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Latest HUSTLER Magazine cover issue
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June 2024

Misha Cross and Agatha Vega
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Big Sleeps: Man of Letters
Featured Article

Big Sleeps: Man of Letters

After literally writing the book on tattoo lettering, the man known as Big Sleeps is on a mission to expand his artistic endeavors and promote the greater good.

The phrase “wrote the book” is often used when a single person defines a particular style or aspect of something, but when people say, “Big Sleeps wrote the book on lettering,” it’s not just a colloquialism. In this case, Big Sleeps quite literally wrote the book on tattoo lettering, as his Letters to Live By series features some of the most utilized reference books around the world for turning the alphabet into an art form.

big sleeps

While many artists hit their peak around the time they release a work that influences the entire industry, Big Sleeps has only seen his success grow in the decade since Letters to Live By first found its way into tattoo shops. Not only has his legacy as one of the most iconic Los Angeles street artists and sought-after tattooers been cemented as part of the city’s folklore, but his fine art skills have been featured everywhere from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County to the Getty Research Institute. 

“If there’s one thing that I can do, I hope it’s to show people that you can do anything if you just get it in your mind.”

Big Sleeps

Couple that with major brands (Famous Stars and Straps, Umbro, Hurley and more) and businesses reaching out to him for collaborations and his booming clothing and tattoo ink businesses, and it’s no wonder that Big Sleeps feels that his story could be an inspiration for many.

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