tattoo interview with Nadine Bryant | New Zealand | Black Pearl Studios
Hello Nadine Bryant! Thanks so much for taking the
time to answer some questions for our web magazine.
Q: Since when the fascination for tattoo art first began?
A: Probably when I was at school. I studied art and art history, rode motorbikes and listened to heavy metal. I had a lot of friends getting tattoos and often got asked to draw designs. I guess it was only a matter of time.
- How did you end up being a tattoo artist?
So I was getting ready to leave school and had a fairly decent sized portfolio, I just thought what the hell, I'll go into the local studio and ask. I went prepared with a good variation of art and a good attitude. That made it sound really easy hahahah it was a bit harder than that. The artist said he didn't want to teach anyone who would then open up another shop. As I was planning to emigrate to NZ that worked in my favor.
Q: Every start is difficult, what was the
hardest part in getting into this job? How much time took you to
develop the basic skills of tattooing?
A: You have to have a thick skin when you are trying to get a foot in the door, not everyone is as polite as my boss was. It was even worse being a female back when I started as it was pretty much just men tattooing in the late 80's. I kind of looked as it as a challenge. Of course now there are probably nearly equal amounts of men and women tattooing, it's pretty funny looking back at how it was.
Q: You enjoy doing almost all kinds of styles. Amazing! Do you have any favorite style?
A: That's another part of where and when i was trained , you had to be versatile. I think having studied art as well that helped alot. I love being creative so I'm pretty happy doing most styles. I'm not sure if I could pick a style and only do that forever but if I was forced to choose then I would probably say realism/semi realism. Don't make me choose... I LIKE IT ALL.
Q: Clients nowadays, want something really unique, how long does it take to draw their custom tattoo design?
A: Well I sold my shop of twenty years two years ago for that exact reason. Now I only tattoo 1-2 clients a day, that gives me real quality time with each person. The design process usually always takes place in my own time and most tattoos take at least the same time to design as to tattoo. Some take three or four times as long to process than they do to tattoo. That's why portrait artist love doing just that. Just work straight from a photo. I'm really trying to do stuff that is interesting with every person, or in the very least give them a really nice experience.
Q: Being a tattoo artist is fun at times.
You meet lots of people, you hear lots of life-experiences, what are
some of the most memorable moments you remember?
A: I'm fortunate to have met a lot of incredible people. We had a whole family come in and get the same tattoo for their son who was dying from cancer. Over the weeks we must have tattooed 20 of them. He was a great young man. Those kinds of people always make you feel special and humble. On the flip side you get to meet alot of crazy people too, I've met a few bands through tattooing which is another passion of mine, being married to the lead singer of Killing Yourself For Profit also has it's benefits hahaha. I think musicians and artists are quite similar and we tend to have similar views and lifestyles.
- What would you say to a customer who doesn't know what to tattoo? hah
Don't get one... or let me tattoo whatever I want hahahha. I've had that happen alot, it's fun picking brains to get an idea and then just taking control of the situation. In all honesty it's probably the best way to get a great tattoo.
Q: You seem like a very friendly person, always reliable and devoted to your client's needs. What's your opinion of the relationship between the artist and the clients? What would you recommend to the newbies who are starting out their careers?
A: I would say don't get caught up being in the scene to get famous. Tattooers are a dime a dozen now. Stand out by being incredible at what you do. You work with and on humans so be respectful of their time, considerate to their feelings and wishes. Basically don't act like you cured cancer, you didn't (unless you did, in which case well done), assuming you didn't, then stay humble. Being a rockstar doesn't fool anyone. Take the time to enjoy the privilege you have of your clients allowing you to mark them for life. Learn from spending time around other artist. DONT BE A DOOSH.
Q: Where are you located now? Please share
some basic info about your studio.
A: I sold my commercial shop and had a purpose built recording studio and tattoo studio put on my 3 acres. So I have the luxury of being in the beautiful New Zealand countryside. I'm only working by appointment and only have my facebook page and instagram.
I sort all the booking through email so its easier to keep track firstname.lastname@example.org
I don't want to get back into the shop situation so keep it very relaxed now, it's much better for my soul.
- How long it takes to get an appointment? What's the procedure?
I try to only book three or four months ahead at a time. Unless you need a weekend then that's a little longer. It's really too simple which does make some people nervous, just email me on email@example.com then be patient. I personally answer all the emails so sometimes with tattooing, travel, kids and band commitments it can take me up to 2 weeks to reply but I always do. We can make most of the arrangements deposits etc that way, but can also do a consultation if the client hasn't met me before.
Q: Your work is really creative. It takes constant dedication and new ideas... It could be hard at times.. I guess. Do you have any hobbies that help you to inspire?
A: I hang out with other artists, listen to music, go to gigs just keep creative and positive. We are filimng our web series at the moment so we don't have alot of hobby time. With Karl's band busy as well we are the master jugglers, thanks to great help from family we seem to get out and about. We have a charity event coming up with The Inked Life show, so yeah when we arent busy we just fill it with cool stuff . Really I am super blessed to have such amazing friends to work with. My good friend Joe Murdie is co producing the show, he is also the lead guitarist in KYFP. My co cast members are great down to earth guys. I count myself very fortunate and I acknowledge that every day.
Q: What is your biggest challenge working as a tattoo artist?
A: Not getting fat!!! We sit on our buts all day, most days and goddam I love food hahhaha. I don't freak out at most challenges I thrive under pressure, so not much fazes me. I guess if tribal came back into fashion that would be a challenge hahhahaha
My cast members in the show are Greg Campbell from lifestyle tattoos in Auckland a day Felipe Rappuci from Brazil based in Good honest tattoos Hamilton.
The Web show is available on www.inkedlide.nz
Nadine Bryant, Thanks a lot for the interview,
All my best