Interview with Amazing black and grey Tattooer Arron Raw

Arron Raw is a black and grey tattooer working out of the United Kingdom.  He specializes in large scale bodysuits and panels, and is incredible at putting together intricate concepts and layouts.  I got the chance to ask him some questions below-  enjoy.
You seem to really get a lot of clients willing to give their patience and dedication to let you do your best work with the large scale stuff.  How long have you been getting frequent large scale work, and is this what you enjoy doing most?
When I started to do the large scale work, no one really booked in for full body suits etc.
It was mainly sleeves, chest pieces & back pieces.
What started to happen was, while working on the client, they started to want more coverage – as you know yourself, you can’t just get one tattoo!
Then it grows – the more you do & put out on social media, the more the client wants & the next client wants more as well.  My clients like what I do & they trust my art & judgement.
I do enjoy the large scale projects & getting to know each client personally is a great thing for me too.
So you’re located in the United Kingdom… what are some big differences you see coming to conventions out in the USA compared to the ones on your side of the pond?
Yes, UK,  I’m from a place in the northwest of England called Kearsley, a small town in Bolton.
I don’t really see much of a big difference comparing UK to USA conventions.
All shows are different & they have their own quirks.  I do small shows where it’s more intimate.
Then you have the big shows like my favourite, London Tattoo Convention, which I finally got to work in 2017.
Huge Honour.
Golden State & Empire State are some of my favourites to work too, I’m still amazed that I get to travel around everywhere, meeting new people & fellow artists, building relationships.
When did you first enter the tattoo industry?  What changes have you noticed most between then and now in the tattoo world?
I entered the industry in 2011,
The changes I have noticed the most are that artists are more open to share knowledge with each other
More artists coming together collaborating with each other creating some mind blowing art.
Also I would say that innovation which products, tattoo machines, needles, pre tattoo products, after care products.
For me personally, it would be the fact that my clients now are willing for me to do on them my art with no or minimum input from them.
Inspirations as you came into the industry? Who are you most wanting to collect tattoos from yourself?
This would vary massively for each artist, obviously paying homage to the old timers & the greats that paved the way for us today on both sides of the pond.
Personally, my inspirations haven’t changed much since I started to tattoo, & my journey through tattooing.
Artists like:
Carlos Torres, Victor Portugal, Bob Tyrrell, Paul Booth, Jak Connolly, Mathew James, Ralf Nonweiler, Dan Hancock, Ben Kaye,
Ryan Evans, Nikko Hurtado, Matt Jordan, Sam Barber, Anrijs Straume, Niki Norberg, Chuey Quintanar,
Eric Gonzalez., Carl Grace, Steve Butcher… The list is goes on…
I have work from a handful of these guys but the problem is I only have a little room left on my body & that is taken !
Just my feet & my backside aren’t done but I don’t envy the artist who takes that on!!
Most bizarre experience with a client so far?
The most bizarre experience so far.
Most artists would relate to this…
When a client books in, pays a large deposit, decides not to show up for their appointment,
Without letting you know. No explanation.
Then contacting you sometime later demanding their deposit back.
Hardest lesson you’ve learned as a tattooist?
Hardest lesson !
That’s a hard one, there’s a lot of those !!!
“Your only as good as your last tattoo”
Best pieces of advice for tattoo collectors and clients?
Best pieces of advice for clients & collectors.
>Do your research.
>Trust your chosen Artist.
>Listen to the advice given to you before & after the tattoo.
>Don’t take advice from anyone regarding the work you’ve had other than the reputable Artist that did the work.
>Be 100% sure it’s what you want.
What is the most challenging part of being a tattooer?  Most rewarding?
Most Challenging;
Most Rewarding;
Client Happiness.
If you were being paid $30,000 USD to tattoo per full day session, how often would you tattoo?  Why?  I know you make a great living already but let’s just pretend.
Wow. I probably would still work as hard as I do right now, I think.
This is the best “job” in the world ! (for me, not a job)
You can have a great life in anything you set your heart on doing.
If you believe in yourself, the rest will happen.
At the end of the day, we’re just artists trying to progress in the thing that we love doing best I suppose.
Anything you’re dying to tattoo lately?  Anything you never want to do again?
I don’t really have the ‘Dying to tattoo’ thing, as a lot of what I do are my ideas.
Although, I do like to tattoo animals on my clients, never got to do a Rhino until yesterday, 
Always wanted to do one of those actually, love all the texture..
Same with, ‘Never want to do again’, if I don’t feel comfortable with a clients idea, I won’t do it.
I wouldn’t want to offend anyone by mentioning a specific tattoo, as I suppose we’ve all done things we really don’t want to early on inner careers, part of the process.
Top three pieces of advice for the massive amount of artists hoping to reach the level you’re at in this incredibly competitive industry?
We are all searching for a level to be at I suppose.
I myself am still pushing it constantly to get there.
1. Be yourself. Take your inspiration & make it your own.
2. Give it 100% all of the time.
3. Take a step back now & then, relax, have fun.
What do the words “Lead The Followers” mean to you?
‘Lead The Followers’
Pushing myself to be a great Artist, like the ones I admire

Thanks for you time Arron!  Give him a follow and check out more from this incredibly talented artist @arronrawtattoo 

1 Comment
  1. NSD Tattoo says

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