When I first got started in tattooing, I remember being blown away by the work coming out of Australia. The ever changing style of neo-traditional being pushed out by the heavyweight giants from the other side of the world melted my mind. Wendy Pham, one of the many incredible talents from across the seas, was one of my biggest influences back then so to get the opportunity to chat with her and pick her brain was incredibly humbling.Wendy's blend of westernised Japanese with strong neo-trad elements really does stand out a mile, making for some incredibly refreshing tattoos. Wendy Pham now works from Taiko Gallery in Berlin alongside the equally talented Guen Douglas so we caught up with them at the 10th annual Brighton Tattoo Convention, with Guen's interview following soon.
Kelly Violet’s world-renowned work is an incredible demonstration of craft, forward-thinking and hyper-creativity in an industry that too often leans on the past, or sees artists relying too heavily on ephemeral trends. Having gathered her dedicated following thanks to her commitment to pushing for pure and lasting work, the unforgiving Goliath-force speaks with Nine Mag about what it is to be a "terrible perfectionist", and how her concerns will always start and end with producing a tattoo that will stand the test of time - even if the sacrifices involve sanity.
Coming from humble beginnings in Southern California, Vetoe has hustled hard to get his tattoo career going. We wanted to find out how he got started producing some superb black and grey pieces. With strong Christian and Mexican themes throughout his extensive portfolio, you can really tell how his surroundings influenced him heavily from a young age.
Reflecting the towering, stone-grey steel of his beloved home-soil, Mark Judges' "violent, humorous and idiotic" work speaks to the chaotic and all-encompassing nature of London. Through hijacking suggestive mysticism and crude surrealism - effortlessly balancing the dramatic and the absurd, Mark flies the flag of brutal local tradition. In conversation with Nine Mag, the "recovering punk" demystifies the ways in-which his work co-opts old images to convey new messages, and walks us through the disarming nature of his tender, romantic and overly-honest warpaint.
Brody Polinsky is a Berlin-based tattoo artist and queer activist who creates spontaneous ornamental work out of his private, inclusive space UNIV ERSE. In conversation with Nine Mag, Brody demystifies his beginnings in tattooing, the intentions behind UNIV ERSE and how he sees his bold, pattern-grid world evolving.
For the second year in a row, Chicago's Great Lakes Tattoo has hosted their highly-lauded Walk Up Classic. A two-day event, the Walk Up Classic hosted 22 artists from all over North America. Tattooing designs from flash sheets created specifically for the event, as well as designs from the previous year and the extensive collection on the walls at Great Lakes Tattoo, making for a fantastic event for tattoo collectors and casual fans alike. With 206 tattoos completed this year, we wanted to catch up with Nick Colella about how the event went with such an impressive line-up of talent.
Here at Nine mag, we've known Mitch Allenden and Rich Wells for quite a few years. They've both forged a path in tattooing with bold and striking work. They recently came together to open the private Dock Street tattoo in Leeds so it seemed a perfect chance to get their thoughts on their careers so far.
Big Meas is one of the best lettering artists out there. Starting in graffiti and transitioning into tattooing, he's forged a huge identity and reputation, showing the world how far you can take a part of the craft that many take for granted. Chances are, you have one of his lettering guides in your studio for reference. We had a quick chat with the man behind the lettering.
It’s taken a while, but it is finally here! This interview with David Corden has taken close to a year to get into the magazine and has definitely proven to be the biggest challenge. The interview itself began after Tattoo Tea Party at around midnight. David and I had just started when I realised that the batteries had died on the Dictaphone. After a frantic jog to the late night shop, we were back in business. But the fun didn’t end there.
Brian Ashcraft is a writer over at Kotaku and an author living in Japan. His latest book, Japanese tattoos: History • Culture • Design explores the rich and storied history of tattooing in Japan. Co-author Hori Benny is an Osaka-based tattooer specialising in Otaku tattoos. We caught up with both of them about the book, moving to Japan, and the changing attitudes to tattooing.