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Say what... Magazine : 1610
PAG E 14 Say what... Digital Magazine • Issue 34 • October 2016 • • http://saywhat.nz A Different PAth WAlkeD... This month we talk to Dyl from "Dyl Tattoo" - an independent tattoo artist currently working in Hamilton out of the Urban Ink studio on Kahikatea Drive - about his chosen career as a tattoo artist. Q: How long have you been doing this? A: I got started about 9 years ago, but went full-time professional about 5 years back. Q: What inspired you, or steered you towards this line of work? A: Well, I was always into art and drawing from a young age. I recall drawing my favourite characters from video games a lot and cartoons etc. I also remember spending a lot of time drawing in my granddad’s office as a kid too. I always took art classes throughout my school life but it was getting my first tattoo at 18 that kick-started my love for the "forbidden" art-form, as it was for me at the time. Q: What sort of experience and/or qualifications are required to work in this role? A: There's no real qualifications out there for this industry, but completing a solid apprenticeship under a good tattoo artist with many years of experience is ideal. You really shouldn't be doing ink until you have been taught properly. Also, you should be up to date with all the health regulations and safety procedures - you don't want to risk getting a blood-born disease doing your work, or passing one on between clients by not knowing how to sterilise your work area properly. Q: What's the best experience you've had on the job? A: Ahh, there's far too many - the job involves meeting so many different people from so many different walks of life. Some have a super happy story, while others have super sad stories. You end up with a kind of relationship with some of the regular customers, but it's all awesome really. Q: So what's the worst, or has there ever been an experience that made you wonder if it was time to rethink your career choice? A: Well, it can be hard in the early years of your career as a tattooist - lots of hard work, long hours building a clientele, and work is not always there. It can be a real struggle financially, getting your kit together and surviving. There's a big mental and emotional cost too, but if you can make it through all that, it's an awesome career. Q: What opportunities do you think this career offers you that you couldn't find elsewhere? A: I'm not sure about unique opportunities, but the experiences you have in this career are amazing. There are lots of opportunities to travel around working your art, meeting other awesome artists at conventions, and once you have a good reputation, doing guest spots in other shops are great experiences. Q: What's the one thing about your job that you enjoy the most? A: It's awesome creating artwork that is permanently etched on people's bodies forever, but the most amazing part of the job is seeing the clients' happy and amazed reactions when they see their finished tattoo. Nothing beats that feeling for me, personally.