Recently I introduced you guys to sister studios Cannock Ink and Sutton Ink, and all they have to offer.
With a team of dedicated, creative artists and a busy, friendly studio, they pride themselves on the strong relationships they develop with their clients.
I promised you future little glimpses into their magnificent world, and a couple of months ago we interviewed lovely apprentice Kate Van Doren.
This month, I’ve returned to Cannock Ink to talk to artist Adam Thomas.
After chatting to Adam I get the impression that, for him, if things carry on the way they are… they can only get better.
Tell us a bit about you and how you got to where you are today.
My passions were always orientated towards fine art – painting and drawing is my escape, and tattooing seemed to be a way for me to forge a career out of what I loved. My lucky break was bumping in to Simon Pateman (Cannock Ink’s owner) when I was lost once day – he offered me directions unknowing that I was looking for his studio. This led to an impromptu interview which ended with me gaining a job. Since then I’ve grow with the studio.
Tell us a bit about your style and what inspires you.
With me being so young in to the industry I cant say that I’ve found a specific style that I stick with. I am constantly evolving my work. That being said, I do love black and grey / realism. Over the last 12 months I’ve been working on some nice colour pieces – colour tattooing is a lot more challenging and each piece pushes me and I learn so much. A lot of my inspiration comes from my peers, there are so many amazingly talented artist out there. It can get frustrating seeing people that are able to produce some crazy work, but seeing their work makes me want to push my tattooing to the next level.
And what about how you’ve seen the industry in the last two years?
From day one in the studio, to now… so much has changed. A lot, I suppose, has been from me having my eyes opened to the industry. From the usual stereotypes of the tattooing world being cut throat… I’ve found it to be the complete opposite. All of my fellow tattooing friends that I’ve made through my two years as a tattooist have been so friendly. Everyone that I’ve met has a thirst for tattooing, the constant want to improve. Alongside this, anyone and everyone that I’ve turned to for help or advice on tattooing, have always had more than enough time to talk to me and help me improve as an artist.
Who are some of your favourite artists?
My favourite artists have changed over the last two years. Because of my black and grey preference artist like Bob Tyrrell and Paul Booth. Both of these guys are legends in the industry. Artists that I’m currently paying very close attention to are Sonny Mitchell and Rob Richardson. In my opinion, two of the best black and grey artists in the UK.
What is it like working for the Cannock team?
Cannock Ink had been the best. They gave me the chance to start my career. As I started with the studio from day one, I’ve grown alongside them. I was pushed hard at the start to put out good work, but I think because of this I’ve managed to get to where I am now in a fairly short period of time. Conventions have been good for both myself and the studio, they have allowed me to meet some great artists from across the country and get my name out there. At the current stage in my tattooing career raising my profile in the industry is high on my priorities, but luckily with Facebook and Instagram this is becoming a lot easier. Means a lot of extra “homework” but this seems to be paying off.
What are some of the things you have learnt in the last 2 years?
More than I can put down in words. My skills as an artist, both tattooing and on paper and canvas has improved more than I could of hoped. I shock myself sometimes (have I really done that?!) but then instantly I start picking it apart in the hope to learn and become a better artist. I definitely still feel like the new kid on the block. There are guys out there with more experience than I can even imagine. I don’t feel like I am where I want to be yet as an artist, and I don’t think I will ever get to that point – art is a constantly evolving skill and once you feel you can’t learn anymore, you might as well put down your pen.
I do feel very lucky to be doing something that I truly enjoy, not many people can say that they look forward to going to work. If my career in tattooing keeps going the way my first two years have, it can only get better.
Photos: Adam Thomas, Cannock Ink