Haser: Thank you for joining us, for those that are first time observers of your work, can you tell us who you are and where you’re from?
Jack: I’m Jack, I’m a tattooer from Auckland. Currently working at Ōtautahi Tattoo in central Auckland.
Awesome, that’s a very credible studio, shout outs to Ōtautahi Tattoo. When did you start tattooing, and what got you into it?
I started my tattooing apprenticeship in 2020. I was interested in tattoos but didn’t really know if I wanted them when I turned 18. I had friends that got tattooed as soon as they could and two in particular that got quite a few tattoos from some really good tattooers. But it wasn’t until 2016 or so that I started really looking at tattoos and thinking about getting them. I got my first tattoo in mid 2017, and it snowballed out of control from there. Pretty quickly tattoos took over most of my attention. While getting my back tattooed in 2019 I realised that at some point I would run out of space to be tattooed and that I wanted to continue being around tattoos and tattoo studios, and so I would have to become a tattooer in order for that to happen.
I remember this journey, most people settle for a little shoulder piece or maybe a belly rocker, but you seemed to dive straight into the deep end and almost ended up with a whole body suit.
Do you occupy an artistic practice outside of tattooing or is skin your only canvas?
I draw, and do colour studies in colour pencil on paper for tattooing, and I also do some ink/watercolour painting. Those paintings are done with tattooing in mind, in a similar style but the process and some of the considerations are a bit different. There are things in painting that I couldn’t tattoo, and little elements in tattooing that I can’t replicate in paint. So all the artistic things I do are part of or directly adjacent to tattooing.
Awesome, I can already see the two complementing each other.
I certainly remember a time where even my tattoos raised a few eyebrows, but over the years there seems to be a growing acceptance towards the tattoo culture, do you think tattoos are more acceptable in society today?
I don’t really remember thinking much about tattooed people before I was 16 or 17, no-one else in my family has tattoos except for one cousin of mine. It just wasn’t on my radar for a long time. But then I got into metal and hardcore in high school and most of the bands, and concertgoers were tattooed to some degree so I became accustomed to seeing them that way. Right now it seems like there are an ever growing number of tattooers, studios, and people with tattoos. So I think they’re pretty well accepted at this point, certainly in New Zealand at least.
We hope so, tattoos are a great way to express our individuality, they’re also a great conversation starter.