Interview: Nicole Marie McCord

Nicole Marie McCord is a talented artist, who works at Urban Art Tattoo. Her art has a smooth and flowing style that reminds me of Alfonz Mucha at times. Her ability to capture women’s likenesses is stunning. She has been in the industry for over 15 years and its evident that she loves what she does. I recently had a chat with her about her work and her upcoming art show. Her responses were not only entertaining, but hilarious as well. If you like what you see, do not miss her first exhibit on August 3rd, 2012 at 7pm. Keep reading for more info. – Fuchsia

How did you first become interested in art and tattoo?
As far as my earliest interests, I would say they involved elaborate crayola graffiti all over the walls and in every single bedtime story book ever written when I was three, much to my mom’s dismay. She still has some Dr. Seuss books somewhere covered in my additions. It evolved much later into high school art classes where I rendered Mark Wahlberg in his Calvin Klein underwear and endless unfortunate self-portraits, one of which was stolen by a voluptuous janitor out of the trash. Interest in tattooing came much later when I went with my best friend in high school to get ridiculous 18 year old girl tattoos the summer after graduation… Mine, shockingly, was a bat with its wings folded.

Who would you say are your biggest influences?
Oh influences…….. They are Legion. For they are many… Victorian macabre art, baroque ornament , filigree, …..Seriously , there are entirely too many . I once saw a printed pattern on a satin parka in a used clothing store in San Diego that inspired me to do a painting with black and gold filigree that looked liked netting.

How would you describe your art and tattoo style?
Rough question…. I would say that I’m an interpreter. I take all the random subject matter that a client gives me when they come in for a consultation, build a mental picture based on their description, and do the best composition I possibly can, including as many of the elements as possible, and yet doing ‘my’ version of what the request was…. Meaning I don’t limit myself artistically to just one theme – I love everything. As far as painting/drawing goes? Same team… I’m interpreting the random images that pop into my brain at inopportune moments… Apparently it’s eerie to watch, like auto-writing at a seance. I’m not allowed in the Chipotle near my house now for the explicit mural I made with salsa on the windows.

Have you ever tattooed yourself?
I honestly feel like tattooing one’s self is a six pack away from being a cutter. Anything you do is usually backwards and upside down in your perspective at the time, and would end up looking distorted like you were having a slow motion heart attack while doing it.

Have you ever tattooed any famous people?
I tattooed a famous person on my friend once… Herve Villachez aka Tattoo from Fantasy Island. He was posed like one of Michaelangelo’s cherubs but with wings made of steak and bacon with the word ‘Wondermeat’ over it……… But that’s probably not what you meant.

Do you have any tattoos on your body that you regret?
The only regret I have is endless ideas vs. limited space. For you kids getting backpieces and full sleeves and neck tattoos at 20? SLOW the f@#k down! It’s not a race. You have all the time in the world to have new and evolving interests.

Are you planning on getting any new ink in the future, if so what?
I have several pieces I have mapped out already and several bits of body real estate on hold to esteemed coworkers and confidantes of mine. There’s a Leda and the Swan theme, some victorian biomech on my collarbones… However, I have multiple unfinished pieces as it is that I should get done first… I have a curse where anyone that starts a huge project on me immediately moves to another state or country. I’m about to rent an RV and start stalking them. It’ll be white with black and gold filigree that says ‘Just Let it Happen…..’.

Do you have any advice for people considering getting their first tattoo?
I could go on a rant that would imply the seething hilarious rage of Bill Hicks, Dennis Leary, Bill Burr and Doug Stanhope, but instead I’ll say this…. Avoid anyone who ASKS to tattoo you while you’re out at the grocery store, gas station or bar, and offers to ‘hook you up with a sweet deal’ out of his house or garage/studio. Do your homework…. Look up tattoo artists on and check out reviews on yelp of the shops in your area.

Tell us more about your upcoming art show on August 3rd.
I have my first show at Soul Invictus on August 3rd, 1022 NW Grand Ave in downtown Phoenix, and I’m honored, elated and cloudy with a chance of terrified at the prospect. I’m looking forward to seeing a ton of familiar faces and witnessing any inspiration my mixed media ladies may have upon them. When I paint and draw it’s a pretty solitary process, so it’ll be motivating to see my art’s effect on people. I’m hoping some spontaneous nudity or breakdance fighting happens.