Ben Bickley


Ben was born in the city of Newport, South Wales in 1987; residing in the small coastal town of Chepstow until late 2012. After secondary school, he gained a multitude of artistic experiences attending nearby college, Wyedean, where he placed his hands to visual and graphical art.

The fine art realm captured his interest some years later, inspired by the work of some of his student peers and master craftsmen specialising in oil painting and graphite drawing. Sadly, with a modest population, neither the town nor the college could offer Ben a teacher of the fine rendering and technical skills needed to create the realistic work he’d envisioned.

Navigating his intuition, undertaking extensive research, and corresponding with renowned artists has been the creative fuel for most of Ben’s revered work to-date. Belief in being centred, and cultivating a calm, patient mindset has cleared the path for him to iron out imperfections and continue striving that little bit closer to a tighter, more wonderful piece of art.

Despite many-a-failed apprenticeship, Ben found an unyielding level of support and motivation from home-town friends and clients, and diligent self-learning. Needing a change of scenery, he moved locations and began a career of tattooing in 2012, working alongside a close friend in Stoke on Trent. Three years later, he flew half-way across the world to settle in the coastal town of Geelong, (an hour west of Melbourne, Australia) where he currently resides with his long-term partner, and whippet.

“I have been very lucky with what I have achieved. Although I must say, if it was not for perseverance and being nurtured by those close to me it would not have worked out quite the same. I have always been drawn to detail and the illusion drawing or painting can give of reality – it additionally says something vivid about the artist. I consider myself a critical thinker beyond the standard premise, especially towards my own work. I work in a controlled environment and the work needs to be asked questions from the conscious; ‘is this the most efficient way of executing the task? Why am I executing this task in this way?’ This is applied to both my tattooing and fine art. Measures must be taken to ensure a well thought-out, satisfactory piece for both myself and a customer.”

Ben continues to display his meticulous, thought-provoking, still life and intimate figure paintings in galleries and competitions around Australia and internationally. His tattoos are synonymous with his art with respect to intricacy, ambience and innovation, derived from themes of psychology referencing the meta-physical and physical world. He focuses his expertise to monochromatic and colour tattoos; both realistic and illustrative.

Ben affirms that finding an artistic skill is not a trait to be taken lightly. Having a thorough understanding of the hard work involved in the journey (and the worthwhile rewards that come afterward), Ben believes the critical point any aspiring artist should heed is to stray from social egotism and subversion in a common response to achievement.

“Treat a skill as a delicacy that can be taken away. Being perceptive of your work and daily life will make you compassionate and mindful in your activities.”

Now working with a talented team of artists at Geelong tattoo studio, Kustome Kulture, Ben continues to oscillate ideas between his colleagues and contemporaries overseas to become more learned and refined. He is currently writing a series of fine art instructional books for tattooists, painters, drawers and any recreational artist looking to widen their knowledge. Ben’s guides aim to cover techniques that have traditionally been buried beneath the bland surface of many typical art books.

Ben is currently sharing his commitments between tattooing, painting, writing, and taking commission art pieces. With each of his disciplines complimenting the other, Ben has positioned himself to continually refresh his perspective and nourish his skills.