Y'know when you find someone on Instagram whose art you really like, whether music, tattoos, illustrations - and then you REALISE they live up the road, that's what happened here. I couldn't not connect with Robin and look forward to booking in a tatty for the autumn.
El: What took you to the Big Smoke?
R: Mainly just the fact that all like the bigger artists and artists that inspire me are all here and it felt the place to come for perhaps more of an alternative approach in tattooing. Bournemouth has a great tattoo scene but it's generally more geared towards traditional styles, whether that’s Neo-trad or trad or decorative styles. So yeah, East London was sort of the best shout for that [alternative approach], it was a bit of a no brainer we thought, and it definitely has paid off because I love it here and we have some really lovely customers.
El: What's brought you to the sea?
R: Well, "back" to the sea, I grew up in Bransgore in the new forest right near Bournemouth. Yeah, I can’t spend too long away from the sea, so 2.5 nearly 3 years in London was just too much. Before that I lived in Brighton, yeah so I always need to be near the sea. All your worries wash away when you’re by the sea. And it’s true.
I just love whenever I’ve got a spare moment, or a day of doing nothing, I just go and cycle or run or walk by the beach. There’s nothing nicer and Bournemouth has the best coastline in England. Fact.
El: Best thing about the tattooing community?
R: Best thing about the tattooing community is just the diversity of it. It’s generally got a really broad range of styles, cultures - yeah it’s great. It was kind of intimidating when I first got into it, because there’s - I think less so now, but there used to be a hierarchy sort of thing with like the traditional scene, so I personally found that a bit intimidating but you soon get to realise as you talk to a lot of the people in the scene that everyone, certainly the ones that you want to be speaking to, the good people, are just down to earth, free-spirited, amazing people, so yeah it’s just such an amazing group of people.
El: Have your aspirations as a musician changed since you've been playing?
R: Yes they have: I've been playing literally since I was 15 so half of my life, 15 years. In case you couldn’t work it out. Yeah, I wanted to be a big rock star and that was all I ever focussed on, but like many things in life, the journey of that taught me so many other things about myself.
And I also grew to fall in love with other aspects of music and playing live, that I didn’t necessarily intend on. I would consider myself a live musician, I love performing. I listen to so much, I think like over the years of my experience it’s made me lean towards um just my expectations of success and what I want to be as a musician has changed, and I would like to think that would make my work and my music better in the future because I’m not trying to pander to any direction or yeah y’know just being less superficial about it, which might sound weird but I think all too many musicians, young musicians, bend over backwards to try to be more relevant, and successful, and I’ve turned that corner and I just couldn’t give a shit about that anymore and just want to write and play music that I want to play.
Robin tattoos in London and in guest spots around the UK - check out Bird Shoes Tattoos Here