Interview with Elric Gordon | Realism Style | Australia 16/09/2020

Hello Elric Gordon! Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. It's a plasure to share some of my thoughts with you, you're very creative,

Q: What type of art outside tattooing you like the most? Do you have any favourite artists that inspired you to create your own tattoo style?
A: Outside of tattooing I enjoy oil painting, drawing and anything encapsulating artistic abilities. I enjoy art that provides me insight into furthering my tattooing. Anything creative that I can learn from and adapt to my artistic field, is the art I like the most. There are many artists that inspire my tattooing. I draw inspiration from many sources which tend to change alongside my style of tattooing. I do not confine myself to any particular source as I prefer to collect concepts and ideas to create an overall new and authentic style/ piece.

Q: Tell me about the beginning... Was it hard to learn the basic skills? Did anyone help you?
A: In the beginning obtaining an actual tattoo apprenticeship was the biggest challenge. I knew from a very young age that I would be a tattooist and I went to extreme lengths to realise my dreams. At the start I physically attended every reputable tattoo studio in Melbourne to obtain an apprenticeship. Constantly I was denied or told to consider other options. I persisted with my dream by crossing state lines and continuing to search of an apprenticeship. During this time, I drew every single day and worked as a brick layer. After almost a year of searching, I was fortunate to be taken on by small studio located in New South Wales. Learning basic skills was extremely frustrating and tedious. It took a lot of dedication and time to learn properly. When learning the basics, it often felt like two steps forward and one step back. Some days I would feel confident and the next day a new challenge would arise and question my basic skills. After a considerable amount of time and an array of tattoos, I managed to cent my fundamental skills in tattooing. Early on, I was fortunate enough to have help and guidance from some of Australia’s top artists, such as: Chris Cashmore, Byron Drechsler, Jutty Stewart and Brad Barko. I am forever thankful for their guidance.

- Do you have some of those moments when you look at some of your beginner tattoos and laugh or?
For sure! I think every tattooist have those thoughts. You must start somewhere. Having a humble approach to tattooing affords an artist the ability to take on productive criticism, new concepts and alternative methods of tattooing. If you do not start from the bottom you will have no room to grow into a reputable artist.

Q: How long have you been tattooing as professional? How much the progress or the will for progress pushes you forward even more today?
A: I have been tattooing for almost nine years. I think I am an incredibly determined and goal orientated tattooist. The idea of ‘pushing’ myself includes continually evolving my style which enables me the ability to create authentic pieces. I believe that furthering my skills and education in tattooing will enhance my ability to remain relevant and competitive in the industry.

Q: Overall, tattoo realism, some dark stuff too, but all I'm seeing is beautiful art! Would you classify your style or you don't like any labeling?
A: I believe that there are distinct styles in tattooing that can be labelled. However, my tattooing does not adhere to any one particular style. Instead I enjoy combining aspects of each style to create a totally different take on fundamental concepts of multiple styles.

Q: Only black and white ink… any plans to play with colors some time in the feature?
A: By completing tattoos in all styles, I was able to identify that my true passion lay within black and grey. I firmly believe that every artist should attempt to tattoo in all styles so that they can appropriately select the best style that enhances their personal advantages. Although I love working with black and grey, tattooing is my passion. As long as I am tattooing, no matter the style, I am happy.

Q: Tattoo realism is very popular nowadays, artists take it even as a challenge to master it, some succeed, others don't. How much time took you to gain confidence in your work?
A: Having confidence in my work revolves around the ability to adapt, create an individual style and constantly refine my skills. I am not aiming to master realism, instead, I am aiming to continually push my tattooing to the next level. The next level can be enhancing the stylised components, changing the format of my stencil or even selecting different needles. For me its about utilising all the available tools to showcase my individuality in tattooing.

Q: What are some of the most difficult parts to work on while doing a portrait tattoo? Humans can be very interesting to tattoo especially if there's like a funny facial expression.
A: All tattoos and styles have easy and hard points. However it is all about the placement of tattoos. I consider the area to be tattooed and select an appropriate portrait that will work well within the constraints of the chosen area. The choice of portrait and placement can create greater difficulties, confuse light sources and lead to proportional errors.

Q: Funniest or weirdest client you’ve had? How much do you try to be open to your clients ideas when it comes to tattoo ideas?
A: Over nine years you meet all types of people from all walks of life. Some you really enjoy tattooing, others, not so much. I have seen people pass out, vomit, cry and chain smoke to avoid being tattooed. And I have also had clients that sit well, share common interests and are a pleasure to tattoo. At the end of the day, a tattoo is an experience and the most important factor must be the experience provided to the client. Meaning that they should be comfortable, enjoy the process and the outcome. When discussing tattoo ideas with clients I always preface my business interactions in the same manner. The client can provide reference images, choose a topic and gather referral images from my portfolio that they like. I allow people the freedom to choose a theme around their tattoos. By allowing my artistic interpretation to be used, I can produce a more refined piece that matches their original idea. In the beginning of my tattooing career I took on anything and everything. It was about the experience and building of skills which now allows me the freedom to choose my designs.

Q: Awarded artist, of course all deserved! Congratulations! Do you have any favourite award? Or simply an award that you consider as a career (meaningful) progress?
A: The awards to me are a bonus. I am so grateful for every award I have received. I have never aspired towards them and am instead driven by my passion, love for the industry and the incredibly talented people in it. Receiving an award gives an artist the opportunity to see and congratulate other artists on their award-winning pieces. The community experience from people achieving awards is the best part of it.

Q: As an experienced artist, what can you tell to all those people who are willing to try getting into this business? What is the best approach in becoming a professional tattoo artist?
A: The best approach to becoming a professional tattoo artist is to never give up, work hard and stay humble.

Please write down your contact info
Instagram: @elriccfh

Mr. Elric Gordon Thank you so much for the interview.
Kind regards,
The team