Nigel

Pre Tattooing

My initial studies were in mechanical engineering but I found myself drawn to more artistic endeavours in the form of sculptures in metal, and hand crafting one off items.

This led to me following a degree in 3D design (BA HONs in Wood/Metal/Ceramics/Plastics at University of Brighton), during which time I started experimenting with tattoo mark making techniques in my 2D work and on myself. The 2nd year of my degree was my most productive, having work included in a couple of fashion shows, popular culture magazines, and some pieces displayed at the V&A.

After that, I burnt out and somewhat lost my way.

On completing my degree I spent a period working for a body piercing jewellery company which, through their work at many tattoo expos, led to a strengthened interest in pursuing tattooing as a viable form of artistic expression. It was at one of these tattoo conventions that a chance conversation about the tattooing I had done on myself led to the offer of a spot at the soon to be open Temple Tatu.

A brief work history

Rejuvenation.

I am a self-taught tattooist and have had no formal apprenticeship. From my beginnings at Temple Tatu in 1998 and later at Nine Tattoo Studio, I have had the freedom and flexibility to evolve at my own pace. This gave me the opportunity to create my own rules rather than following any traditions or trends.

Throughout my tattoo career I have aimed to create original work, and to continue to develop the ideas so that no two tattoos are quite alike. This has eventually led to my work being applied without the aid of predetermined designs, and with virtually no planning.

With the help of willing clients I aim to continue exploring and developing various graphical themes in a free flowing and adventurous way.

Visual interests

I find it difficult to pinpoint any particular styles of art/imagery that I like as it is more about visual qualities for me than any particular genre.

As much as I appreciate realism and figurative art it is non-representational, abstract, concept and conceptual art that seems to stimulate my mind more easily.

I particularly admire the works of:

  • Mondrian
  • Malevich
  • Rothko
  • Christo
  • Richard Serra
  • Chris Foss
  • Roger Dean
  • Lebbeus Woods
  • Hugh Ferriss

Anything that stirs the soul or fires the imagination, for good or bad, is interesting to me.

Outside of work

I do not have any hobbies as such, as my main interest in life is Art in its many forms. I am not constantly drawing, painting, tattooing etc, I'm actually fairly lazy, but if I am at a loose end my mind turns to art, science, or nothingness.

My family helps me keep my thoughts a bit closer to reality than they otherwise would be.
I could easily spend my life just sitting, watching the world go by.

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