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FASHION + STYLE TATTOO ARTIST VICTOR VALOUR Tattoo artist Victor Valour grew up surrounded by art and artists, creation and creatives. Making art was all he saw throughout his childhood in Freemans Bay, and quickly realised he wanted to pursue a career in a creative industry. So when it came time to choose a career path, his fascination with the art of tattooing seemed like the right choice. He first tattooed himself at fourteen, and later took up an apprenticeship at the well-respected Moko Ink in Grey Lynn, where he worked for a year and a half. Later, he moved to London which, he says, taught him a lot – about tattooing, culture and life. “It changed the way I thought about tattooing and I took a different approach to art” he explains. “I was lucky enough to work in an amazing studio with some amazing artists. I came back inspired, and felt I could offer something different to a New Zealand market.” Victor returned home after a three month stint in London. He rented a space where he worked solidly, tattooing friends, then friends of friends, growing a steady and loyal clientele by word of mouth. After building a solid portfolio he started working at Two Hands Tattoo, owned by Stefan Sinclair. “I feel Stefan and I have a similar approach to tattooing and he has been a pleasure to work for over the past two years.” Victor’s aesthetic is delicate, illustrative and, quite frankly, rather beautiful. “I’m influenced by Art Nouveau,” he explains. “I love artists such as Alfonse Mucha and Gustav Klimt, as well as traditional Oriental artists. I love subtle, pastel tones and dark colours – I’m not so much into brights,” he adds. “I love the romance of Art Nouveau works. They depict nature, women, birds, and beautiful manmade objects in the most beautiful way. I don’t really like to work with negative imagery. What you put out in to the world is what you get back.”

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This fascination with art and research is immediately evident upon visiting Victor in his workspace, a light and airy recliner beside a window that overlooks Ponsonby Road. Art and photography books are piled high, jostling for space with screeds of pencil drawings; precise and fine, all pinned to the wall above his inks and needles. For Victor, it seems, tattooing is the perfect career, as his ideas and artwork will always leave a mark. Victor Valour works from Stefan Sinclair’s Two Hands Tattoo studio, upstairs at 127a Ponsonby Road T: 09 3766 999 PN


DECEMBER/JANUARY '10/ '11 Ponsonby News  

Christmas issue - covering December and January - news/views and all that is happening in and around Ponsonby