We are stoked to be welcoming Hannah Pixie Sykes to the Brighton Convention this year. Hannah will be joining us with the guys from Parliament Tattoo, in what will be her first ever appearance tattooing at a convention. Hannah has a huge online following for her tattoos and artwork, and is notoriously tricky to get booked in with due to overwhelming popularity. We got in touch with Hannah to chat about what has influenced her style, how she got into tattooing, and all about Black Stabbath, her private studio…
BTC: How did you get into tattooing and how long have you been working now?
HPS: I started working at a little street shop while I was still at college. I got the job through a close friend who was a piercer. My friends were all, and still are for the most part, considerably older than me so it helped a lot getting into the industry through them at a young age! I was still like 16/17 so I cleaned down, cleaned up and just generally ran the desk for a year or so before I was even let loose on grapefruits with a tattoo machine!
I then went on to leave that shop, with my close friends who worked there, as they’d decided to set up a custom studio called Holy Mountain. I spent two years there, learning what I could and tattooing friends at the end of the day after all the walk ins I could get my hands on. After 2 years or so with them, I felt like I had learnt all that I could there, and after deciding to move to Sheffield everything just fell into place for my own studio, Black Stabbath. I had no intentions of setting up shop alone, ever really. I didn’t have a plan as such and I certainly didn’t feel anywhere near experienced enough – but I felt like in that particular period of my life, everything just happened so organically and it feels like mountains literally moved to allow me to live the life I knew was the right path for me. I’m a big believer in synchronicity and just letting go and surrendering to the flow of things. I’m all for working hard but I find personally when I don’t force things the universe always delivers!
BTC: How would you describe your own style?
HPS: I’m not entirely sure if I’m honest. It’s still changing and I hope it will continue to, so I will continue to improve alongside that. But in three words I guess I’d say; black, bold and ornate.
BTC: Do you have any big influencers in the tattooing world?
HPS: My friends really inspire me. I’m really lucky to know some really sick artists who I’m very stoked I get to work alongside. The dedication they have to continually improve and only put out work that is to the very best of their ability is inspiring. Real artists who create for the sake of creating, not just for monetary gain. Rebecca Vincent is dope, Scott Move has helped me no end too & all the guys at Parliament to be honest. I have a lot of work from an awesome artist called Jemma Jones too who helped me out loads, offering advice that came in really useful, especially when I’d just started. Guyletatooer is also a huge influencer for me, artistically. I met him when I was 18, and have been getting tattooed by him ever since. He is now one of my closest friends. I owe him a lot for his genuine advice, the beautiful art he has put on me and all the help he has given me with my own work.
BTC: What inspires your art?
HPS: Mostly, wherever I have most recently been in the world. Travelling the world and making as many memories as possible is all I spend any money on these days really and it’s a win win situation, because I always come back with a million new photos for reference and feeling mad refreshed and inspired to create something new.
BTC: What has been the highlight of your tattooing career to date?
HPS: Tattooing my parents! For sure. I’ve been given some amazing opportunities through tattooing there’s no doubt but that’s gotta be numero uno.
BTC: Is Brighton the first tattoo convention you have worked at? Have you ever visited before?
HPS: It is the first convention I will be tattooing at myself. I’ve been to a bunch before to see friends and hang out, and I also had the chance to work Mondial Du Tatuage recently, the incredibly huge Paris convention. That was a ton of fun but super hectic, I was working helping out my friend and tattooist Guy. It was definitely a good way to ease into tattooing at one myself – I’ve always sworn I’d steer clear of working them till now because I’m quite socially awkward and anxious and always have been. The environment I have created in my own studio couldn’t be further from that of a convention, super chilled, private and cosy. But that being said I am excited about it and my assistant and closest friend is gonna be there with me for moral support !
BTC: How are you feeling about the prospect of tattooing in the convention environment?
HPS: Nervous and excited. Mainly nervous!
BTC: Will you have any prints or merch for sale?
HPS: Yes! I’ll be bringing very limited numbers of clothing & accessories from my latest collection, and I’m also having some new prints made especially!
BTC: How can people book in with you?
HPS: I only ever plan about a month ahead in advance, as my life is too unpredictable to look much further forward than that. I’m not currently taking bookings as I’m booked up but the email to enquire over is firstname.lastname@example.org – my assistant Charlotte manages all my emails and appointments.
BTC: What are you looking forward to the most about Brighton?
HPS: Well from what I remember Brighton was an amazing, super pretty place with some amazing vegan places to eat at. And I fucking love food. And the sea! Also, of course, seeing a few familiar faces and hopefully making some sick tattoos in the process.