Artist Interview - Big Meas
Justin "Big Meas" Wilson is an undisputed master of lettering. Big Meas hails from Dayton, Ohio but his work has a West Coast flair; his early roots in grafitti and pinstriping led him to develop a precise and skilful approach. The London Tattoo Convention caught up with Big Meas to find out more...
Can you tell us about your first experiences with tattooing?
I think the first time I ever picked up a machine was around 2009. I worked at a home improvement store and a buddy I worked with, who was a tattooer, told me I could come by and tattoo some fruit and then myself if I wanted to. So naturally I did! No training whatsoever. Tattooed some grapefruit and then I did a nautical star on my thigh. It's uh… rough!
You are known for your lettering. What inspired you to take this direction with your work?
Ever since I was a kid I drew lettering. I never took much interest in drawing other types of stuff. I used to write the word rad on everything in school! Eventually I got submerged into the graffiti world and that just kept on helping develop my styles. Later down the road, at about 17, I picked up a pin striping brush and started learning to pinstripe and sign paint. I miss doing both!
Which artists do you look up to?
The list could go on forever but here are a few... BJ Betts, Josh Cook, Norm, Jack Rudy, Grime, Big Sleeps, Kyle Cotterman, Josh Williams, David A Smith, Mike Rubendall... I really could go on forever!
Could you share a little about the side projects you’ve been working on?
Over the last few years I have managed to put out 2 lettering guides called "Style, Tradition & Grace" and I also put out the world’s first lettering guide on DVD named "Iron Sharpens Iron". I really put my heart into these and the feedback has been incredible. They've sold to places in every corner of the world! That's still mind blowing to me. Last year I got the chance to collaborate with the almighty Eternal Ink on my very own lining black. It's the best out there. What else is there to say?!
What is your favourite aspect of tattooing?
My absolute favorite aspect of tattooing is growing as an artist. Constantly evolving. Working hard to bend letters in ways they've never been bent. It's really fun always trying to be ahead of the curve and pushing the boundaries, it keeps a constant hunger to progress and I’m the type of person who needs to be involved in something that is absolutely limitless so that need will always need to be satisfied.