This year we are very excited to welcome Hanaro Shinko to Brighton for his first ever UK Convention. The 24 year old is making a name for himself across Europe and beyond for his bold, black tattoos which he describes as “Tribal-Traditional”. We caught up with Han while he was doing a guest spot at at Parliament Tattoo in London recently to get to know a little bit more about him and his trade…
Are you excited about working the Brighton Tattoo Convention thus year?
Yeah it’s my first time! I’ve done a couple of conventions but not Brighton. I’ve done Montpellier, that was my first convention in France and I’ve done that twice since. Usually the conventions I work are in France, I have never done one in the UK before.
How do you find working conventions?
In all honesty it’s not the most fun, it’s great to meet people though. You meet new artists, new customers and expose your work really fast. I like it, but it can be tiring with the long days.
Are you doing walk-ups or pre booked?
I’m going to do walk-ups one day and pre booked one day. I want everyone to have the chance to get tattooed, usually when people are fully booked you can only watch them work.
It depends on the walk-ups really, I did a convention in Florence and I was having people come up and ask for fonts and stuff I wouldn’t usually do. It depends on how prolific the convention is but Brighton is going to be good.
So how long have you been tattooing?
I held my first machine 5 years ago but actually I would say the first two years I was doing shit tattoos being a teenager. After two years I really started drawing and painting more and stuff like that, I really concentrated. So I would say like I’ve really been tattooing for 3 to 4 years.
How would you say your style has developed?
Well I started with Japanese as I started in a Japanese shop, but my boss told me I should try everything before I find my thing. So basically I tried everything, I spent half a year doing Japanese, half a year doing portraits and I wasn’t bad at them. After I stopped being an apprentice I went to a tattoo convention in New York with some friends, they taught me a lot of traditional. I came to London after to a shop called Kids Love Ink and met Josh (Russell); he kind of was the apprentice there at the time. He told me about traditional and showed me it, I was really interested so I started doing it. It’s not as easy as it seems, I started drawing and found it really hard. I really liked it; with traditional you can basically do anything where as with portraits you are just copying something – it’s not fun, it’s not creative.
How would you describe your tattooing now?
I guess I’d describe it as tribal, because that’s basically what it is. It’s a lot of black, like fancy tribal. I love doing it, packing and colouring in. Tribal traditional maybe! I do say I take my reference from traditional and old flash but like to make it work.
Where are you based?
I am based in my studio (The Kewpie Parlour) in Essen, but I travel somewhere every month. Usually somewhere close, as I don’t like flying. My wife made me really paranoid about flying so I usually get trains to Amsterdam, France etc. I update my instagram with all my travel plans.
Hanaro Shinko will be tattooing at the 9th Edition of the Brighton Tattoo Convention, which takes place on April 30th – 1st May 2016. You can check out the full line up of artists here. Tickets are priced at £40 for the weekend or £25 per day. Join us for a weekend packed full of 300 world class tattoo artists, scores of hand picked independent lifestyle traders and awesome events and entertainment. Tickets are available here from our partner Skiddle.com.