Simultaneously honouring traditions and breathing new life into tired ideas, artists Dan Crowe and Jack Watts have been humbly producing clean and timeless work from the heart of London’s Sang Bleu, and in doing so, have joined a lineage of tattooists with an incredible passion for history, but a sharp vision for tomorrow. As part of our new on-going joint-interview series ‘Split-Sheet’, we paired them up to demystify their beginnings in tattooing, how they both came to work together and what they feel they owe to the tattooists of yesterday.
Shane Tan has accumulated a large following of seriously dedicated patrons. With these devoted advocates collecting back pieces, bodysuits and sleeves, it's hard to miss the hustle coming from this tattooer. Hailing from Singapore and tattooing since the millennium, Shane Tan really puts in the work. His vast understanding of composition, flow and use of colour speak volumes. The minimal colour palette against such contrasted backgrounds is unmistakable. Shane Tan is moving to the U.K. soon so if you're looking for the perfect large-scale Japanese tattoo then maybe you should take a read and let your eyes soak in his portfolio.
Embodying DIY culture and a heavy sense of Lynchian-like fantasy, London-based tattooist Clare Frances boldly experiments with typography and imagery embedded with romance and rebellion. Although every-moving, her rough designs and hyper-clean work continues to explore a world of darkness and digital-despair unseen to many. Here, Clare Frances speaks to her dream-like inclinations, the ways in-which tattoos exist between the external and the internal and how marking yourself is a way of creating your own reality.
Karma Yeshe Konchok is an Australia-hailing tattoo artist and owner of infamous London-based studio Dharma Tattoo who produces enveloping, "over-sized" Japanese tattoos, as well as soft, Tibetan-inspired offerings that reflect his Buddhist practice, and give second-life to the nameless works that litter his studies. Here, Yeshe speaks to his first tattoo - applied with a tool built from a sea-urchin's spine, how punk gifted him his fascination with his now-core art-form and to his religious beliefs that have allowed him to see the beauty in what he does.
Instagram has always felt like the perfect tool for tattooers to connect with each other, new clients and serves as the de facto portfolio and news delivery platform for tattooing, but in late 2017, something as trivial as a little circle caused a huge stir. That something was Everence.
I first met Stephen Byrne at Brighton Tattoo Convention and recognised his work immediately. I'd been following him for some time and loved his striking and clean traditional tattoos. I wanted to get tattooed by him but unfortunately, it wasn't able to happen that weekend, and I stood by and watched whilst Stephen produced great pieces all day. Luckily for me, though, he agreed to take some time out to answer some questions and give us the chance to showcase his work.
Sourcing its strength from modesty and restraint, Paradise’s fine-line work holds life and death in an obsessive vice-grip – offering a window into the New Zealand-hailing artist's internal landscape. Working from the outside in, real-name-Rene O’Donnell-Gibson’s delicate and disarming markings infiltrated the industry in an incredibly natural and effortless way – as if his vision of love and loss was always destined for skin. Here, Rene demystifies his otherworldly influences, the importance of putting yourself in uncomfortable situations and speaks to the benefits of being a multi-disciplinary creative.
Guen Douglas is a British/French Canadian tattooer who's style frequently celebrates feminity with a blend of American traditional. Her combination of bold and delicate make for some fantastic tattoos, focusing on some very eye-catching and thoroughly refined subjects. You can spot one of Guen's ladies from a mile away; the mixture of softer subjects and a strong colour palette, combined with clean, bold lines and the perfect amount of contrast are what really define her work.Guen Douglas is now a full-time artist at Taiko Gallery, working alongside Wendy Pham, producing some of the most powerful tattoos in Berlin and carving out her niche style in the capital.
Mike Fite is a man of few word but his American traditional tattoos speak volumes. Co-owner of Gold Club Electric Tattoo in East Nashville, TN he's been tattooing for over 20 years. It seems like every day Mike tattoos something in a way I hadn't thought of before and the results are always pretty striking, so I was happy to get the chance for a few quick words with him...
The incredibly prolific, Asiago-hailing Michele Servadio has been injecting lonely, expressionistic magic into the world of tattooing for just over a decade - pushing the boundaries of the craft through experimental "rituals" and textural illusions. Fascinated by tradition and the cultural phenomena of tattooing, Servadio quickly became a key figure in London's underground art and music scene upon moving to Hackney Wick. Here, he demystifies the influence of environment on his enigmatic work, his love for life-drawing and how reality constantly bleeds into his creations.