Q. Where are you from and how did you get interested in art?
A. I was born and raised in Aotearoa (New Zealand), in a family of artists where creativity was always encouraged.
I went to art school and tried to go the fine art route, but found that my preference was for the world of comic books, tattoos, club flyers and graffiti.
Q. How did you become a tattooist?
A. I was given my first break by Mark Lee of Realistic Dermagraphics, on the Portobello Road in London, in the early 90s. I went on to do further apprenticeship with eX de Medici at Deus Ex Machina in Canberra, Australia.
Q. What do you enjoy about tattooing?
A. Tattooing is the most fascinating and challenging medium I’ve ever worked in. I like the collaborative, personal, sincere nature of tattooing – it avoids the crass marketplace motivation of commercial graphic art and the ego tripping of institutionalised fine art.
You get to use your artistic abilities, not just to flaunt them for their own sake or to enable some greed merchant to make a huge pile of money, but to make someone else happy and add a little colour to their journey. Each tattoo is a marker of the passage of time, a meditation on impermanence, a funky hand-made one-off in a world of slick, computerised mass production.
Q. Who are your influences or favourite artists?
A. Mark Lee, eX de Medici, the Inner Vision crew, Los Bros Hernandez, Dan de Carlo, Alex Grey, Mike Mignola, Masami Teraoka, “Ed the Happy Clown”, “V for Vendetta”, the Dadaists, Buddhist art and iconography, Club Kooky, Gurlesque, Nina Hagen.
Q. What type of tattoo do you most enjoy doing?
A. Anything graphic, meaningful, unique and personal.
Q. What saying do you try to live your life by?
A. “This too shall pass”…. useful for every occasion, particularly useful when getting tattooed!