Kyle Shields

Kyle Shields has been tattooing since 2015, and is best known for colour neo-traditional style and portraiture.


After patching art school and breaking too many bones trying to skateboard, Kyle lived the life of a transit van nomad, travelling the UK and Europe playing in several bands, to varying degrees of success/failure. After successfully sucking all the joy out of music, he returned to painting and drawing as his primary forms of expression and soon undertook an apprenticeship in tattooing. In his first year he picked up a convention award and quickly became a sought after artist in the North Lanarkshire area.

Since joining the Empire team in Edinburgh, he has been building a portfolio of colour portraiture and a niche in pet portraits. He wears his influences on his sleeve and you can see many elements of hip hop culture and some Japanese influences creeping into his own take on neo-trad. He loves Alphonse Mucha, the beauty of the preraphaelites, and the illustration and folklore of traditional Japanese paintings, plus a load of 90s hip hop.

He’s the only Weegie in the studio so you can be prepared to hear some words that are less familiar to the East coast. There are other teuchters around to help translate though. Kyle prefers working on large projects, but will always make time for one hitters and has flash designs in abundance.
Check out Kyle’s Instagram page.