Meet our Newest Fin & Ink Artist - Brady Willmott!


The tale has been told that if you go fishing on a full moon with the right ingredients in the boat the mahi will jump straight from the lure onto the taco and the tuna will jump straight onto the hand roll.  

Get to know our newest artist -

Creating imagery that inspires the imagination, coupled with classic painting techniques, Brady Willmott’s unique twist on pop surrealism leaves a lasting impression. Willmott paints in oils and is based in Carlsbad, California.  Born and raised in Vermont and having lived several years in the mountains of Colorado before relocating to Southern California in 2003, his connection to the ocean and nostalgia for the mountains are evident in his work. A strong imagination, dry sense of humor and recent retirement from a successful career as a tattoo artist also play a role.

We sat down with out newest Fin & Ink Artist, Brady Willmott and asked him some fishing and art related questions.

1- Tell us about your style of tattooing or painting. Give us the elevator pitch of your art.
My style of art can be traced back to the skate art of the 80s which developed into an interest in surrealism and hotrod art in the 90s.  When I started tattooing in the early ‘00s I latched onto the “new school” style which went hand in hand with pop surrealism. In 2013 I took up oil painting again and began showing around San Diego. By 2017 my painting career was taking off so I hung up the tattoo machines and am now showing world wide.

2- What inspires you to create?

Creating is one of the few things that quiets my mind.  I have always done it and don’t think I would know how to live without doing it.  Once I get into a project hours can go by without even realizing it.

3- Describe in vivid detail a fish that you have tattooed or painted.

One of the most challenging was a koi fish that I tattooed on a guy from his shoulder to his forearm covering up a huge tribal piece.  You will find a lot of fish and fish hybrids in my work but that one stands out as the biggest challenge.

4- What is the biggest or favorite fish you ever caught?

Not sure, I didn’t want to touch it, it was a mackerel so I just unhooked it.

5- What is your most recent artistic or fishing purchase of $100 or less that was beyond worth the money. Why?

The canvases that I painted the designs for your new set of lures on was a good purchase for building our relationship.

6- Do you have a favorite fish dish you like to cook? or is there one that someone or some place has made for you? Tell us about it. Make our mouths water!

Lately I have been making blackened mahi tacos with a mango salsa.  I don’t want to brag… but I will, they are better than any I have found anywhere.

7- Tell us about a favorite fishing hole or special place you remember or still have that you love to fish in.

I could tell you… but I would have to kill you.

8- What’s your favorite unexplained mystery of our world. How has it effected you?

I find space travel really interesting and the prospect of life on other planets.  Ive definitely seen some unexplainable lights in the sky.

9- Tell us a fish tale. Please include at least one lie.

One day we went out for a half day trip, there were three different swell directions, not particularly big but enough to make several people sick.  No-one was catching much that day and it was time to start heading back when I hooked a 357lb blue fin… We stayed out an extra hour and a half while 3 of us took turns reeling it in.

10- If fish we’re trying catch us, what do you think they would use for bait?


11- If you were stuck on a lake in a medium size fishing boat for a year with plenty of food and unlimited canvas but only one color to paint with (not black), which would you pick and why?

Blue to contrast the fish blood and guts I would use to paint the other parts.

And if only one fishing lure, which would you pick and why?

In a lake… I guess Id wait until you launch a fresh water lure because I’m loyal.

And if only one type of food (tacos, pasta, hot dogs, ice cream etc) which would you pick and why?

Tacos… Thats a broad variety.

And you if only one t-shirt from a band, which would you wear and why?

You can give me a Nickleback shirt for all I care, no one is going to see it, even me… I’m wearing it.

12- Do fish have any feelings? Please provide facts (fake or real) to support your answer.

I would imagine they feel a bit of pain.

13- What are your immediate and most self pressuring artistic goals for next year?

Always trying to improve my art and expand my audience.

14- Give us a backstory for each of your two fishing lure designs. Think “Legend” or the lore of each fishing lure. Where did the imagery spawn from? What legends can be told about your lure.

When asked to create a fishing lure the first thing that came to mind is what fishing means to me.  To me it is relates to food.  Two of my favorite foods are sushi and fish tacos.  When I was 16 my first job was washing dishes at a sushi restaurant, a few months in they were participating in a food festival and pulled me off dishes to make more than a thousand rolls.  I got so good at it they started giving me some day shifts on the sushi bar and eventually put me there full time.  My love for fish tacos didn’t come until later when I moved to San Diego in 2003.  Mexican food sucks everywhere else.  

Please visit Brady on Instagram and Facebook to see more of his work.

Fin & Ink

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