Get to know: Alex Mcwatt
We catch up with one of the owners of Three Kings, Alex Mcwatt, to talk about how he got into tattooing and what he's missing most during this lockdown.
Three Kings: So, tell us a little about yourself Alex, where are you from?
AM: Im originally from upstate NY but have been living in NYC for over 25 years.
TK: What brought you to London?
AM: My parents are from the UK and I have dual citizenship.I have been coming to London and many other places in the UK all of my life.
TK: Oh sweet! What do you like about London compared to where you are from in the states?
AM: To me its actually the similarities and not the differences that I like about London. Both places are such major cities and the people that are drawn to city like these two are generally more open minded and progressive. Whether those things get expressed through art or music, food, whatever it is, thats what I’m drawn to. That and the diversity of cultures and of course, the football make London a city I have always been drawn to.
TK: Yeah, Londons great for that I have to agree. How long have you been tattooing for?
AM: I started an apprenticeship in 99’ and began tattooing sometime late 2000… so like 100 years :)
TK: Ha! What got you into tattooing?
AM: Hmmmmm….. well getting tattoos was definitely an act of rebellion. When I first started getting tattoos they were 50% this looks cool and 50% fuck you. I got a lot more interested in tattoos while I was at university studying anthropology. Seeing of the historical scope of tattooing made me appreciate the impact that tattoos have on a much deeper level.
TK: I can Imagine! What do you like the most about tattooing?
AM: There is honestly so much I love about tattooing. But the thing that jumps out as one of the most important to me is the relationship that forms with the client while we are working together. Sometimes it is very short and only lasts as long as the tattoo is being applied, sometimes it lasts much longer. Tattoos are deeply personal and the act of applying them is very intimate. To be able to do that for another person and give them that joy or relief or closure for however long it last for them I find to be really important and special.
TK: How would you describe your style of art/tattooing?
AM: Gah...I wouldn’t. I really never know how to answer this question. Anything outside of photo realism and I’m in. Thats my style I guess.
TK: What sort of things inspire you?
AM: This is another tough question because the answer can go on forever. I really find inspiration everywhere. I can be taking my dog for a walk and see some wheat pasted thing or some other graffiti and be inspired. On that same walk we may pass a garden that has some incredible flowers in it that I may stop to take pictures of.
TK: How have you been doing during this self-isolation? Been up too much?
AM: I started right before this all started - seriously, like 3 days before - I got a pottery wheel at my house. So I’ve been practicing on that like crazy. Lots of reading. Lots of cooking and honestly, lots of Netflix.
TK: Nice - I feel like Im either working or netflixing, no in-between! Where is the first place you will go once self-isolation is over?
AM: The very first place I will go is the shop. You don’t realize how much you miss a place until you can’t go there.
TK: What do you miss the most about the outside world?
AM: It sounds stupid but I miss football. ON tv but also the ability to go see a live match. When I was just in London last, Amanda and I went to see a Dulwich Hamlet match and it was so perfect and I’m pining for that level of freedom in our lives again.
TK: Is there anything about self-isolation that you’ve particularly enjoyed?
AM: I love being home and spending this time with my family.
TK: Have you been in good health?
TK: Good to hear. Who do you most admire in the industry?
AM: Artistically I look up to people like Filip Lieu, Jeff Rassier, Brad Fink, there are really so many more those just pop into my mind right now
TK: Where did you start tattooing?
AM: I started at Fly Rite Tattoo in Brooklyn
TK: How long have you been with Three Kings?
AM: I opened it so I guess since the very first day :)
TK: Of course! What's your favourite thing about working at Three Kings?
AM: All the great people that I get to work with every day. I find everyone here motivates me to be better both as an artist and as a person.
Alex will be working with us every so often in the London Three Kings when he's over from the USA. Keep in touch through our instagram where will let you know dates that he'll be working with us!