NYE Inks is a tattoo artists based in London with a rich client base that includes well known rappers and models. We sit down to talk inspiration and the path he's taken.
What prompted you down this career path, how did you become a tattoo artist?
I actually did a degree in graphic design, but at the time is was a hard field to get into. I did a bit of freelance, and volunteer work but realised that being indoors, in an office, wasn't really for me. Office Jobs are not the one! So I wasn't really working, and realised I needed to do something creative… and that was gonna pay me on the spot! So I thought, let me try tattoos, I’d always had an interest in tattooing and thought, why not!
Have you ever worked in a Tattoo Studio?
Yeh, I had my own studio. It was going well, and you know it was good to get used to working with the public and stuff. When the lease was up I just thought, why stay in one place when I can be mobile. Mobile is how I started, so I thought, why not go back to that!
One of the reasons why I was attracted to working with you in the first place was your mobility. It makes it a lot more personal.
Yeh exactly, its much more interesting for me to travel round, getting inspired by the new places I end up. People are more relaxed when they are comfortable, so tattooing people at home is just a better experience for everyone. You learn a lot more about people in their homes as well.
You’ve tattooed a lot of interesting people,how did that come about?
Growing up in South London, I had a lot of friends, and people knew me to be quite creative, I was always carrying round a portfolio, and people knew I could draw. I actually started on Blackberry BBM, people used to ping around saying “theres a new tattoo artist around, check him out, hit him up on BBM haha”. But yeh, people used to just ping me on BBM and when Instagram came around people clocked and were like, ahh, thats the guy from Blackberry Messenger. I grew up with a lot of UK rap artists fin South London, I went to school with rapper Young Teflon and Arnold Oceng, the actor. That helped my profile, then I moved over to West London, where I moved from inking the music scene to the fashion scene. Started doing models and stuff.
Do you ever get nervous doing models? I mean their whole career is based on what they look like!
Hahaha, nah I don’t really get nervous. I used to, but not now. Customers get nervous and ask things like “how long you been inking for?”, but I just say, you have to trust me. Once I start inking people they always end up trusting me, well they don't have a choice.
Do you get a lot of booking requests through Instagram now?
Yeh man thats how I do most of my bookings now, people DMing me. Friends of friends who have seen my work on their friends or someone they follow on Instagram. I’ve tattooed people like Sonny Hall and Luke Storey, which gets my name out there.
Has anyone ever come to you with a tattoo idea that you've turned down?
I’m up for new challenges to be honest. I am better with freehand, for me it goes back to graphic design, its like pen to paper, I know I cant really go wrong. With face tattoos I always make sure the customer is 100% sure you know, its going to be on their face for ever!
Where do you see yourself going with tattooing?
I want to travel a bit with my tattoos, go abroad, meet some new, interesting people, maybe end up in LA, I don't know. Maybe set up a studio again some day, but for now I’m happy just exploring and doing my thing.
Would you start doing Merch?
Definitely, it would be a good way of combining my tattoos and my graphic design stuff. People have seen my tats but not my drawings, so yeh, merch would be cool! I would like to set up a shop, or maybe an academy, where I could teach people how to tattoo, I could become a tattoo master ha. Yeh I would like that.