A Place to Call Home: Still tattooing and loving it

His name is Billy Barnett, his business is Eventide Tattoo and you may view his paintings at the Cardiff-by-the-Sea Library through September.

Billy, born in Grand Terrace, Calif., comes from a creative family — a sister who taught dance, one who plays piano; a brother who plays drums and draws a bit.  His father played guitar plus could also draw and his mother painted ceramics.

Interested in drawing at an early age, he read art books and drew pictures of his dad’s classic cars.

His sophomore year he went to Redlands High School and the teachers in their great art department introduced him to artists such as Salvador Dali and M.C. Escher, who influenced him greatly.

At the age of 16 he got his first job working for Stater Brothers grocery during the day and would work on art at night.  For Christmas his brother’s gift was an airbrush, so he spent time airbrushing everything from local soccer banners, painting and lettering cars to painting holiday windows for local businesses, shirts, jackets and even his friends.

After school he took art classes in clay sculpture, lettering and sign painting while continuing to air brush, paint with acrylics and twisting wire sculptures.

In 1991 he started a band called Paranoid Pam with some friends playing all over the Inland Empire and L.A.  He played bass, drew flyers and learned the art of silk screening making band shirts and stickers to sell to cover band and beer costs.

When a friend started getting tattoos, he drew the tattoos and visited with the artist while watching him work.  He was intrigued with this medium and pursued an apprenticeship with the artist in Rialto, where he learned the guarded trade secrets of the magical world of tattooing.  Apprenticeship completed, he started tattooing full-time in Riverside for Empire Tattoo.  It was great to support himself solely on art, be able to draw and be challenged every day so after eight years he was able to quit and concentrate on both tattooing and playing bass in the band.

In 1996 he moved to Carlsbad with the band but life got busy and they never played in San Diego.  For the next 15 years he tattooed in Encinitas.   Total enjoyment was living at the beach, surfing, tattooing, drawing and painting.

In 2011 he moved to Encinitas and opened Eventide Tattoo in Cardiff-by-the-Sea and has been tattooing for 20-plus years.

He feels lucky to live and work in this awesome eclectic beach community and getting to collaborate with the people of North County and beyond.

He is thankful for the support and encouragement he has received throughout his lifetime. While still single, his future hope is to find someone to enjoy life with, do some traveling plus continue to learn and create art.

You are invited to drop by 128 Aberdeen and the Cardiff-by-the-Sea Library to see examples of Billy’s beautiful work.  We are proud that he is a business member of library Friends and pleased that he has chosen our seaside community as the place we all love to call home.

A founding and life member as well as past president and current board member of the of the Friends of the Cardiff-by-the-Sea Library, Irene has lived here since 1982.

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