If you’ve been coming to Brighton Tattoo Convention for a while now, or are a local, you’ll be familiar with Adrian Willard and his wonderful work. We asked him to describe his history, Brighton Tattoo Convention and his awesome relationship with Doc Price, who at 85, will be working at this years convention.
My names Adrian Willard and I’ve been tattooing for just over 15years, even though its not really been that long, the tattoo scene has changed so much in that time.
When I entered the tattoo world it was so mysterious, intimidating and just an unknown world to me which I found fascinating.
I guess you could say I did a traditional apprenticeship, cleaning, making needles, drawing tattoos for customers, making stencils by hand, dealing with customers etc but the guy didn’t really teach me much in the way of actual tattooing so I had to kind of work it out for myself!
My shop ‘Tiger Bones’ started 2 years ago originally as more of a private shop in the basement of barbershop. After a year, I outgrew the space and wanted to be back to a street shop as it makes things more interesting and that’s the type of shop I feel comfortable in. Adam downing joined as a business partner/resident tattooer to spread the costs of a bigger shop, and we have Lynn Akura working with us, who is doing some incredible work. We also have regular guests from around the world.
Adrian’s work at Tiger Bones
One of the first shops I went round trying to sell ‘flash’ to back in 2001 was Doc Price and son in Plymouth it was, and still is a real deal tattoo shop. A very intimidating a shop back then. I showed Doc my work and he pretty much told me to fuck off haha! I didn’t return for awhile!
When I did finally return, I had been tattooing for a few years in Brighton and wanted to meet doc properly at last. Doc was the perfect host this time, he tattooed me and was happy to show me a lot of cool old stuff and share old stories about days gone by. Doc is the oldest working tattooist in the western world that we know of, and it’s a privilege that I have struck up a friendship with him.
Doc Price and some of his work
In June he came up to Brighton to guest at tiger bones for the day, he did 7 tattoos back to back, then came out drinking after…pretty good for a 85 year old! Doc loves meeting people in the tattoo scene and he loves tattooing now more then ever. I think he’s going to have a ball at the convention! I highly recommend anyone to get tattooed by him while you still can, it’s an amazing experience!
I think its great have a large convention here in Brighton. It’s such a nice city and its great to have artists from all over world come and check it out. Especially for the clients, its a good chance to collect work and get inspired outside of the Brighton tattoo scene!
I have worked conventions all over the world and this convention has always been my favourite. This will be my 11th one and it’s always nice to here representing Brighton alongside some great tattooers from around the world. This year should be the best yet with Doc in the booth, it’s going to be fun!
To Book in with Adrian email him directly at email@example.com or visit his Instagram here.