Limitless Learning - Tattoo Apprentice Series: Jake Beniston Interview
A new series of interviews in which I chat to some of the UK's up-and-coming tattoo artists.
Meet a handful of the UK's finest tattoo apprentices and hear about their artistic journey so far in the industry.
I am always featuring tattoo work by the biggest and best - the guys that have been doing this for decades and have established themselves within their industry and style...
But what about the tattooists of tomorrow - the artists in their first few years of learning and growing?
I thought it was important to showcase their work too, in a series of interviews with UK tattoo apprentices.
The title 'Limitless Learning' is inspired by the artist I speak to in this first article, who is actually just out of his apprenticeship and now working as tattoo artist in his own right.
Meet the first tattooist in this interview series... Jake Beniston. Jake tattoos at Occult Tattoo in Worthing and has been tattooing for 11 months.
1. Tell our readers how it all started for you.
My route into tattooing has been a strange one and I feel that my journey and learning will take longer than others may have experienced.
My first apprenticeship was at a local Leicester tattoo shop. It was very traditional in that I cleaned, worked the desk, ran errands, drew as much as I could and watched the artists work long before touching a machine. I was dismissed for posting my work on social media.
A customer recommended me to tattoo artist Clare Lambert, who then kindly offered me a spot to work at her studio Sakura Tattoo.
After reinstating my social media accounts I then found myself in touch with Jordan Childs, owner of Occult Tattoo, who kindly gave me advice and invited me down to their studio. This then eventually lead to a permanent job offer.
Though I'm technically not still an apprentice now, I feel very much like I've been taken under the wing of Occult to continue my learning journey.
Recent from Tattoo Artists
2. What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
The fact that someone saw potential in me, and was willing to help get me to where I want to be. It still blows my mind that people come and get tattooed by me! I've had the opportunity to tattoo opposite someone I've looked up to since before I set foot in a studio, and to have their input, to impart just a tiny bit of their knowledge, has been invaluable.
3. And what has been the biggest challenge?
I was brought up by my grandparents and have lived with them my whole life. Sadly I lost my nan earlier this year, and picking up the pieces has been the biggest challenge. I lost all motivation to draw and to work, so things took a heavy hit. It's been hard getting back on my feet, but slowly getting there!
4. Looking back, anything you’d do differently?
If I could, I'd have not been so hasty in getting my foot in the door of a studio and been more selective. I was grateful for a start in the industry and bit their hand off at the offer. I feel I'm on the right path now and I look forward to what the future holds.
5. Tell me why you love your job in three words.
Limitless learning potential.
6. What goals have you set yourself?
There are certain technical aspects of tattooing that I look to improve on, in the next 12 months and beyond. I'm my own worst critic, so I think to not be so hard on myself would be a good goal to set.
7. Tell us three tattoo artists you look up to?
Mitchell Allenden, Renko Dees, Chris Green.
8. Who have you learnt the most from?
My nan. Not in tattooing terms of course, but pretty much everything else. I want to do well for her, because she did so damn right by me.