One of the aims of this blog is to give space to write about the UK’s great tattoo artists. There are so many amazing artists so we’re here to offer an opportunity for them to showcase and talk about their work. Want to share your work? Email email@example.com
I fell in love with his unusual roses – you don’t see many traditional tattoo symbols in a new school style but Rob like’s to break outside of the new school boundaries which is what makes his art so distinctive. He can take gruesome subject matter and make it vibrant, and vice versa.
Hey Rob. Thanks for the awesome prints, they’re up on my wall already! For starters, tell us about you.
I started out at Urban Image Tattoo Studio in Bournemouth, about 9 years ago, just helping out with bookings and general shop work, which then turned into an apprenticeship. And it’s where I still work now.
How would you describe your style?
My tattoo style would be classed as new school. I have always been more attracted to the look of bold, bright tattoos – something that stands out. I like tattoos that aren’t taken too seriously, so new school seemed like a natural direction for me. As for developing other styles, I like to have a try at more realistic pieces every so often, as I always want to learn and become a better artist, but it’s not a style I think I’d want to do all the time.
What do you just LOVE tattooing?
Like most tattoo artists, I love it when I get to have some creative freedom with the design. My favourite subjects are things like halloween, horror, dinosaurs, zombies and also classic themes like skulls and roses. Hearts and pumpkins are also a favourite of mine. I like being able to take a ‘dark’ subject and turn it into a fun colour tattoo.
What are some of your plans for the future?
Knuckle down. I have a couple more conventions I’m working this year – The Great British Tattoo Show in London, and The Jurassic Coast Convention in Bournemouth. Other than that, I just plan on trying to become a better tattooist and improve my art and tattoos, draw a lot and learn even more.
Tell us a bit about where you get your inspiration from?
I get inspired from other tattooists, films, music, nature and TV. I enjoy getting time to talk to other tattoo artists at conventions and get my nerd on! I love talking over techniques and tools whether it’s tattoo art, marker or pencil drawings. I’ll sometimes listen to a band, hear a lyric and draw a design from that. Horror films are always a good inspiration for me too, and I love nature and animals – be it books, documentaries or TV shows.
Instagram and Facebook are also a good source of inspiration, I’ll often see some awesome work on there, which always makes me want to push myself, learn and become better. There are a load of artists I look up to, who constantly inspire me: Tony Ciavarro, Jime Litwalk, Scotty Munster, Robert Kane, Mat Lapping, Tanane Whitfield, Timmy B… to name a very small few.
I try to keep things fresh by talking to other tattooists for ideas. Having a different set of eyes to view my work is good way to see what I can do to mix things up, and give constructive criticism.
Has tattooing changed much in the last 9 years you have been in the industry?
In the time I have been tattooing, there’s been a huge increase in shops and people wanting to get into tattooing. I guess due to tattoo TV shows it’s shown as a cool, rockstar job which pays a load. I mean, it’s a great job to have, if you’re passionate about it and your heart is really into it. I couldn’t imagine doing this job if I couldn’t give 100%, as it’d be an even tougher job than it already is!
As for the future of tattooing, I don’t really know. I guess the good tattooists will continue to get work and the bad will have to find a new job. I don’t know, I’m just going to focus on becoming better myself, put in the hard work and hope it’ll pay off in the end. If you want to sit on your ass and not improve, not draw and not want to learn, then how can you expect to get any work?
Categories: Tattoo Artists and Art