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You have a very recognisable style of tattooing. How has your work developed since you camc to work at Magnum Opus when it opened?

Everyone here is very creative and wc inspire each other. I relate most closely to Lynn's work. 1 love the way site tattoos realism. I have learnt a lot by watching her.

Lynn Magic Realism

in London and I was lucky enough to get an apprenticeship at a studio in Camden. I was only 16 at the time, and I was going to college as well, so I wasn't as focussed as I am now. It took me about five years to really get serious about my tattooing. I feel my career really started when I got a job at Tusk in Covcnt Garden, which has sadly closed down now. I began to do more custom work there and m> style developed.

An important moment for me was when I got my sleeve tattooed by Xam. My work actually changed after that as I learnt so much by watching him. I learnt to simplify things - even with realistic tar^jos you shouldn't put too much detail in them. I also changed the way I used colour and shading and my tattoos seemed to acquire more depth as a result. I learn something from ocr. jrtisj who tattoos me. I don't actually think about the concept of the tattoos I get. it is more to do with choosing and watching artists who inspire me.

Do >ou plan ahead very much or do you just take each day as it comes? I take it as it comes really. I never thought I would still be in England after so long. I didn't plan how long I would stay, it just worked out the way it did I am happy to stay here and carry on working here. I will stay as long as I am having fun!

\\ hat is the best thing about being a tattoolst?

The best part about this job is that I get to do the creative work I want to do. I am so lucky to have a job I enjoy so much. I can't think of a bad thing about it! If there is a downside to it, it is that it takes up all your time. I don't see it as a job anymore. It is my life.

Xam Sleeve Inma

How long have you been tattooing?

I started six years ago but I gave up for a year during that time because I found it so hard and I wasn't getting the results I wanted. I worked in a busy street shop but I was pretty much self-taught. I made the mistake of thinking tattooing was going to be easy but it's not I figured it would be the same as drawing. Mow naive I was. You watch people doing it and they make it look easy.

W hat changed for you when you came hack to tattooing?

I took a year out and went to Indonesia. I am really into surfin. arui the »urf is good out there. I met a lot of tattooists there and hung out with them It made me realise I wanted to get back into it.

Tattooing is more popular than ever now Is this a good or a bad thing, in your opinion?

The TV shows have educated people and shown them a hat a good tattoo looks like - and I'm not just saying that because I work at Phil's The downside is that the industry is a little over-subscribed now. I also think some people see tattoos as fashion statements. All those kids with throat and hand tattoos and nothing else... there may be some regrets in the

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