Over the next month or so, we’ll be introducing each member of our studio by way of an interview and photo stream that we think will give you a better idea of just who it is that’s tattooing you.
First off the ranks is the newest member of the team, Shane Wilcox, who made the long haul to Brisbane from WA late 2012, and has been steadily showing Brisbane just why he will be so sorely missed by his hometown.
* When and where did you start tattooing and what led you to it?
I started tattooing at age 21 in 2006. I apprenticed under Matt Almera and Rick Luder, but more so Matt. He was pretty much my older brother. I’d looked up to him since I was really young and thought he was the coolest dude at the time…heavily tattooed and played in one of the toughest punk bands in Perth, The Rats. My old house mate, and best friend at the time, who started tattooing a couple of years ago at Five Star, used to get tattooed by Rick, Matt and Laith when he was 18. This was at Rick’s old shop, WA INK, in Fremantle. I used to go down every second weekend with him when he got tattooed, and pretty much just pestered everybody there, eventually getting tattooed by Laith and Mark. In 2006 Rick left WA INK and opened Five star tattoo just around the corner. Matt come back from a couple years traveling the US and New Zealand, and not long after they put me on as the apprentice, which led me to where I am right now.
* What was your first tattoo?
My first was a big Mexican skull on the back of my calf by Laith at WA Ink.
* What was your last?
The last tattoo I got was a hyena head from Richard Stell at the State of Grace SFO tattoo convention last October.
* Favourite style of tattooing?
That would have to be American traditional. Classic, timeless looking tattoos…something you can tell what it is from across the road.
* How would you describe your style to someone who’s not seen it?
I don’t know how to describe it…ha ha. Mostly American traditional.
* What (if anything) would you like to do more of?
I love tattooing animals, roses and girl heads. Any of them would be great.
* Is there a tattoo you’ll never tire of seeing or tattooing?
The Rock of Ages piece. I love it so much…I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of seeing it.
* If you could only do one more tattoo in your life, what would it be?
Rock of ages, for sure.
* Favourite moment in tattooing to date?
There isn’t one clear favourite moment. I’ve been lucky enough to get tattooed and meet some of the nicest people around. Meeting Ed Hardy and Tom Devita in San Fransisco was amazing. Also, getting tattooed by Richard Stell, Scott Sylvia, Tim Hendricks, Theo Jak and Chad Koeplinger of course.
* Is there any one moment in tattooing you’d happily erase from your memory banks?
Not really…I’ve learnt from my mistakes, that’s for sure.
* Outside of Westside/Brisbane, where can people expect to see you tattooing in the next 24 months? Travel plans? Guest spots? Conventions?
I’ve just worked the Brighton Convention in the UK and during the year will spend time tattooing in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney at different times. I’ll be tattooing at the Perth Convention in May with Greg Christian and Chad Koeplinger, and New Plymouth convention in November. There’ll be my regular trips to London and San Fransisco of course, to get tattooed and hang out.
* What/who inspires you?
Chad Koeplinger, Scott Sylvia, Valerie Vargas, Stewart Robson, Bob Roberts, Tony Hundahl, Steve Byrne, Dan Santoro and Eli Quinters.
* What can we find you doing when you’re not tattooing?
Travelling and going to shows…I try to do both as much as I can.
* If you weren’t a tattooer what might you be doing for a living?
I really don’t know what I’d do. Anything that would allow me to keep traveling as much as I do now.
* What’s on your stereo at home?
I just moved here a few months ago so I only have my laptop…ha ha. I’ve been listening to a lot of Against Me, Band of Horses, Bouncing Souls, A Death in the Family.
* First record you ever bought and first gig?
I don’t remember the first album I bought, but I remember my first release on vinyl…Bouncing Souls “Argyle” 7 inch. One of the first shows I remember going to was a yearly show called Hyperfest. I’m pretty sure it was either Bodyjar or Frenzal Rhomb headlining plus a bunch of old Perth bands…PC Thug, Flip 5.0 etc.
IF YOU HAD A GUN TO YOUR HEAD…ONE ANSWER ONLY…NO IFS AND BUTS
1. Street or private? Street.
2. Custom or flash? Either…I don’t mind.
3. Meat or vegies? Meat.
4. Metal or country? Country.
5. Whisky or water? Whisky.
6. 2 wheels or four? Three wheels…hahaha.
7. Cat or dog? Dog.
8. CD or vinyl? Vinyl.
9. Skateboard or BMX? Skateboarding.
10. Mahjong or Texas Hold’em? Neither.
11. Eaten alive by rats or pulled apart by horses? Pulled apart by horses.
Check out Shane’s portfolio and get in touch with the studio if you’d like to discuss your tattoo ideas.