Flash Us: Tom Chippendale

For our series, “FlashUs,” we ask some of our favorite tattoo artists to create a design based on a classic theme—naked ladies. This week, Tom Chippendale sent us the above. 
What was the first tattoo you received?

Luckily I waited until I was 18 for my first tattoo and didn’t get any of the stupid stuff I wanted when I was young. I traveled to the next city and got some script down my forearms. ‘No love’ ‘No hope’ from the Converge song ‘home wrecker.’ I thought I was hot shit after getting my first tattoo. Years on, I wish I had saved my forearms for something better, but they’re a reminder of my youth. My brother introduced me to the band and it shaped my formative years and a youth spent at Hardcore shows with my friends. So although it looks out of place, they now hold a lot of memories.
What made you get into tattooing?

I wasn’t good at anything but drawing. I used to buy every tattoo magazine I could just to see over the things tattooists were doing. I started drawing tattoo designs before I was young enough to get them. Drawing dragons on my schoolmates arms. I got my apprenticeship whilst in university studying illustration, so it seemed like a viable career whilst we were in a recession.
Where did you learn the craft? Was there anyone you apprenticed for?

I started learning at a local shop but was given the boot. I then hung around One Shot Charlie’s getting tattooed and asking the boss Lee Pound for help getting a portfolio together, never thinking I’d get a job there. He told me what to change with my portfolio and when I came in next offered me an apprenticeship after seeing I could do what I was told. After 2 something years of mopping floors and another 2 of working as a full artist I’m here now.
What was the first tattoo you ever did? 

A rose on my leg during my apprenticeship. I was a nervous wreck and dropped my machine half way through. For all the nerves it didn’t actually turn out too badly and it’s good to look at to see how far I have progressed.
How did you come to settle on a style and do you have any favorite motifs?

I learned to draw a tattoo the right way from tracing everything Sailor Jerry has done. If you really want to learn traditional tattooing the right way then study the masters. After a while I started getting the hang of where shading should be and how to draw something that will stand the test of time. I don’t do tattoos with 20 shades of colour, I do solid lines and 4 colours. Something so bold it’ll be carved into your bones when you’re gone. Motifs wise, I read and study a lot of Wild West history and fiction. This has seeped its way into my tattooing. I try to put as much research into the subjects I tattoo as to not mess with anyone’s culture—especially with the Native American, which I use a lot in paintings and tattooing. I get a lot of positive feedback from the native community, so I can’t be doing too bad.
Is there one tattoo that you really want to do?

Anything western or with tits.
Tom tattoos out of One Shot Charlie’s in Stourbridge, UK, and you can follow him on instagram here.


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