You are one of that rare breed, someone doing an old-fashioned apprenticeship. Hon did that come about?
Yeah, apprenticeships arc few and far between. I was looking for someone to give me some honest feedback on the artwork I was doing. I was a big fan of Phil's w ork so I sent him some paintings. He would critique them and tell me when they were shit. He didn't give me any information as such but he would say things like 'You don't want to be using that type of paper' and I would go away and experiment to find out what would be better. I did that for a whole year, sending him a painting every day. I spent every spare second I had drawing because I knew 1 wanted to be a tattooist. At the time, Phil was still in France and I was working for the Home Office, processing asylum applications. One day Phil asked me to call him. We had never met. by the way. While we were on the phone he said ' -\re you going to ask me. then?' I said 'What?' He said 'Ask me for an apprenticeship.* So I did and he said yes. I was prepared to move to France to work with him but he opened this studio shortly after he had agreed to take me on.
How has your apprenticeship progressed?
I spent about a year just observing, as well as setting up and breaking down work stations, scrubbing tubes, sweeping iloors, cleaning the toilet. Finally I was allowed to pick up a machine and 1 started tattooing. 1 am only doing small pieces. I don't want to am before I can walk. I watch everyone here working as much as I can. I like to learn something every single day.
Where is your style heading?
I am follow ing in the boss's footsteps and keeping it traditional. I hope to put my own twist on things though and mix it up a little bit. To me. that is what tattoos should look like! Traditional style tattoos will last a lifetime. Rvcn w hen your skin goes wrinkly you can still tell w hat they are.
W hat advice would >ou give someone who wants to get into the industry?
Draw. draw. draw. Show your stuff to someone whose opinion you value. Listen to what they say and act on their advicc. Then get an apprenticeship or forget it. Self-taught, in this day and age. is just bullshit. You can't leam anything from yourself.
Magnum Opus 33 Upper North Street Brighton East Sussex BN13FG
Tel: «1273 271432 Website:
Interview & photo» by Euer Seg»rn Mike-up by Lucy Darfcnvn
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