Mike Metzger is one of the Godfathers of freestyle motocross. He’s taken home X games gold, and set a world record performing a backflip mid-air over the fountains of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, becoming only one of two riders to successfully land “the impossible jump.” But there is more to Mike than crazy stunts, big air jumps and the crazy moto lifestyle. Mike is also an artist and a tattooist. He’s sold his paintings to buyers all over the globe and owns a tattoo shop called Mob Syndicate Tattoo Art Co. in Lake Elsinore, CA. He recently suffered a bad crash, but when has an injury ever held Mike back? We contacted Mike and he shared a little about himself and his art with us. Check it out.
MI: When did you first start painting?
MM: I have been drawing and painting since I was a kid. I took art classes in school and started airbrushing around the age of 13.
MI: What inspires your artwork?
MM: I have always been inspired by cartoons, bright colors and bold lines. There are many artists whose art and style I enjoy. My most favorite is Robert Williams and Greg “CRAOLA” Simkins.
MI: What types of paint do you use?
MM: I use everything: Acrylic, oil, spray cans, watercolor and whatever is around to use that day.
MI: How many paintings have you sold and where have they gone?
MM: I have sold over a dozen paintings and have sent them around the world; mostly Australia because my moto fan base there is massive.
MI: What is it you love about art and riding?
MM: I love that they are two things I can do by myself. My art is bright, bold and loud usually.
MI: How did you learn tattooing?
MM: I have been tattooing for 18 years. I never apprenticed. I was self-taught. I learned by doing it and making mistakes. I just picked up a machine and tattooed myself. A week later, I was at a shop making money learning what not to do. But I don’t suggest learning this way. For someone who is interested in learning to tattoo, I suggest finding a real tattoo artist and apprenticing under them before you go messing someone’s skin up.
MI: How often do you tattoo?
MM: I tattoo quite a bit, sometimes at my shop in Lake Elsinore, CA. I also do conventions and travel with my tattoo equipment where ever I go.
MI: How many tattoos do you have?
MI: Are you still riding, jumping or racing?
MM: I am healing up from a massive crash I had four months ago. I crushed my right femur, dislocated my right hip, suffered two broken ribs, a punctured lung and I tore my shoulder.
Photos from Mike’s personal Facebook page
Examples of Mike’s artwork