In the last few weeks, Mike Love and Clare Lambert, two tattooists from Leicester, have been collaborating together on tattoos.
I caught up with Mike and Clare to ask them about how this rare form of artistic collaboration came about…
Why did you decide to collaborate?
Clare: I think collaborations always work well when the two artists and their styles are at opposite ends of the spectrum. I admire Mike’s work and the discipline and precision that goes into hand-poking a perfectly straight line. My tattoos are almost always made up of various colours, random splashes and colour drips – there are a lot less rules which makes my tattooing a totally different process to Mike’s.
Mike: Our styles are so completely different – we thought together they would compliment each other and make something totally unique. It could have been a total disaster… but it was worth a shot! Luckily, they came out looking awesome.
Clare: Both styles work for us on a day-to-day basis but being able to combine the two give us the ability to take our styles to the next level. I’d say we are both always looking for new projects and fun things to incorporate into our work, and this was the next step for us to change it up for a while.
Did you know each other already before you worked together on this project?
Mike: Clare owns a tattoo shop round the corner (Sakura Tattoo) which we (Brothers Ink H.Q.) have a really close relationship with. We host weekly drawing nights together, and other social events.
Clare: Mike works permanently with my partner at Brothers Ink H.Q. and I work with Mike’s partner at Sakura, my own studio – it’s ‘the boys’ and ‘the girls’ studios! We are definitely one big family, everyone is really enthusiastic and helps each other to move forward. I always feel super lucky when I see the talent that’s around.
Now you’ve completed a few tattoos, why do you think your styles work well together?
Clare: I love the freedom of the watercolour / splat-work style and I’m also heavily influenced by nature and animals. I’d describe my style as quite soft and free – the colour and details make the design. Mike’s work is much more bold, with mainly just the lines creating the image. Mike also creates these pieces purely by hand-poking, which is something that I’m in total awe of. We both work completely differently meaning we can give customers a variety of styles in one piece.
Mike: As Clare said, my style features big bold hand-poked lines, whereas she specialises in more delicate, watercolour tattooing. They are so opposite that they compliment each other, and it’s cool that the clients get two artists’ specialities in one tattoo.
So what have you tattooed so far together?
Mike: So far we have tattooed a raccoon, koala bear, and a husky dog. We have plenty of designs painted up and ready to go, we are mainly focusing on super cute animals! We will also be taking requests for custom designs.
Clare: Personally I’d love to keep adding more to the backgrounds. It would be awesome to do some larger pieces too. The thing with collaboration is that you can be forever creating new pieces and always growing, learning and thinking of new ideas… there are no limits.
Words: Beccy Rimmer
Photos: Mike Love and Clare Lambert
Categories: Tattoo Artists and Art