes me happy in a different way . . . as if my happiness isn’t solely based on my outlook of our situation. I’m so happy in my marriage that sometimes when I talk about it, I have to stop myself because I feel like I come off as overly braggy.

Tell me about your “gym addiction.”

The gym is basically my religion. I lift weights to make my body and mind feel better and to hopefully live longer and healthier because of it. I wouldn’t say I’m dependant on it to keep me in a good mood, but it definitely helps. I do it to look and feel good about myself. We can sugar-coat it all we want, but vanity is a big part of who we are. I take a great deal of pride in my physical appearance. I also just like to feel strong and want to grow old with as little physical pain and limitations as possible.

Any parting words?

Life’s not all about bitches and money, but in the immortal words of Will Ferrel, “I wanna make bank, bro, I wanna get ass, and I wanna drive a Range Rover.”


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