Apprenticeship Series: Max Wylde

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Welcome to the 'Apprentice 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.

Second in our apprenticeship series is Max Wylde (@maxwlyd). Max is currently learning his trade at Die Monde Collective in Wadebridge, Cornwall. We're really enjoying Max's playful style and we look forward to seeing more from him in the future. 

Max, could you describe your style of artwork

I’d say my style is quite playful but I’m still working on where I want it to be. I just know it will never take itself too seriously.

I can see you started learning stick-and-poke before picking up a machine, is there a particular reason for this?

My friend Tom Hinton (@bad_tattitude) posted me all the kit I needed to stick and poke when I got back to Cornwall from NZ, so I have him to thank for that. It’s a way more accessible way to make tattoos, just because there’s so much less equipment involved. That’s the main reason I started by hand first.

Do you see yourself as a stick-and-poke artist in the future or will you continue to mix it up with a machine?

I’ve pretty much stopped doing stick and poke altogether now. I find it much easier to draw for tattoos with machine in mind because you have a bit more freedom and it ends up looking more like a drawing from my sketchbook, which feels more authentic to me. 

I still love the texture you can get through hand poke but I probably won’t go back to it now.

Where do you get the inspirations for your designs?

Inspiration for my work comes from everywhere. Mostly just things I see out and about and anything that makes me smile or has an interesting shape to it.

Did you develop your style before learning to tattoo? What do you think comes first, style or technique?

I’m still developing my style but the more techniques I learn the more doors open. I suppose that’s the same with everyone.

Most beneficial tip you have been told as an apprentice so far?

I’m not sure I can think of one tip. Tom really helped me out at the start and everyone at Die-Monde has taught me loads. Finding out I could say no is a good one haha.

Did you have any confidence barriers when starting/seeking your apprenticeship?

I definitely had trouble with my confidence at the start. I couldn’t believe people wanted to give me money for what I was doing and I still can’t really. It’s getting easier though and I’m valuing my work as an artist more.

What honest advice would you give anyone wanting to start an apprenticeship in tattooing?

My advice to anyone wanting to get an apprenticeship would be to do one in a nice studio with people that you like. And if you can’t do that then just pick up a needle and start.