Artist interview features

  • This issue, we have the mighty Todo from ABT in Georgia. There’s nothing like a little bit of steampunk to propel some art into the ‘no brainer’ zone. “In my many years of experimenting with different art mediums, I’ve come to find that tattooing is not the only source I can use to express my deeper train of thought....
  • The Japanese/ American tattoo artist, Horitaka, celebrated the tenth anniversary of the opening of his studio, State of Grace in San José, in September this year. We caught up with the former apprentice of Horiyoshi III during the Amsterdam convention… He was recently in Amsterdam, invited by Bacardi to tattoo the...
  • This January sees the long-awaited release of Tattoo The World, the inside story of how one tattooist became the pop culture phenomenon that is Ed Hardy. Skin Deep goes under the skin of the man behind the signature… In the 1950s, most young boys dreamed of being firemen or truck drivers… astronauts hadn’t been...
  • Over the years meeting and chatting to various artists, I have realised that when someone wants something enough, there is little that will stand in their way of getting it. Having the passion and desire to achieve our dreams is one of humanity’s greatest, and sometimes worst, strengths. For some of us this means...
  • Peterlee 2010: in the far corner is a guy busting out a realistic tattoo; commonplace for a convention you might say, but Dan Walczak (or Polish Dan as he is more commonly known) is tattooing his own thigh… It took me another couple of years to get around to chatting to Dan, but here we are. Dan is based at True...
  • Last month, Tom Abbott got railroaded by the mind of Minka Sicklinger - in a good way of course. So interesting were her points of view, we didn't want to cut anything and thus, lovingly present for you, the rest of it. I was hanging out with my boyfriend of the time (a tattoo artist) in Harlem one day, and he told me...
  • This month, our tattoo-driven journey around the world has taken us to a country where religion forbids tattooing and where tattoo magazines and conventions are a thing of fiction. Welcome to Israel, a place where even those who would love lavish sleeves or back pieces refrain from getting them for fear of backlash....
  • Last issue, we hooked up with Adam Hays at Red Rocket – being just and fair people, when Max Shoberg poked his head around the corner, we bagged him too. In for a penny… Max Shoberg at Red Rocket Tattoo has been tattooing for three-and-a-half years now and he’s still trying to find his own voice – a voice that took an...
  • I first heard about Tamara Lee when I interviewed Grace Neutral earlier on this year. Since hearing about her I’ve followed her intricate black and grey dot-work tattoos for a while… A few weeks back, I was really impressed to hear she’d booked in a tattoo with the great Thomas Hooper for January of next year when she...
  • For me the most interesting kind of interview is not so much a Q&A, but more of a conversation. And there was no easier person to converse with than Minka Sicklinger. The following is a transcript of our discussion; mere days after New York found itself near the heart of Hurricane Sandy. Minka was talking to me...
  • Adriaan Machete mixes Mexican style with new school – and man, does it rock hard! The Mexican artist, Adriaan Machete, grew up in Mexico City but since 2011 has tattooed in Berlin at the Machete Ink Gallery where he collaborates with a female German painter. If you want his unique mix of Mexican and new school on your...
  • Adam Hays’ thing is Star Wars. To the extent that he’s done T-shirt designs for Lucasfilm and ended up in a coffee table book featuring Star Wars tattoos. But there are many layers to this Texan former saddle maker turned New York tattoo studio owner. Whenever Adam Hays goes to a tattoo convention nowadays, the...
  • The Hobgoblin, Bath. My pub of choice. A line of skulls hangs along the top of the bar; a line written above the urinals reads ‘Fuck, I just pissed on the floor reading the walls’. I feel comfortable in this place; I can go in there in whatever mood. So it seemed fitting that the first interview I do for Skin Deep to...
  • There are tattoo artists you love, those you get along with, those you respect, and those who you’d let loose on your skin with whatever was at hand. Allow me to introduce the man who ticks all four of those boxes for me… Actually, that’s a lie. I’m going to make no introduction whatsoever. What I’m going to do...
  • Now, where were we? Sean Herman’s journey towards becoming a tattooer (he prefers the term to ‘tattoo artist’) has featured skateboarding, punk rock, shuttling around the American South, doing battle with gods in various guises, a stab at being a priest, and an actual stab at him courtesy of a street hood in...
  • I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating – when a publishing company knows what they are doing, you can find yourself in possession of some of the finest books on the planet. They come in the mail, delivered by guys who wonder just what on earth you’ve ordered. I know what they are, even before I’ve broken into the...
  • This issue, we hand over the crayons to Mr Eugene Rubuls – this my friends, is wildlife art at it’s finest; he’s a mean tattoo artist as well! Over to you, Sir… My name is Eugene Rubuls, I’m tattooist in Southampton, U.K. I’ve been tattooing professionally for four years now and I’m a self-taught artist. I use a wide...
  • The endpoint ‘canvas’ couldn’t be more different – walls versus human skin. However, there is such common ground in the mutual influences, culture and artistic styles of tattooing and graffiti, that the boundaries between the two art forms blur. It was this heavy-duty and exciting cross-pollination that persuaded...
  • In the heart of the historic Indian city of Pune, amidst the temples, theatres and IT companies, we find Abhinandan Basu. A tattooer who has accepted lessons from an American ex-con, advice from his 83-year-old grandmother and executed an almost nine-hour-long debut tattoo. It’s safe to say this guy doesn’t play by...
  • It seems that everywhere you go right now, you’ll find a portrait tattoo of some description. The one that you’re still thinking of, long after the initial thrill has come and gone, will have come from the hands of Rakhee Shah. We caught up in the middle of the night and got to talking about art and what it takes to...
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