Saturday, August 13, 2011

Featured Tattoo Artist | Guen Douglas

Photo by Rémi Thériault

Name: Guen Douglas
Age: 32
Location: presently Rotterdam, The Netherlands

 What attracted you to tattooing?

"I always wanted to find a job in the arts that could be lifelong and give me the opportunity to travel. I had already been getting tattooed for a number of years and had a few friends that tattooed, it just seemed like a perfect fit for me. It took me a long time to get into it but I'm glad I didn't give up on it. I am so lucky to do this work."

 How did you get into the industry?

"I tried to get an apprenticeship for years but eventually after asking and asking and drawing, painting and putting together a portfolio I found a place that would take me as an apprentice."

Photo by Rémi Thériault

Was it hard to find an apprenticeship?

"It was, at the time (between '96 and '05) many places would shy away from hiring women (or hiring too many! many places already had a girl working and figured that one was enough ha-ha) but I was lucky to find an apprenticeship at a time when the industry was changing and more opportunities were made available for women." 

How many years have you been tattooing?

"I started my apprenticeship in June of 2005 and after 2 years of nothing but kanji and small black tattoos I started tattooing full time in May of 2007. So it'll be 5 years of full time tattooing this upcoming May." 

What inspires you?

"I find inspiration everywhere! books, movies, cooking, photography, fashion, history, music.... just life."

Who are your favourite tattoo artists?

"My favourites are Seth Wood, Lus Lips and Rachi Brains."

How would you describe your tattoo style?

"Eclectic ha-ha, I would say it's illustrative but heavily influenced by traditional tattoos."

What have you learned in your years in the industry?

"Some, but not nearly enough. I feel like I am and will be perpetually an apprentice. It's funny how the things you learn in tattooing are so intertwined with your regular life. This job has helped me stay focused, be attentive and have patience."

What advice do you have to people considering careers in tattooing?

"Don't bother ha-ha. No, really I can't crush people's dreams if they are dead set on doing it, but I think now you have to have to have more raw talent to succeed than before. The market is over saturated and the new tattooers that are starting out and doing well are ridiculously good. If it's not something you are willing to invest all of your time into I would say not to bother."

What are some of the best things you have experienced as a result of your career?

"This career is taking me to places and introducing me to things I could only dream about. I've lived in Canada, The Netherlands and soon to be the UK because of tattooing and I'm excited to see where it might take me in the future."

 Where do you currently tattoo?

"I'm currently tattooing at 25 To Life Tattoos in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and starting January 2012 I'll be working at Magnum Opus in Brighton, UK."

  Contact Guen below:

Photo by Rémi Thériault