Limitless Learning - Tattoo Apprentice Series: Steph White Interview

Limitless Learning - Tattoo Apprentice Series: Steph White 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'm 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 a quote from the first artist I spoke to in the series:

Limitless Learning - Tattoo Apprentice Series: Jake Beniston Interview

Meet the second tattooist in this interview series... Stephanie White. Steph tattoos at Cock A Snook in Newcastle and has been tattooing for 1 year.

1. Tell me how it all started for you?

I got my first tattoo on my 18th birthday and after that started getting tattooed on a regular basis, getting friendly with everyone in the studio. 

A job became available in that studio as a shop manager so I applied and was successful. Whilst working as a shop manager I became more and more interested in becoming a tattooist.

Sadly the shop I was working in wasn't interested in having an apprentice but I was adamant that was what I wanted to do, so I started looking for available apprenticeships in the area. Luckily an apprenticeship was available in a very reputable studio so I jumped at the chance. 

I introduced myself to Kerry-Anne (the owner of Cock A Snook). She looked through my portfolio and I was offered my apprenticeship.

2. What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?

To be honest the whole of my apprenticeship has been amazing. I was taken on alongside a second apprentice, Adam, and because of this we have equally shared the rubbish every-day jobs. 

Many people have struggled through their apprenticeships and have had a tough time; having someone else that is making the same journey as you, to support you and encourage you, has been amazing.

3. And what has been the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge will forever be my own criticism. The constant feeling that you could have done that better is something that I feel will never leave me. In a way, though I don't ever want that to go away, I want to constantly feel challenged. My work as an artist will never progress if I don't feel challenged anymore.

4. Looking back, anything you’d do differently?

I don't think there is anything I would have done differently. Maybe in some lights I would feel annoyed I didn't enter this industry earlier, but everything for me at the time of getting my apprenticeship worked out really well.

5. Tell us three tattoo artists you look up to.

Claudia De Sabe, Caio Pineiro, Jan Willem.

6. Who have you learnt the most from?

I have been lucky enough to work in a busy studio with many resident artists and guest artists that are more than happy to help me. If I was to pinpoint a definite person though it would be Paul Fulton... from stencils to machines, he was able to help me with anything.

Follow Steph White on Instagram to explore more of her work.

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