BJ BETTS - BLACK & GREY & LETTERING

From hip-hop to heavy artillery, and tattoos to typography, every element of BJ Betts’ eclectic career is visible in his work. Active within the same Philly rap scene that spawned icons such as Cash Money, Jazzy Jeff, Steady B and a certain Fresh Prince, after taking on a military career that included service world-wide, BJ threw himself into illustration full-time, developing a hugely distinctive art style informed by his life experiences.

BJ Betts has been a tattoo artist for over 20 years and draws inspiration from the shapes and flourishes found in everyday life. Early in his career he realized that he was specifically drawn to the simple yet complex art form of lettering. An art form that he feels “dissipated over the years” and is just recently being resurrected.

With tattooing as his medium, his style utilizes elements from gothic imagery and Japanese folklore with an emphasis on perfecting fonts and unique lettering, even writing four guides on the subject that became instant tattoo industry standards.