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Film Director and Tattoo Artist Tyler Cole Talks Movies, Tattoos and the importance of Mental Health

Q. What is life like today for you today?

Life is hectic but great! I’m working full time as a tattoo artist at Atomic Tattoo on Hollywood Blvd, actively trying to get my second feature film financed, and directing/producing an independent pilot tv show. So not much free time but it’s a blast.

Q. As far as filmmaking goes are there any new developments? In terms of the feature, Static, unfortunately there are no new developments. We’re still actively pitching in hopes we can get it financed soon but it’s very difficult. In the meantime, we’re working on a tv show called Brickwood that we’ll be pitching soon. If we don’t get financing, we’re going to produce the pilot ourselves. Q. We know you are also a Tattoo Artist. A very successful one at that. What can you share about this passion of yours? The tattoo side of things had been pretty crazy. I only started to draw two years ago. I started learning to tattoo a year and a half ago after getting fired from my sales job when covid was starting to spread. I did a ton of research on bloodborne pathogens, how to properly set up a station, proper techniques, etc and then just started tattooing myself. A lot. I tattooed close to 200 hours on myself including huge realism pieces and a full chest piece using a mirror to see. I started getting pretty good and gaining a decent following on social media and landed an apprenticeship that I did for seven months. Now I’m working as a full time artist at Atomic Tattoo on Hollywood Blvd. Been a wild ride! Q. The past few years have been introspective for many. How did the pandemic affect you? The pandemic changed my life. After I got fired, I went on unemployment and decided to fully go after making art my living. It’s been hard and I’m still not very financially successful (yet) but I’m doing it! There’s no way I could have done it without the luxury of being able to stay on unemployment for as long as I did. I learned a lot in this time about myself and what I want out of life. Q. As you are aware, Project Love Apparel is focused on Self Love and Mental Health Awareness. If you have any advice in regards to Self Care or Mental Health Awareness what would that be? I’m not qualified to give any advice but what helps me is trying to focus on doing something that makes me happy every day. Even if it’s only for a few minutes in between all the life obligations. It’s easier said than done, especially if you’re overwhelmed with stress and anxiety but, again, for me, prioritizing fun, stress free moments helps a lot.

Also, if you're lucky enough to have a strong support system, don't be afraid to lean on them. Vulnerability is a strength. I'm very grateful to have a family, girlfriend and best friend that I'd honestly be lost without.

Q. Can you share your social media handles and any upcoming info we should know about? Absolutely. My handle for Instagram and TikTok is @tyler_bourbon. If you like my work and want a badass tattoo, feel free to message me!

Tyler is wearing the Project Love Apparel F.L.Y. ( First Love Yourself) T- Shirt. Available here.

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