Honestly, I LOVE black and grey realism. But I also really enjoy script. I'm getting more into custom writing. I have a few projects in the works to do a combination of realism and mandala/dot work. So keep checking my Instagram!
Owning a business takes up SO MUCH FUCKING TIME AND ENERGY! That should answer that.
What products do you mainly use/are true to?
I switched to cartridges about 4 years ago. I'm very tight with the guys at F Y T, they're great at what they do, and they take my advice when ever I give it. Which I feel is important if you want to succeed in any business. (Props to you guys as well for taking my advice when I give it!)
Tell us about your process? Do you free hand your images directly on clients, or use any of the new artist tablets on the market, or are you more of a classic paper and pen?
Photo. Shop. Without it, there would be no realism artists! Except for maybe 2 or 3 people in Europe. I freehand my backgrounds a lot, clouds, flowers, petals, or negative space. But the bulk of my reference is put together in Photoshop.
Many apprenticeships end, tell us about your apprenticeship? And do you have any words of encouragement?
My apprenticeship was pretty shit. For my first tattoo, my mentor watched my first line then said: "Okay, call me if you need me". 2 years in he admitted that he stopped showing me anything new 'cause he was scared that I would get better than him. I've been tattooing for 12 or 13 years. But to be honest, the first 6 or 7 was almost entirely self taught. Or I learned what I could from the other artists I worked with, who also had no real apprenticeships. It's only once I left to open my studio that I started going to conventions and meeting other artists from around the world that I began to learn what I can do today (which is still shit...I know nothing!)
Words of encouragement? Honestly, I'm sick of the new generation of 'artists'. If they aren't a full fledged tattoo artist after 6 months, they're whining and complaining. After 4 months of tattooing they're refusing projects, because they're 'beyond' that. No, you're not beyond anything, you're an apprentice, shut up and tattoo the infinity sign, and be grateful that this person is willing to trust you with something that is for life, and that you are being paid for!
Respect. That's what's lacking in this industry. Respect, and humility. Be humble, respect this incredible industry. Respect your mentor, or shop owner. Respect the artists who have been tattooing for 1 or 5 or 10 or 25 years longer than you. Even if you're better than them. Respect your clients, most of whom are ignorant of the infinite wisdom in your super smart brain!
What are your thoughts of the industry today and where it’s going in the future?
Aside from taking up 10 to 14 hours of my day 5 to 7 days a week...not much. ;)