Can you it'll us how \ou became part or the team here at Magnum Opus?
I am not from England originally. I am half Belgian, half French Phil knew of my work, although wc didn't know each other When he was planning to open the studio here he called to ask if I would like to work w ith him So I have been here since it opened It is a really relaxed, friendly shop. Wc are just like a family here. We inspire each other and we socialise together as well as working together.
How long have you been tattooing?
I have been in the profession for about nine years now. I didn't do an apprenticeship as such but 1 did live in Japan for a few years and, while I was there, I was lucky enough to spend several months watching the tattooist Hideo Uchiyama at work.
Do you have an art college background?
Yes. I went to art school in Belgium I think it is important for tattooists these days to ha\ c an artistic base to work from. It really helps, especially with the realistic and Japanese styles that I like doing. It is great to be able to draw correct anatomy and so on.
Who are your artistic heroes and heroines?
My greatest inspiration is Eugene Delacroix, a French painter from the 19th century. I am also inspired by Japanese painters from the same period.
Does tattooing have a bright future?
It is hard to tell but people who never would have had tattoos years ago are now getting them. The appeal is much wider. The down-side to this is that more and ^^ more people are trying to be tattooists, ^
Tool Ttnoo Mjgaun* 21
^^ working from home and doing really bad tattoos on their friends. They are ruining skin and lives but thev think they are good. That is the worrying pan. I wonder sometimes why people cannot sec the difference between good work and their own. bad work. Their ego gets in the way and they become blind! The one thing that would stop this is for it to be illegal to sell equipment to anyone who doesn't work in a proper studio. I hope that happens soon.
What do your customers gain from being tattooed?
There are two sorts of customers nowadays. There arc some people who get tattooed for fashion reasons, who may get small pieces done because it is trendy. And then there are the tnie collectors who get larger, more creative pieces. Everyone has their own reasons for getting tattooed. I guess. I like to try and inspire people to get a unique tattoo, even if they arc on the 'fashion' side of things. Some people genuinely don't know thai you can have a tattoo of anything you like.
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