NAAMA x Luke Jinks
Read about the inner workings of a tattoo artist’s mind with London and Shrewsbury-based creative, Luke Jinks.
How would you describe yourself?
I'm living a 1960s life while in a modern world. It's a bloody nightmare.
Fun fact about you?
I once went to a pork scratching taster night at the local social club.
New York City, aka The Big Apple. It’s the city that never sleeps.
Nacho Eterno and Max Kuhn.
“I get satisfaction from going to work each day and creating something. Each day is different; you never really tattoo the same design twice. It’s great to work with your hands and see something go from rough sketch to a final design.”
I do a lot of my rough sketches on the train. I travel a fair bit so it makes good use of the time. I only use paper. When I have an idea, I make a quick thumbnail or write it down in a notepad. I’m not the most organised, so I often stumble across things I did years ago. I like having a body of work that goes from rough sketches to paintings. I love tactile things that you can hold. The idea of a single piece of original art. If only one copy exists, it adds magic to it.
How did you get into tattooing?
I started getting tattooed a fair bit when I was at university. I studied illustration at Bristol UWE. I loved illustration, but felt it was turning more digital which didn’t really interest me. I always liked making things with my hands and found that creative process very satisfying. The combination of the two led me to tattooing. I found the history behind tattooing fascinating. After studying, I put together my portfolio with hundreds of painted and drawn designs. I went to a shop in Birmingham and Rachel Baldwin took a look at my work. They didn’t have room, but she kindly passed my details to her partner Nick Baldwin at a shop in Coventry. He offered me an apprenticeship, showed me the ropes and the rest is history.
What does tattooing mean to you?
I get satisfaction from going to work each day and creating something. Each day is different; you never really tattoo the same design twice. It’s great to work with your hands and see something go from rough sketch to a final design. Compared to other forms of art like painting it can be quicker; the tattoo process generally only takes a few hours.
If you weren’t a tattoo artist what would you be?
I would love to be a gardener, carpenter, potter or a painter. Anything where you make something with your hands would be grand. Owning an antique shop would also be a dream.
What are your influences?
I draw a lot of inspiration from folk and Indian art. My favourite artwork is ‘Tippoo's Tiger’ at the V&A Museum. It’s a life-size music box of a tiger killing a British soldier commissioned by Sultan Tipu in the 18th century to show his bravery in battling the British. I was fascinated by the tiger when I first saw it back when I moved to London nine years ago. A lot of my work depicts battles between a man and animal - usually with the animal winning. I like the idea of the underdog winning over adversity. Basically the plot of every Jason Statham film.
I get ideas for tattoos from all over though. I recently did a design inspired by ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea,’ a book I was reading to my daughter at the time, and I thought it would make a cracking tattoo.
“A lot of my work depicts battles between man and animal, usually with the animal winning. I like the idea of the underdog winning over adversity.”
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