A! Magazine for the Arts

Richard Kirby

Richard Kirby

Richard Kirby is downtown Bristol tattoo artist

March 27, 2022

Richard Kirby has a studio in downtown Bristol, Tennessee, called Golden Rule Tattoo.

He served his apprenticeship in Elizabethton, Tennessee.

“A little over 10 years ago, I was invited into tattooing by a long time tattooer friend who saw my potential as an artist and feltI had something to offer with tattooing,” he says.

Kirby prefers to work in traditional (clean black outlines, vivid colors, and minimal shading),or black and grey, (uses only black ink in varying shades) but was taught that as a tattoo artist your main focus is the client, and you must be able to accomplish flawlessly any and every tattoo that walks through the door.

“Tattoos are exhilarating and exciting to look at.There is a sense of personal empowerment that comes with getting tattooed.Presently, I have more tattoos than I care to count. However, there is always room for more.My reasons to have tattoos applied have varied from occasion to occasion.

“Whether thetattoos that people get mean anything to them or not, alltattoos are personal mementos of one’s journey through life,” Kirby says.

He recommends that before you get a tattoo of your own, you do your homework and find an artist that can do the tattoo you want and will work with you on the design. He says you should find the right artist and place for a good experience — “a place where you walk in happy and leave even happier.”

Outside the shop, Kirby paints, plays music and rides skateboards.

He can be reached at his shop, (423) 573-8222 or by email goldenruletattootn@gmail.com or Facebook and Instagram accounts @goldenruletattootn or @kirbslider.