Monday, October 6, 2014

Featured Tattoo Artist | Clare Hampshire

Name: Clare Hampshire

Age: 30

Location: Melbourne, Australia. AKA: The best city in the world.

What attracted you to tattooing?

 I first remember becoming interested in tattooing when I was a teenager, I guess seeing tattoos on people in my favourite bands and the older cooler punk kids.

How did you get into the industry? 

I was getting tattooed at STR Body Modifications on the NSW Central Coast back in 2003. The owner Shannon, made it pretty clear to me that they weren't in a position to take on an apprentice, but to ask again in about a year. I decided that was the place I wanted to work, and to show them I was keen I hung out there almost every afternoon for about 8 months until they finally took me on 2 days a week, cleaning and answering the phone.

Was it hard to find an apprenticeship? 

For me I was lucky enough to get an apprenticeship in the first shop I approached, but it took a long time and a lot of persistence. The train trip from my house in Sydney to the shop in Wyong was over 2 hours each way, but I wanted to show Shannon that I was dedicated, and I used that time to draw and read up on any and all tattoo information I could find.

How many years have you been tattooing? 

10 years.

What inspires you? 

Oh man so many things, from other tattooers and artists, listening to music and going to shows, travelling and seeing new places, reading books and watching movies, conversations with other creative people, animals and natural history, architecture and interior design, and just walking around this amazing city I get to live in every day. That's pretty broad but I feel like my brain gets set off by so many things I have like inspiration ADD or something.

Who are your favourite tattoo artists?

 I absolutely love everyone who I work with at Korpus, they all push me and inspire me every day. I steal ideas from all of them all the time. Plus they're all so nice and funny and cool and we have a lot of fun. I've always loved Xam's work, it's so traditional yet modern and always technically perfect. I was lucky enough to meet him in London last week and he's super nice too! Andrew, Jane and Kate from Chapel have been huge inspirations to me since before I started tattooing. Their work made a huge impact on me back then, and I still love it so much now. Right now I'm also really digging Stevie Scott's work. He's from Brisbane and is one of the most underrated artists in Australia I reckon. He's doing crazy things with his designs and his colour palettes just KILL me.

How would you describe your tattoo style? 

Whimsical, modern traditional.

What have you learned in your 10 years in the industry? 

I think with tattooing you learn new things every day by talking to other artists, looking at other people's work, reading books and interviews, and asking questions. I love getting tattooed by my favourite artists, watching them work and picking their brains. Sometimes I feel like my brain is so full of tattoo info that it pushes out other important information like when my boyfriend's birthday is, or that question I ask myself everyday, "what did I come into this room for?"

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

Tattooing is a life-long career choice, that will engulf your entire life. If you're not prepared to work hard, sacrifice your social life, and eat/breathe/sleep tattooing, don't bother. 

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

 I've met some of my best friends, travelled to amazing parts of the world, and every day I get to hang out with cool interesting people!

Where do you currently tattoo?

 Korpus Studio, Brunswick, Melbourne, Australia.