Tat2X Interview with London Tattoo Artist Nick Whybrow
Posted on March 22 2016
Tat2x: How long have you been involved in the tattoo business?
Nick Whybrow: I’ve been tattooing for around 12 years and I’ve been getting tattooed for around 16 years.
Tat2X: What made you decide to become a tattoo artist?
Nick Whybrow: I hated my job as a forklift truck driver and I’d failed at being a musician. I wanted to do a job that I could enjoy and get a sense of fulfillment from; so after a lot of my friends and work mates suggested it to me I started giving tattooing some serious thought.
Tat2x: How did you learn the art of tattooing? Did you apprentice?
Nick Whybrow: I did an apprenticeship after trying briefly to figure it out for myself. I don’t advise anyone to attempt figuring it out for yourself, It’s irresponsible and you’ll almost certainly fail without help and guidance.
Tat2x: Are there any artists tattoos or otherwise that you admire?
Nick Whybrow: I tend to admire people for their principles more than anything else. If a tattooist does great work but is an arsehole I can’t get myself behind that. I admire Claudia De Sabe for the fact that she has been doing great work for a long time and has never tried to use anything but her awesome work to promote herself. I’m a big fan of Duncan X and all of the artists at Into You for the influence they’ve had on tattooing in the UK over the years. I also admire comedians like Doug Stanhope, Stewart Lee and Richard Herring for how uncompromising they’ve been in the pursuit of their artform.
Tat2x: Has any individual in particular influenced your career?
Nick Whybrow: Jason Butcher has been one of the single biggest influences on my career. When I started working at his shop I was at a real turning point. I could have easily walked away from tattooing altogether at that time. He pushed me on a steep learning curve and really gave me the opportunity to take myself to the next level of tattooing. I truly believe that if I’d not gotten the job at his shop (Immortal Ink) then I’d have given up tattooing altogether.
Tat2x: What would you say is your favorite part of the job?
Nick Whybrow: I wouldn’t say that I have one favourite part of the job, I love that tattooing has given me the opportunity to travel the world and meet so many interesting people. I love the feeling of completing work and making people happy with something I’ve put on them forever. I love the fact that I’m my own boss and I don’t have to enter into the nonsense world of corporate work. However, I don’t enjoy the rare occasions when people faint or are sick!! The job has many ups but it does still have some downsides!!
Tat2x: How would you describe your style?
Nick Whybrow: I’d say my style has changed a lot over the years, I wouldn’t say I have one style. I like to change and adapt. I’ve seen a lot of tattooists who have one trick up their sleeve come and go when their style is out of fashion. I just try to make the best of what people want from me and try to enjoy every part of tattooing as much as possible
Tat2x: What’s the most unusual request for a tattoo design you have ever had?
Nick Whybrow: That all depends on your own definition of unusual. To some people all of my tattoo work is unusual! I don’t really think about how unusual or how normal a design is. I’ll let everyone decide that for themselves.
Tat2x: Do you have any advice for aspiring artists tattoo or otherwise?
Nick Whybrow: Work harder than everyone else! Do the best you can and stay true to what you feel in your gut is the right direction to go. If you succeed then it was right for you but if you don’t then try to figure out what there is to learn from your failure and apply it to the next thing you do.
Tat2x: What kind of music do you like to listen to?
Nick Whybrow: Pretty much any music that gives me a feeling it has come from a genuine place. If music is made with no love or passion it is uninteresting to me.
Tat2x: What are your favorite foods?
Nick Whybrow: I love avocado, anything involving avocado and ignoring mushrooms or cucumber is pretty good in my world.
Tat2x: What do you do to relax when you’re not at the studio?
Nick Whybrow: I’m not sure it’s relaxing but I’ve recently taken up Brazilian jiu jitsu and mixed martial arts. It’s very new to me so we’ll have to see how long I stick with it. Between work, those two classes and travel I don’t have time for much else.
Tat2x: Is there anything else we should know about you or your studio?
Nick Whybrow: Nothing that I can think of.
More About London Tattoo Artist Nick Whybrow:
Nick Whybrow: I like to think I’m pretty normal and laid back… Don’t take life too seriously! To see more of London tattoo artist Nick Whybrow inspiring work you can visit: