I got my first tattoos in my teens in the late 70’s, went to art school and started to get heavily tattooed in the 80’s, and was tattooing from home by the end of that decade. Tattooing captivated me, but there wasn’t much going on in the U.K. at that time, so I went to L.A., where things were happening, got tattooed by a couple of my heroes, and ended up staying and tattooing in Hollywood for a couple of years.
In ’93 I came back and started Into You, soon Curly joined us, and we’ve had a great collection of artists over the years – thanks guys! We were pretty much the first truly custom tattoo shop in London, the whole tattoo landscape was completely different then, there were no magazines, there were hardly any shops, tattooing was an underground scene, so different to now.
I started liking mainly tribal, because it was so different to anything I had seen, but I came to love traditional Japanese work and “old school” just as much. Although I enjoy revisiting certain themes, compared to some artists these days my “style” is quite broad, I like to work with the person I’m working on, start with what ideas they have, and put my own spin on it, often using some elements from the tattoo traditions that I love.
Outside of tattooing I have always produced work in other media. I produced plenty of drawings and flash in my earlier years, culminating in the box set – 23 Sleeves, published in 2001. I’ve done a lot of printmaking since around 2000, a medium that grabbed me almost as much as tattooing. After making screen prints for several years, I recently completed my woodcut portrait series, 36 portraits of my friends and colleagues, which resulted in the book being published by Kintaro Publishing in 2012.