Nick Carroll is the founder and owner of Sharp Art Studios and has been tattooing since 2011.
I wanted tattoos early on when I was a kid. They were cool and I wasn’t allowed to get them – and I wanted to do things I wasn’t allowed to do. I was 15 when I got my first one – a piece of tribal shit straight off the wall. Got a bit woozy and had to stop half way through! I’m pretty covered now though – got all sorts – traditional, neo-traditional, Japanese, Maori, covered most of the old tribal up. My favourite is a tattoo of a picture my daughter drew of our dog. She was about 4 when she drew it and I think it won “best worst tattoo” in NUTS magazine once – but I love it.
I was a guinea-pig for one of my friends who was training to be a tattooist. We’d both been good at art in school so after a while I thought yeah I can do this too. I had another job at the time which I hated – after a few years of tattooing at home I realised I was getting better and better at tattoos and hating my other job more and more. So I thought fuck it and started planning to open my own studio.
I love doing big tattoos. The bigger the better. I enjoy doing realistic portraits of both animals and people – portraits are intense and challenging – you can’t get it wrong. It makes them even more rewarding to do. Then I also love tattooing weird stuff and neo-traditional Japanese designs – I can be more creative and expressive. In contrast to portraiture – I can use big, bold, fat lines and colour large areas in. I’d like to do more collaborative work too – that’d be interesting.
I like using teal, pink, burnt oranges – autumnal colours and loads of black. They sit in the skin well and if you experiment with colour you get a tattoo that’s a bit off the norm that you see on everyone else.
Tattooing as a job is mega. I get to hurt people for money! Ha. I like the social side of it too – the banter – laughing at people. But seriously – tattooing means I can express myself and be creative. I get to give someone something for the rest of their life – and that’s pretty awesome.