Welcome to the 'Apprenticeship Series' where we speak to some of the most promising tattoo apprentices from across the globe. We'll be discussing their journey, ups and downs, apprentice life and tips on scoring an apprenticeship yourself.
This time around we spoke to Bristol based apprentice Tyler (@ty.wolf.tattoo) who is learning the art at busy and bustling studio, No Regrets (@no.regrets.uk) who have locations in London, Bristol, Exeter and Cheltenham.
Hey Ty, how long have you been doing your apprenticeship for?
Hey there Stories and Ink, So I’ve been apprenticing now for just under a year.
How long before you started tattooing on people’s skin?
It was a good few months of drawing, watching, and fake skin before I was let loose on anyone. Once I was given the go ahead I was fortunate enough to have a handful of trusting friends ready and waiting.
How would you describe your style of artwork?
Evolving always. I’d like to say bold-yet-detailed blackwork, but this ranges from trad to fineline and everything in between. Really inspired by religious iconography and Catholic artwork. Also love french prison style tattooing, I’ve been doing a lot of that recently and really enjoy it.
What have you found most beneficial about learning to tattoo at No Regrets?
The huge wealth of knowledge and skills in all aspects of tattooing, which comes from having a team of diverse colleagues who are all incredible at what they do and down to share their experience with me.
What has been your favourite tattoo you’ve made to date?
So my favourite tattoo so far would probably be the fineline rose I created for my partner Jodie. It was early on in my apprenticeship and the stress levels were high, but the end result we both couldn’t have been happier with. Now she has my work on her for life which is a real honour to give the person you love.
Do you plan to travel once you’ve completed your apprenticeship?
100%. The freedom to travel whilst making a wage and learning from different cultures is a big part of what I love about the industry. I’m itching to get out there as soon as the time feels right and i’m prepared.
Where would be your dream place to guest in the future?
Barcelona is one of my favourite cities ever and they have a huge wealth of talent in tattooing there. Shops like Black Tattoo (@blacktattoobcn) and artists like Fergu Marquez (@fergumarquez) really inspire me. I’d love to spend a long period of time there for sure.
But even closer to home shops like Sans Patrire (@studio.sanspatrie) in London would be a massive honour one day in the future, as the work that comes out of there is always exceptional.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start a tattooing apprenticeship?
Make sure you’re completely and utterly committed, respect the history of what came before and respect the craft. That’s a huge thing I feel isn’t always apparent these days and I know personally goes a long way at the beginning of the journey.
Has there been days where you’ve wanted to pack it all in? What kept you pushing on?
Definitely, tattooing isn’t for the faint hearted. The stress and pressure levels are huge and the margin for error is non-existent. You always have those days where things aren’t working for you (and from what I hear from most of my veteran tattooist homies, this never goes away). But knowing you get to go to work every day and do something you're passionate about and love makes all those stresses worthwhile. Sometimes it takes a minute to step back and realise you’re following your dream, and that's enough to deal with anything the day throws at you.
I can see a lot of black work on your profile, Is colour something you think you’ll do more of in the future?
Haha yeah, it’s the goth in me.
Definitely down to use some more colour in the future. All my flash is blackwork and that seems to be what people who come to me want. I’m not upset about that either as it’s the style and look I personally prefer. But when I see pieces by Darren Quinn (@dquinn.tattoo) and the Blue Arms guys in Oslo (@bluearms.tattoo) it makes me want to start using those beautiful muted greens and reds.
So watch this space!
Lastly, fav thing to have for lunch?
Ooft, that’s a hard one! Living here in Bristol we are so fortunate with the best food spots. But if I had to choose one it would probably be the incredible grilled reuben sandwich with extra jalapenos from our friends Emmeline on Stokes Croft. Honestly, nothing beats it.