Drawing from a deep-rooted passion that saw him choosing coloring books over toys and a rich lineage of family artists, Bradley’s journey in tattooing isn’t just about ink—it’s a testament to destiny, dreams, and the dynamic dance of life “between a dream and a nightmare.”

Can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about who you are? 

My name is Lud Bradley and I’m a Venezuelan artist resident in Vancouver British Columbia Canada, I’m a family-oriented person with lots of dreams and goals,  a bit of an adrenaline junkie, and very passionate about art in all its forms. I have been tattooing for almost ten years and I hope to do it forever.

When did you first become interested in art? 

I’ve always had that artist in me since I can remember all I wanted to do was draw and paint. I would always pick a coloring book before any other toy, I was always drawn to the more artistic things in my life dancing, music, painting, etc. I come from a family where everyone is an artist so I guess it was in my genes.

What made you want to become a tattooer? 

Life happened that way I guess, all my friends would tell me I should have tried it and I never listened, till one day I met the woman that would change my life forever, she suggested I might be good at it and even tho I said I wasn’t interested she insisted and bought me 2 machines for my birthday. She’s been my muse ever since.

How did you start tattooing? Did you have an apprenticeship? 

Where I come from, 10 years ago tattoos were not a very popular or even a good thing, people back home used to have a very negative concept of tattoos so it was hard to get support. Due to that artists were very jealous of who they let-in in the industry, nobody was too keen to teach so I started on my couch. After 6 months of that I came to Canada and realized that things were very different so I had to put on my learning boots again and teach myself lots of the things I know today. I have to say that in my career I have encountered wonderful artists that have taught me a lot and who I owe a lot of my success today.

How would you describe your signature style? How long did it take you to find this style?

I would describe it as a surrealist mixture of black and grey and colour but I like to call it “between a dream and a nightmare “ in my eyes that is how life is. I feel im still discovering lots of new things about it and learning more as time goes but I’ve been working on it for the last 3 years.

Your tattoos have an amazing balance between realistic elements, highlight color, and insane detail. How do you create this balance? Does it vary based on the subject matter? 

I am a graphic designer by trade. I did it for around 13 years of my life, I started very young. The balance of a composition is almost engraved in my brain, it honestly comes very natural; now details, concepts and elements depend on what my client is looking to say with the piece. I like to create pieces that have a story so on that matter I pick colour scheme position of the elements and even textures.

Can you walk us through your design process? 

First things first I ask my client for their idea and some images for reference of what they have in their brain, I also like to meet them in person so I get a “vibe” of my clients personality so that I can be more accurate with the direction I’m gonna take.

After this I kind of create a story in my head. Let’s say It’s a tattoo honouring a mother, I then proceed to create something that goes like this in my head “I want to do a female figure holding a seed but from that seed there’s gonna be a thread of sacrifices and love and tears and happiness” of course this is a very vague example.

Then I start looking for images that give me these feelings, it could be just a fraction of an image that I know I can combine with other images and create a new one. I like to have at least 20 images in hand for each project so I can make sure I can mix them and mesh them and create something original.

Then I jump into my design softwares and start putting everything together. I use Clip Studio, Zbrush , Nomad and sometimes photoshop but most of the work is done in Clip studio, I also make sure I have a picture of my canvas so I can design on top of it and have a accurate idea of were the creases and muscles are, and the piece flows properly with my clients body shape.

I proceed to put the images in and let my creativity take control, I try not to overthink so the art comes out more natural and organic.

PS: It’s almost impossible for me to design in a time other than first thing in the morning, I get so mentally blocked is painful.

How do you find your references?

In between AI generated images,  Pinterest and my own 3d modelled elements I get most of my main parts for a composition, and the some drawing for backgrounds.

What are some tattoo motifs you’ll never get sick of doing? 

Nature definitely, I take most of my inspiration from nature although there are some animals I absolutely hate to do.

What are some tattoo motifs you’d be happy to never do again?

Tribal, lions and crowns, bears and realistic nordic dragons.

Where do you see your art going in the future? Do you work in any mediums other than tattooing?

I’d love to see my art in museums to be honest even tho I have been away from other mediums besides tattooing I also paint, sculpt physically and digitally.

What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t a tattoo artist?

I would probably still be working as a graphic designer or would be in the real estate business, I have lots of interest in this subject. One thing is for sure I would be, and that is miserable, I can’t imagine my life without tattooing or without have not ever done it before.

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