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20 Questions with Sholto

20 questions is a fun short interview with our artists and we are kicking off with Sholto

Sholto has been working at the shop since the beginning, he has grown and developed as an artist significantly over that period. So we thought he would be the perfect person to kick off our new artists feature, called 20 questions. so here is 20 questions with Sholto:

1. How Long have you been tattooing?

I started my apprenticeship about 5 years ago and started tattooing paying customers about a year after that.

2. How old were you when you got your first tattoo?

I was 23, a late starter compared to some. It was a metaphorical two fingered salute to my recent ex at the time!

3. Where did you get it?

I got it at Angelic Hell in Brighton, England. And it was on my forearm.

4. What’s your favourite style to tattoo?

Japanese by a long shot and I definitely get a tattoo boner for western traditional too.

5. Who are your favourite tattoo artists?

So many to choose from!!! The masters, Horiyoshi III and Horitoshi I are impossible to go past. Everybody working at Three Tides in Tokyo. Horitomo. There really are too many to mention and they all bring something to the table. Closer to home, Adam Craft who’s done my back and ongoing work on my torso, arse and legs.

6. Who are your favourite artists?

Katsushika Hokusai (The great wave dude), Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Joseph Beuys, Jimmy Durham, Damien Hirst, Tracy Emin, Constable, Turner, Anish Kapoor, Gilbert and George. Many many more

7. What’s your favourite thing about working at Union?

The gold lettering, the coffee and the music. Oh and working every day with a whole bunch of dedicated, passionate, talented mofos is pretty sweet too!!

8. What’s the most common question your get asked everyday?

I guess it has to be “How much for this?”

9. Who do you look up to?

I look up to my parents, my younger sister, my friends, my colleagues. I think it’s pretty important not to look down on people so looking up to as many people as possible seems like a good solution to that.

10.How do you stay inspired?

I’m not sure if I’ve found a single silver bullet solution to that. I think that there are so many things that feed into inspiration that they’re impossible to measure. Everything from seeing other people’s tattoos, a trip to an art gallery, flicking through a book to great music and enough sleep!! And everything in between! It’s a constant journey/process finding or maintaining inspiration but that’s part of what makes this craft special. You’re constantly challenging yourself on so many levels.

11.What’s your favourite brunch spot in wellington?

Club 121

12. What are your favourite things to do on a day off?

If I’m not drawing, painting or thinking about tattoos… I like movies, single malt whisky, House & Techno, beer, good food, political and economic theory and discussion, art, comedy and sleep. Not in any particular order but I’ll probably get involved in one or more of these things on my day off.

13. What’s you favourite movie?

So hard. Platoon is up there. Withnail & I is profoundly funny and profound. Total Recall (Original Arnie version) is highly underrated. In fact I’m a sucker for pretty much anything with Mr Schwarzenegger.

14. Favourite book?

The Water Margin: Outlaws of the Marsh. It’s an ancient Chinese epic with heroes, villains, wizards, monks, sex, violence, alcohol, swearing, honour, charity, compassion and redemption. Sort of a Chinese Robin Hood tale. I read it because Kuniyoshi did a series of woodblock print illustrations of the heroes and characters in the book and these became the basis of so many traditional Japanese tattoos. They’re still used today. It was a happy coincidence that it’s one of the best stories I’ve ever read!

15. Favourite Album?

“Pancake Day” by Mulligan & O’Hare.

16. Pineapple on or off pizza?

On or off. I swing both ways

17. Are you a cat or dog person?

Cats every time!

18.Long black or flat white?

A strong cup of tea with a splash of milk. I lose my British Passport if I stop drinking tea.

19. Indian curry or thai curry?

Indian but you can’t knock a good Thai.

20. What would your last meal be if you were on death row?

Jelly and ice cream