Newgate has a chat with tattoo artist, Joe.
Joe K Worall: Tattoo Artist and owner of studio, Heart and Arrow, Shrewsbury.
Tell us about you and your studio, Heart and Arrow...
I’m Joe, I’m 28 years old and I’ve been tattooing for around eight years. I opened Heart & Arrow tattoo studio almost two years ago, with my wife Casi who is also a tattoo artist. I specialize in horror and portraiture tattoos.
At what point in your life did you decide you wanted to become a tattoo artist, and how did you make it become reality?
My stepdad is a tattoo artist, so I’ve grown up around it most of my life. When I was younger I was always interested in tattoos, but didn’t really have an interest in doing them, until I had my first.
When and what was your first tattoo?
I had my first tattoo as soon as I turned 18, it was Jack Skelington from ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’ at the top of my right arm. The reason I had it was because I’m a big fan of Tim Burton’s movies and style, he’s a big influence on what I do and what I like.
Tell us about a tattoo you have that means a lot to you…
To be honest, I don’t have a lot of meaningful tattoos! But I have a couple of important people’s names on me and I also have the studios logo on the side of my face as I’m very proud of it.
Craziest tattoo you’ve ever done for somebody?
As for craziest, it’s really hard to say, as it depends on what you think is crazy. Some people think the idea of getting a tattoo is crazy!
Longest you’ve ever spent on a tattoo?
The longest I’ve ever tattooed for was around 9 hours. I would never do it again! It was shortly after I’d started tattooing, so I was much slower than I am now, it wasn’t even a very big piece.
How do you advise clients against tattoos you think are going to be a big mistake?
I just tell them straight, and tell them that I’m not just saying it for fun, I just don’t want to be the artist that could give them their mistake for life. For me, it’s really not just for the money, as some tattooists will just do anything. I do it for the art and the industry.
Do you see tattoo style trends? And if so, what do you think will become popular this year?
Yeah, there’s so many trends and they come and go. Sometimes I think it’s something to do with what celebrities are getting at the time. Currently its pocket watches and general black and grey sleeves, the next trend is hard to say.
What tattoo artists do you admire the most?
My all time favourite artist is Paul Acker, he’s a horror and portrait artist from America, his work is incredible!
What do you do in your free time?
In my free time, I spend it mostly with my family, my wife and two boys. Other than that, I’m a huge horror movie fan and I like to collect horror movie collectables and memorabilia, and I attend a lot of comic cons and horror cons. I also draw, paint and I play few different instruments, mainly double bass. My wife and I tend to play music together a lot.
What’s in store for the future of Heart and Arrow?
We aim to push our studio and art as far as possible. We’re always learning and always wanting to learn more, so as for the future, we’ll see!
Any advice for aspiring tattoo artists?
Research, research, research. Find out as much as you can about becoming a tattoo artist. Find the right studio to take you on as an apprentice, spend time with the artists and take the time learn the industry as much as possible. As you’ll quickly find out, to become a good tattoo artist is not easy.