Jimmy Butcher talks work with Kanye West, leaving full-time tattoos

Whatever your feelings are about Kanye West, you have to admit that he’s fascinating. With his multiple number one records, his often-outrageous political beliefs, and his genre bending fashion, he commands attention even from folks like me, whose entire exposure to his music is through random encounters mostly by other people playing it.

So it was pretty cool when I found out that my friend and fellow artist Jimmy Butcher was working with the enigmatic performer.

“At least until they fire me,” he quipped.

Art off the Air:Maggie Evans’ latest work is taking you in between solitude and groups, and its subtle beauty

Butcher, who is known by most as owner of The Butcher tattoo studio on Bay Street, has long been pushing the boundaries of his own creativity, exploring painting, murals, illustration, design, and much more in ways that I think most locals don’t fully appreciate.

Jimmy Butcher

But it was while engaged in tattooing that the opportunity to work with West reached him.

“A friend, a relationship I’ve been building for years, called me on a Tuesday at 2:30 and he said, ‘What are you doing?’” Butcher recalled. “And I said, ‘I’m getting ready to do this tattoo.’ And he said, ‘Aww, that’s not the right answer.’ And I said, ‘What’s the right answer?’ And he said, ‘You should say you’re on your way out to LA.’ And I said, ‘You mean like now?!’”