Halifax tattoo artist reinvents his talents during lockdown

Award-winning tattoo artist Steve Wade reinvented his talent in lockdown and hasn’t looked back.

Sunday, 25th October 2020, 12:00 pm
Artist Steve Wade, with manager Sarah Fearne, in the Wade Gallery and tattoo parlor, Northgate, Dewsbury

Steve, 47, has been a tattoo artist for a decade and runs two studios in Dewsbury and Halifax.

When Coronavirus struck in March Steve, a kidney transplant patient, shielded and turned his basement into an art studio.

He then locked himself away and turned his talent to painting.

Steve specialises in portraits of rock stars, movie actors and TV characters and has 16,000 followers on Instagram.

“In February and March I had been looking for a new challenge and I started to take my art a bit more seriously,” said Steve, who lives in Oakenshaw.

“I struck up quite a big following online and people seemed to like what I was doing.

“When Covid happened I locked down and it was the perfect time to make the transition from tattoo artist to actual artist, if you like.”

Steve has painted all kinds of stars from Cillian Murphy as Peaky Blinders’ Thomas Shelby to Marvel comics character Deadpool, music legends Bob Marley and David Bowie to modern-day singer Billie Eilish.

He also painted Liverpool football boss Jurgen Klopp but it was his picture of Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa that thrust him into the national spotlight.

Steve’s production manager Sarah Fearne sent Leeds fan and Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles a limited edition Bielsa print. She included a Klopp print for Moyles’ sidekick Dominic Byrne, a Liverpool fan.

The result was a three-minute plug on national radio for The Wade Gallery, next to Steve’s All Seeing Eye Tattoo Lounge in Northgate, Dewsbury.

Sales soared and next a huge print of the Bielsa image is due to be installed in the Trinity Kitchen at the Trinity Centre in Leeds.

“Chris is a local lad and it was great coverage for us,” said Steve, who also owns the Halifax Tattoo Collective in Silver Street, Halifax.

Steve paints with acrylic on wooden panels and his work is then resin-coated and framed.

He takes commissions and charges from around £350. He also sells signed limited edition prints.