Meet a handful of the UK's finest tattoo apprentices and hear about their artistic journey so far in the industry.
Blogs and magazines always feature tattoo work by artists that have established themselves within the industry and style. But what about the tattoo artists 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 collection of interviews with UK tattoo apprentices.
So far in our 'Limitless Learning' series I have interviewed six different tattoo apprentices - the most recent being Adam.
Next up is Hannah Louise Trunwitt. Hannah is situated at Cult XIII Tattoo and has been tattooing for 2 months (but working as an apprentice since May 2015).
"Prepare to sweep floors, run a lot of errands and for grapefruits to squirt you in the eye mid-line..."
1. Tell our readers how it all started for you.
I actually started out doing a degree in Architecture. Halfway through I decided it wasn't for me, but pride got the better of me so I carried it out until the end.
Chris Byrne (Who I now have the privilege of working with at Cult XIII) first started tattooing my other half at the time, and planted the seed in my head about unleashing my creative energy onto skin.
He helped me in many instances... finding apprenticeships and encouraging me to develop my portfolio. I started at a predominantly walk-in, money-making studio for a couple of months, which definitely didn't suit me. Then Chris mentioned a potential position at a new studio that was opening up that only focused on the art.
2. What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
The final goal of tattooing skin has naturally been the most rewarding part - seeing customers go home happy, getting thanks and seeing photos after a few days, gives me a lot of gratification. Re-thinking my career choice has truly paid off!
"Being self-critical and a partial perfectionist doesn't help with this situation..."
3. And what has been the biggest challenge?
I'm still struggling to balance both jobs, a social life and being able to draw for my customers and for myself. I like to take my time with drawing, especially doing dotwork which makes it slightly more difficult... but this is undoubtedly something I will speed up with in time. Being self-critical and a partial perfectionist doesn't help with this situation either.
4. Looking back, anything you’d do differently?
I partially wish I had done what I wanted - started looking for an apprenticeship sooner, as opposed to 'making my family proud' and going to/finishing university. But I wouldn't have the portfolio or the experience I have today, so I do feel I've ended up in the perfect position!
5. Tell me why you love your job in three words.
Creativity, improvement, gratification.
"A girl can dream, right?!"
6. What goals have you set yourself?
My main focus is to get to a reputable standard of tattooing in a number of styles and keep on developing fine details of my individual style. I would also love to get a few guest-spots under my belt, Barcelona hopefully being the first port of call... a girl can dream right?!
7. Tell us three tattoo artists you look up to?
There's a whole load of artists that inspire me in different ways depending on what style I'm adopting, especially everyone I work with in the studio, on a daily basis. If I had to narrow them down a few would be; Esther de Miguel for her distinguishable style, Hannah Pixie Sykes for her dotwork, and generous and giving nature and Robert Borbas for being an absolute wizard!
8. Who have you learnt the most from?
I've learnt so much from everyone in the studio... from taking notes during tattoos to overhearing conversations with the other artists and customers, but I think I've learnt the most from Sarah Thirteen. Being the most recently qualified in the studio, her apprenticeship is fresh in her mind therefore she knows exactly what I need to hear, learn and be encouraged with.
9. Anything else you want to share with Tattoodo readers?
After a year of apprenticing, I can fully appreciate why it takes that long to start tattooing humans. Not only is it about gaining the trust of the other artists, but finding and developing your own individual style, building up a customer base that is ready, waiting (and most importantly) confident in you and your art. If you're looking for an apprenticeship, the first studio you find may not be the right one for you, but sometimes a foot in the door can help. Prepare to sweep floors, run a lot of errands and for grapefruits to squirt you in the eye mid-line.