Meet Kiley Garcia

To start things off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself Kiley?

I’m a 20 year old model living in LA. Tattoos are a huge part of my life and really modeled me into the person I am today. My favourite tattoo style is definitely American Traditional. I love the boldness of it. I’m the youngest of three and am definitely the black sheep of the family. My sister is a doctor, my brother is an engineer, and I am a college dropout who became a model! Tattoos were always very unpopular in my family, so my parents were pretty pissed when I started getting ink. Over the years, I’ve seen my family really start to embrace tattoos and understand that they are truly an art form. To me, that’s been the most rewarding part of having them.

How did you get into modelling?

Well, I was signed earlier this year around March. My boyfriend at the time was really into surfing and had an Uncle that owned a surf magazine. He was adamant about having me do some bikini modelling for the magazine. I had always wanted to be a model, but I thought having tattoos would hold me back. Long story short, my ex encouraged me to send applications to a few modelling agencies and I was signed a few weeks later!

When did you get your first tattoo and what inspired you?

I got my first professionally done tattoo two days after I turned 18 . By the time I was 18, I already had quite a few garage tattoos, so I wanted to start my sleeve right away. This is super embarrassing, but the guy I liked at the time had a bunch of American Traditional tattoos so that’s how I got into that style haha. I wanted to be a tattoo artist growing up, but I went into makeup because it’s not a big deal if you mess up haha.

What tattoos have you got planned for the future? Any more to come?

There are definitely going to be more to come! I never really plan my tattoos, but I don’t think I’m ever going to stop getting them. I guess we’ll see!

What are the meanings behind each of your favourite tattoos?

None of my tattoos have a specific meaning. I am super impulsive! I usually just have a random idea and then I run it by my artist. The only tattoo that is inspired by something is my Scorpion back piece. My favourite movie is about a get-away driver played by Ryan Gosling. He has this bomber jacket with a huge scorpion on it, so that’s where I got the idea.

Who is your go-to tattoo artist and why do you respect him or her?

My  go-to artist would have to be Chris de Armas, who is now at  White Lotus Tattoo. He’s done all of my tattoos, excluding my stick and pokes of course haha. Chris knows exactly what his clients want and can transfer any vision into ink. All my ink from Chris is custom. Not only is he an extremely talented artist, he’s a really great person.

You have beautiful skin – what is your skin and beauty routine?

Thank you! I am very adamant about keeping up with my skin care. I apply anti-aging serum and moisturizer before doing my makeup and before bed. In the mornings, I always follow up with sunscreen. SUNSCREEN, SUNSCREEN, SUNSCREEN! I think it’s extremely important to put sunscreen on your tattoos every day to prevent fading.

Favourite place to travel and why?

My favourite place to travel to in the US would have to be either Portland, Oregon or Santa Cruz, California. Santa Cruz is my home town  and is absolutely beautiful. It has the redwoods and the ocean. I think the art scene is really prominent in Portland and the people are very kind. Internationally, it would be New Zealand. I’ve been to the North Island, but I plan on visiting the south island soon.

Kiley’s master plan over the next 10 years – where will we see you next?

I’m not a great long term planner, but my ultimate goal is to change the way the fashion industry sees tattoos. I would like to just keep pushing the limits and see where it takes me!

Picture credit: @willdrastik