This year I have been encouraging you all to meet a handful of the UK's finest tattoo apprentices and hear about their journey so far in this artistic industry.
Blogs and magazines always feature tattoo work by artists that have established themselves within both the industry and their style. But what about the tattoo artists of tomorrow - those in their first few years of growing? I thought it was important to showcase their work, too, in a collection of interviews with UK tattoo apprentices.
So far I have spoken to loads of lovely peeps - last time we heard from Steph. This week, meet the extremely talented... Sammy Harding. Sammy is based at Songbird Tattoo in Exeter and has been tattooing for 1 year.
1. Tell our readers how it all started for you.
I'd always been interested in tattooing. My social group revolved around tattoos and it always was something that caught my attention. I worked as a photographer for a few years before I realised tattooing was something I needed to seriously pursue, I took a long road but a beneficial one.
"Don't let Pinterest pick your tattoo ideas for you, find your own thing, trends will come and go."
2. What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
The fortuity to start an apprenticeship was the most amazing part, it's a very competitive industry, so to apprentice with someone I respected was a great opportunity and rewarding to know people wanted to get tattooed by me once I started.
3. And what has been the biggest challenge?
Trying to certify a style. There's so many amazing artists out there, that are doing the most incredible work, spanning over so many styles, with their own specific niches... it makes it hard to find your own.
4. Looking back, anything you’d do differently?
I wish I would have come to realize tattooing was what I wanted to be involved in a lot sooner.
5. What goals have you set yourself?
To certify a style and clientele.
6. Describe your job in three words.
Constantly challenging myself.
"I wish I would have come to realize tattooing was what I wanted to be involved in a lot sooner."
7. Which three artists do you look up to the most?
I have so many artists that I look up to so it would be hard to pick just three, the artists that have helped me along the way would be the ones I look up to the most.
8. Which single person have you learned the most from?
My boss Brownie has been the biggest influence as he has been the one I'm predominately learning from, other artists that I have forever appreciated the advice and guidance from would be James Kiley and Ry Ousley.
9. Anything else you want to share with Tattoodo readers?
Don't let Pinterest pick your tattoo ideas for you, find your own thing, trends will come and go.
All images via Instagram.