Tattoos have become synonymous with the culture of motocross, especially within the FMX community. Riders such as Carey Hart and Mike Metzger have pioneered the sport of freestyle motocross and further established themselves as artists and capitalists within the “inked” community. Another such creative mind is that of Kyle Loza. Besides being a multiple X Games Gold winning athlete, Loza is a profoundly accomplished out-of-house tattoo artist. We followed Beau Manley (fellow FMX rider, host of the “Manley Show” EXPN) on his trip to being tattooed by the artist himself, Kyle Loza.
Manley on getting tattooed by Loza.
“I have a back without tattoos on it, and I wanted to get the artist known as Kyle Loza to do it. It’s pretty sick when someone that rides dirtbikes has a talent like that.”
How did you and Kyle Loza become friends?
“I met him a few times and now we are working on this little project. I liked his style he skateboards, has tattoos, he is on his own program, he isn’t your average guy. He’s an individual and I like individuals.”
What exactly are you getting tattooed today?
“I’m getting a Hawk. I live out in the desert and there is a Native American burial ground nearby. The hawks are always around and I feel like they communicate with me. I needed to get it tattooed on me.”
Beau sat down in the room to begin and Kyle prepped the paints. Looking around the studio, Kyle’s innate artistic talent was visible everywhere. On the walls were paintings and drawings that expressed a sincere religious devotion and unique perception of pop culture.
I asked Kyle how he got into tatooing.
“My aunt is an amazing artist. She got me into art when I was little and always gave me lessons. Every winter we’d hang out in the snow and draw stuff. I used to drawson my body and not even thinking about tattoos. All the time during church camp on the bus drive up I’d draw sleeves on all of my friends and stuff. I bought a tattoo machine on the Internet and I started doing tattoos and ruining my friends bodies.”
What inspires you?
“With anything I do, I try to make something that makes people think. I also have this thing for antlers, I’ve been drawing antlers on girls faces for a long time.”
You are also in a band called Piranha fever; does your music and art ever transpire together?
“Yes, the other day I wrote a song about a painting I did. I painted a dreamland of creatures drinking potion in a cave. I just explained it through music, it translates directly.”
There’s a lot of religion in your art, do you find it difficult to maintain your faith in a sport (freestyle) that where faith is slightly taboo?
“No. I do my own thing. I have been Christian since I was four. I’m still friends with all the same people. I just do my own thing, with everything I do I try to do it differently.”
What is your next focus?
“I’m having surgery on my wrist pretty soon here then my focus is back to X Games.”
Someday would you like to own your own Tattoo studio, and go into that field full time?
“Definitely, I mean that’s the plan. I’d definitely like to do that.”
It is obvious that not only is Kyle Loza one of the most innovative minds in the sport of freestyle motocross, but he is also a rare example of true artistic talent. Be sure to watch Kyle as his career blossoms and grows. As a father and husband, artist and athlete, Kyle Loza is truly one of the most talented people involved in the industry of motocross.