Artist interview features

  • Sometimes in this game, you stumble across a tattooist who you can’t fail but dig deeper with. The following story comes out of a chance encounter (all my articles lately come out of chance encounters – maybe I should stay indoors for a while) with Frank Sandoval who, as you’ll see, got a little sidetracked from...
  • I might as well come straight out and confess all – I am head over heels in love with this artwork. That much will probably be very visible from the start, during the middle and also at the end. It happens. Not often, but it does happen… It’s only right that Abril Andrade Griffith and I should speak more about the...
  • Simon Cooke, better known to the world as Cookie, needs to cheer down. In a world where most things are taken very seriously, he’s damn good fun to be around. More importantly for the ever-increasing line of people looking for work from him, he’s also pretty good with more than a keen eye for detail. Detail – it’s...
  • The focus has always been on animals when Amina Charai at Bright Side Tattoo in Copenhagen has drawn and tattooed. She herself has a tattoo of a snail that looks like a “yellow turd with an Evil Knievel helmet”, but, at least it’s a snail with a background story… A tattooists interest in body art is often born growing...
  • In the traditional downtown area of Tokyo, Asakusa, is the studio of one of Japan’s top traditional tattoo artists. Horiyasu’s work is nothing short of breathtaking – the compositional perfection of his work, the sophisticated use of colour, and the bold line work is indicative of his absolute mastery of the art form...
  • Ivana is a tattooist from Slovakia specialising in eye-popping colour work which is so vibrant it practically jumps off the skin. Having recently finished up a guest spot at Modern Body Art, she has been going back to her roots to create tattoos with more of a street art flavour, referencing the graffiti she used to...
  • “I got my first tattoo done by Avi Vanunu in Tel Aviv when I was 29, and during the procedure something happened inside me that changed me forever!” So began this remarkable interview with Chaim Machlev, known in the tattoo world as Dots to Lines… He goes on to describe his first encounter with tattooing. “I cannot...
  • Back when I was in my teens, all the ‘old’ people would bang on about ‘how time flies’ the older you get, and of course, I never believed a word of it. So why does it seem like yesterday and not the three years that it really is since I first made a call to the sleepy town of Frome, Somerset? In the blink of an eye, I...
  • For the most part, Levi Hilton grew up in North Louisiana, where in grade school he’d draw amongst other things, Dragon Ball Z characters. By high school, he had progressed to “drawing tons of naked chicks and that kinda thing”. As Levi puts it, his interest in art and tattooing hadn’t progressed past anime influenced...
  • He creates vast, abstract tattoo works that burst with so much ambition that they require not one, but two bodies to accommodate them. They’re a sight to behold. But however big his art gets, literally and figuratively, you won’t find the artist himself on a high street near you any time soon. Meet the forthright,...
  • As much as everyone seems to enjoy bashing reality TV shows these days, whether they be related to tattooing, cooking, singing, or any other topic under the sun, let’s face it, they can, contrary to what the pessimists preach, be entertaining. They can also introduce you to some interesting and, yes, talented folks...
  • Leeds’ Sacred Electric has become something of a haven for traditional tattooing up North. Located right in the heart of the city, and just a stone’s throw away from the city’s commuter-heavy train station, the studio has become known for consistently putting out clean, iconic work, which until recently was entirely...
  • I asked Drew how his day had been. I knew he had already had a client, so I was curious to know how it went. “I loved today. It was ace; an ace client. Really spiritual, really well travelled, meaningful. Not only that, my friend, but I think I might be getting back with my girlfriend!” And so began my conversation...
  • Early 1900’s men and women, sometimes in sensual poses, are often on the menu when Cris Cleen at Saved Tattoo in Brooklyn gets to work: “It’s all about the chase,” he says. “Drawing a woman cooking for a man is not interesting…” To call Cris Cleen’s work erotic black and red tattoos featuring turn-of-the-century-...
  • Initially, Duke and I had decided we would do our interview over here in England as he was in London at the time, but due to the severe damage caused by Hurricane Sandy back at Duke’s home, he decided to go back to New York City to help with the clean-up, so I caught up with him about a month or so later on Skype....
  • We’re always digging into every feature of the tattoo landscape here at Skin Deep. So we asked a few leading ladies to give us a snapshot of the industry from their perspective: do female artists really offer a different approach to tattooing? Do we even need to make the ‘male’ and ‘female’ artist distinction these...
  • New York City continues to be a hotbed of artistic talent; in the last few months I would say that 90 percent of my interviewees have hailed from (or at least, made their home in recent years) the Big Apple. Next up is Mark Cross, who plies his trade at Greenpoint Tattoo Co in Brooklyn, even though he grew up on the...
  • It’s times like these that you wish you had paid more attention to that lovely lady called Mrs Barlow, who drove a Peugeot she could barely see over the steering wheel of in order to teach us kids some French… amazingly, some of it stuck. But luckily this spread is about some fresh art, so here’s a look at new kid on...
  • Secret governmental experiments on past generations and growing up under powerlines in Missouri have made him a seventh generation twin. At least that’s the theory. Today, Tim Kern adorns skin with realism in a teeny, tiny studio in New York’s trendy East Village by the name of Tribulation Tattoo. Tim Kern’s journey...
  • It’s an early-ish convention morning after a late night before. Not traditionally a time for creative souls to be firing on all cylinders – more a time for mumbling into coffee and waiting for the caffeine to kickstart all the other essential systems. But that’s not the case with Texas-based tattoo artist, Jeremy...
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