The apprentice interview series continues. Last week you met the lovely Avalon. Today, let me introduce you to Tyler (Ty) Hill, who works at 57th Door Tattoo in Mytchett (South of the UK, between Reading and Guilford).
"My parents are artistic, musically too... I suppose it's in my blood"
Tell our readers how it all started for you.
"I suppose the idea of tattooing had been in my mind from a young age, I vividly remember 'inking' my Barbie and Ken doll with markers and nail varnish to give them a tattooed look. My love for tattooing has always been there, the idea of actually becoming a tattoo artist was always a bit of a pipe dream. My parents are artistic, musically too... I suppose it's in my blood."
"Client trust by far is the most rewarding aspect of this job"
"I studied photography and media which lead me to a photography apprenticeship with a magazine in London, which fell through due to the company going bust. Because creative jobs were so hard to find, I spent my first few working years in sales and marketing - which definitely helps in this industry - but all the time I carried on drawing and photographing in my spare time."
"I properly started getting tattooed when I was 18 and I started on my first sleeve at Frith Street Tattoo (London) with Jordan Teear, lovely guy. I realized how fun it was to be in a tattoo studio - it's one of the best shops I've ever visited. When I started getting tattooed by Daniel Hampton I felt confident enough to pursue it and actually ask and work for an apprenticeship. Bit of a leap of faith!"
"If you don't ask, the answer will always be no. Get out there and work your arse off"
What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
"Client trust by far. I still cannot believe people come to me specifically to mark them forever. Mad really. Every day is super rewarding. I am so lucky to be where I am."
And what has been the biggest challenge?
"Settling into a completely new environment was hard. Going from being a very relevant cog within a sales department to then cleaning and making tea (pretty much bottom of the food chain) was a tough adjustment."
"The only thing I'd do differently is starting earlier than I did"
Looking back, anything you’d do differently?
"The only thing I'd do differently is starting earlier than I did."
Tell me why you love your job in three words.
"Challenging, rewarding, friendships."
What goals have you set yourself?
"Self improvement, building my portfolio, keep learning every single day and staying this motivated. I'm already so in love with my job I just want it to go onwards and upwards. I haven't really got any particular goals in mind. (I would love, like 7,263,784 dogs... trying to be realistic though and hope to get my first in January.)"
Tell us which three tattooists you look up to. Is there one person in particular that you have learnt the most from?
"Goodness. Where to start. I mean my biggest inspiration and the guy that's made it all happen for me is Danny Hampton. He brought me into the industry and taught me everything. Kieran Williams is also a massive inspiration to me. I am currently getting work done by him, every session I learn loads. And lastly, Matt Stopps. He gave me the chance to see what it was all about. Matt made me feel I could throw myself into it and that's just what I did. I've been really lucky throughout my apprenticeship and I feel I've met all the right people."
"I've been really lucky throughout my apprenticeship and I feel I've met all the right people"
Read Avalon's Interview: Exceeding Expectations - Tattoo Apprentice Series: Avalon Rose
Anything else you want to share with our readers?
"If you don't ask, the answer will always be no. Get out there and work your arse off. This year has been so tough, but looking back now I can't think of any bad and I am so so glad I stuck it out. This is the best job in the whole entire world."
Follow Tyler on Instagram.