One of my must-read tattoo artist blogs is that of Electric Pick
. Beyond his posts of sexy illustrations and trippy tattoo work, his writing on politics and culture are eye-opening reads. Since the beginning of February, he's been sharing his adventures from sailing on a container vessel to Cape Town and now trekking throughout Africa.
We first wrote about Pick in our feature on Conspiracy Inc.
in Copenhagen, his home for the last three years (which is the longest he's ever stayed in one studio). His next move, after his African tour, is to Hong Kong--a city he describes as "a constantly busy, evolving and magical environment."
I interviewed Pick about his life as tattooist/part-time spy for my next tattoo tome (on illustrative comic/cartoon work). Here's a taste from our talk:
Your adventures seem to be reflected in your drawings and sketches, but do they also impact your tattoo work?
My tattooing and illustration are tightly bound together but on more of a technical level, to transfer personal ideas is not as easy in tattooing as in illustration. I mean it's on someone else and even though I'm pretty lucky to have most of my customers just come to me with very general ideas, at the end of the day, it's still on them forever and I try to limit the amount of spontaneous personal ideas I put on them. But ultimately my work (whether illustration, painting or tattooing) is me; it's a part of me, and as I change from my travels, it changes too. The more I see weird new things, the more I change my vision of the world and the more I change myself, so it's only natural that my work changes too. It's also kind of why I do it too.
Tell me about your clients. Is there a certain type of person attracted to your work?
Absolutely. I tattoo 'tattoo geeks,' people who will look around for years to find what they truly like, who will go on countless websites and become highly critical, and even though they have never tattooed, will know exactly what they're talking about. I could not be luckier and appreciate the dedication of a huge majority of my customers so much. I think the type of people my work attracts is much more for artistic reasons too rather than technical ones. Most people who start writing to me for possible pieces are more inclined to my work because of the look and the feel and the stylization of my work and because it's not really part of any specific 'tattoo scene.' They are people who are usually in artistic professional fields themselves, and also (maybe even most importantly) they can connect with my vision of things, i.e., space chicks usually don't wear much; most robots from the future are evil and very destructive; cities are endless; the worlds beyond our own hold many dangerous and evil contraptions; and well, zombies and mutants are everywhere.
Read more on Pick's vision of things here
and check his tattoo portfolio here