Billy Foulkrod was introduced to tattooing at an early age. His father, Snake, was a biker and heavily tattooed. Naturally, Billy was fascinated with them. Snake’s tattoos inspired him to draw and pursue his interest in art. Both Billy and his childhood friend, Mike Hill, wanted to be tattoo artists from a young age. By the age of 13 Billy got his first tattoo and by the time he was out of high school he had a few.

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In 2003, Mike Hill helped Billy get his foot in the door at a local street shop. Mike had been working there for a short while and Billy was hanging out there all the time, drawing and watching others tattoo. Finally, the owner asked if he would be interested in an apprenticeship and Billy jumped on the opportunity. Not only was he working with his longtime friend, he also made a new one at this shop: Paul Acker, who he’d continue to work with; but we’re not at that part of Billy’s story yet.

Sadly, March 11th 2005, Snake passed away. The loss of his father turned Billy’s world upside down. He had to take a break from the shop and focus on his mental health. He kept in close contact with Paul and Mike and they discussed opening a new studio with Mike’s uncle. Billy agreed to start over with a formal apprenticeship with Paul as his mentor when they found a studio. In December 2005 the guys found a storefront and started making their dreams come true. By March 18th 2006, Deep Six Tattoo had its grand opening and Billy apprenticed for more than 3-years. In 2009 he became a full-time tattoo artist.

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After completing his apprenticeship he left Deep Six for a period of time to get more flash style and hands on experienced elsewhere. After two-and-half years, his spot opened back up at Deep Six and he was invited to return back home in June 2012.

Billy will always love Deep Six because it’s a custom studio that he was part of since inception. He was part of the team that physically built and created the concept of the shop. He’s also spent a good part of his professional career with the artists at Deep Six and because of them he has grown immensely as an artist.

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Like many solid tattoo artists, Billy has always been open to learning new tricks and techniques. He’s very into the illustrative / new school tattoo style. He also enjoys black and gray, as well as other styles; new school is just one of his favorites. He really loves doing full saturation color on the designs that he creates.

The people he currently works with heavily influence him. Also, the people he has worked with in the past as they have all helped him along the way and played an important role in shaping Billy as an artist. These folks include: Paul Acker, Tom Taylor, Mike Hill, Craig Gardyan, Justin Harris, Sheena, Shlak, Dan Henk, Megan Massacre, Jason Maybruck, Tim Pangburn, Pastor, and Eddie Kes.

Other artistic influences include: Dave Tevenal, Timmy B, Tanane Whitfield, Josh Payne, Bryan Merck, Kelly Doty, Josh Woods, and Mary McEwen. He loves the way that these people use color and the unique styles of their artwork.

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Billy’s advice for someone getting their first tattoo:

“Get something unique. Put some thought into it and I don’t mean shopping for tattoos on Pinterest! Ha ha ha!”

Billy’s advice for a tattoo artist whose just getting started:

“Like anywhere in life, you will come across humble artists that are very willing to help you and other artists that want you to fail. It is up to you to take whatever constructive criticism you can, positive or negative, and use it to the best of your ability and prevail as an artist.”

When Billy’s not tattooing he enjoys building things. Like his father, he used to be a union carpenter. This laid a great foundation for him to create other things, as carpentry is another medium for art. He says, “I’m just grateful that my artistic brain allows me to take the tools of whatever medium I’m doing at the time to the next level.”

Billy also loves and enjoys spending time with his wife Natalie, whose been by his side through everything. They have two dogs, Bilynn and Ash. On Sunday nights you can find him running a pool team and he’s also a professional wrestling and 1980’s fanatic.

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Contact Bill

Email: Tattrod@outlook.com

Instagram: @Foulkrodtattoo
Facebook: facebook.com/FoulkrodDeep6

Shop: deepsixtattoo.com
2483 Grant Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19114

(215) 332-4803

Images © Bill Foulkrod