Loz is a tattoo artist from South East London whose career is fueled by her pure passion and talent for tattooing. Her evolution as an artist began by practicing on her friends, to working alongside some of the best in the industry. We loved speaking with Loz and learning more about her journey as a London tattoo artist, and about her own stunning ink.
Hey Loz! To begin, could you tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up in Northampton in the Midlands, but South East London has been my home for about 11 years now. There’s not a lot going on in Northampton, so I moved to London pretty much as soon as I could when I left school. I’ve been tattooing professionally for around 4 years now.
Tell us about how you first got into tattooing!
I started in the worst way possible by buying a cheap coil machine from eBay and going to town on my own thighs and any friends who were stupid enough to let me practice on them. Lots of my friends have some pretty terrible tattoos as a result of that, which I still feel very bad about. I did that pretty sporadically for a few years, then finally managed to get an apprenticeship in a studio. My apprenticeship wasn’t a very long or formal one and I was tattooing full time within a few months.
Where are you currently working? What do you love about working there?
I’m currently working at Parliament Tattoo in Finsbury Park in London. I’ve been there for almost a year now. It’s where I used to get tattooed the most before I started tattooing, so to be asked to work there was a dream. The thing I love most about it is that all the artists there are so hardworking and really only care about creating beautiful work. It’s an inspiring place to be and it’s pushed my tattooing forward so much even in the short time I’ve been there.
Tell us a little about your tattooing journey. What has your evolution been like as a tattoo artist?
I feel like my style has been fairly consistent throughout my tattooing career but is always evolving at the same time. I try and push myself constantly because I get bored very quickly, so I’m always trying to give myself new challenges. The thing that has helped me develop the most is the fact I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside some of the best artists in the industry from the beginning of my career, so I’m always striving to try and keep up with them.
Did you always know you wanted to be a tattoo artist? If not, what other career plans did you have?
I always wanted to be a tattoo artist, but it took me a while to get into because I got trapped in full-time work in bars and restaurants. It’s hard because generally you have to work for free as a tattoo apprentice, so trying to do that while also having bills to pay can be hard. If it wasn’t for tattooing, I would for sure still be working in bars and hating my life.
What is your specialty style of tattoo?
My style of tattooing is kind of like fineline blackwork. It’s very dark but I only ever use small needle groupings for lining (3rl and 1rl) so it also has a lot of detail. I love blackwork because it’s impactful from a distance and it stands the test of time. I’m always trying to think of the longevity of the tattoo when I’m doing it.
What is the tattoo scene like in London? How do you think it’s the same/different from other areas?
There’s so many amazing artists in London with so many varying styles. I don’t think London has a particular style of tattooing, it’s very varied, unlike some other cities that have a particular style that’s more popular than others. For every style of tattooing there’s an amazing artist in London, we’re pretty spoiled for choice.
You have absolutely gorgeous ink yourself! What is the story behind your first tattoo?
Thank you! I also have a lot of terrible tattoos. My first tattoo was a swallow on my inner forearm. I got it done at a street shop in Northampton when I was 18. I took in a design, which was a nice fineline drawing I’d done myself. They told me it wasn’t tattooable and redrew it in a more traditional style, and I didn’t know any better so I got it anyway. I think it cost me about £60. I won’t name the shop because apparently they’re still open now.
Tell us about one of your most memorable tattoo-related experiences.
My most memorable tattoo experience was getting my backpiece done in one day. It’s a huge hanya mask with a snake that goes all the way down my bum and one thigh. It was a collaboration between Joao Bosco and Oscar Hove, and they worked on it simultaneously non stop over the course of about 7 hours. It was the most painful 7 hours of my life, and to this day I have no idea how I endured it. I spent the entirety of the following day curled up on the sofa unable to move. It’s my favourite tattoo for sure and I never get to see it because it’s on my back.
Where does the inspiration come from when you get a new tattoo? On that same note, who do you typically go to for your own ink?
I usually like to give as much creative freedom as possible to the artist. Generally I’ll send them a photo of the space I want to fill and send them some references of pieces of theirs I like, and from there they can do their own thing. I think that’s how you get the best work as you know the artist is 100% into what they’re tattooing. My most recent tattoos on my right forearm were all done by Ken Carlos, who’s incredibly talented and probably the most humble person I’ve ever met. I’m so lucky to have some really incredible pieces from him, which I get compliments on all the time. I also have a lot of tattoos from my partner Gabriele (@fresh_flower__) who’s talent is also incredible. The next session I have booked is with Kieran Williams for a big piece on my leg. which I’m super excited about!
Being a London tattoo artist and tattoo aficionado yourself, what are some struggles you face balancing work/life, if any?
Tattooing for me is pretty all-consuming. To be honest, work/life balance is something I really struggle with and I do have a hard time switching off from work. The thing I love to do most outside of work is travelling, and obviously because of COVID I haven’t been doing much of that. I think living in London does contribute to my lack of work/life balance, because everything here is so fast paced, so it’s hard to just take a step back and relax. The only thing that keeps me going is the love of tattooing, I definitely wouldn’t be able to do it otherwise, it’s a lot of work!
Thank you so much for sharing with us! Could you leave us one of your favorite positive quotes or messages that you want to share with the world?
Mindset is everything!
Thank you Loz!
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