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Issue 11, July 2012-07-18

Art Design Music Photography Fashion Culture

Liana talks to Kim from Dead Letter Circus Hide’n’Seek Street Artist Interview TATTOOS ARE COOL Surfer’s Paradise Festival Reviews and Photos

Josh Young


or quite a while, the part of my brain that’s into photography and pretty things has had a schoolgirl-crush on the very idea of them. Sure, there are always going to be some tacky ones kicking around, but it’s been a long time since tattoos have been reserved for the non-taxpayer – and brilliant tattoo artistry is becoming more and more prominent everywhere you look. I recently had a chat to Josh Young, a UK-born apprentice tattoo artist currently based in Brisbane.

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At 22 years old, Young’s art is of a striking sort that tends to catch your eye instantaneously. My first introduction to his work was at a party a few months back. We’d been watching street artists adorn the exterior of a warehouse with their work, when suddenly I had a piece of paper in my hand. It was a painting of Young’s, and I was instantly captivated by its style. Of course, no one simply picks up a tattoo gun and starts

are they just an extension of our personal aesthetics? Young is in two minds about this, but at the end of the day says “Doing it for the people is good for business; people think it’s nice, cool, visually appealing.”

from there. Young has had a preference for creativity from a young age. After joking somewhat about the cliché of learning to draw before learning to walk, he says: “I always liked art, always concentrated and worked harder in art, so it a natural progression. “I went through a scribbling stage, then a graffiti stage,” says Young, “I was always going to do something with art.”

to think about it; you can’t paint over it or scribble it out. You’re performing on a human being, and that’s important to understand. At the same time it’s a really innovative way of doing art.”

Young initially studied graphic design, but soon conclude that is was not for him. “I didn’t like graphic design, he says, “sitting in front of a computer all day, just churning out masses of work.” The tattoo art apprenticeship, which can last anywhere between two and six years, isn’t the sort of structured education where it’s all about the piece of paper, says Young. It’s undeniable, there are some cheap-and-nasty tattoos out there, and this has a tendency to give artists such as Young a less-than-gleaming name. He does, however, recognise the deeply entrenched, rich history behind it all. “I like the history of it, and why people get tattoos – it was all bikies, pirates, underworld; it had meaning,” he says. Then there is, of course, the question of why people get tattoos in the first place. Should they have meaning, or

Essentially, to the tattooist, the body is the canvas – albeit a more challenging and interesting one. “It’s the hardest thing to work on,” says Young. “You really have

“It you’re not passionate or fully committed, you’re not going to make it,” says Young, “it’s not just a job, but a lifestyle.” Young describes his apprenticeship as one that cannot be completed half-heartedly. “You have to be a hard worker and quick to pick things up in order to move forward. He say’s, “ in the first year you get treated like shit. Young is also an avid artist when it comes to painting, canvas work, murals and commissions. He also intends to soon release a sketchbook containing many samples of his work. To see more of Young’s work, check out his Facebook page: php?id=526256074

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