As a new feature on the BTC Blog, we thought it would be an excellent idea to unleash two artists into the same What’s App group chat and let nature take its course. Our first lucky victims are two of the most in demand black workers in the UK, Scott Move and Kelly Violet (or Violence as the internet knows her). Have a read of how it went down, and don’t forget, you can catch both artists working this year at Brighton Tattoo Convention…
Scott: Kelly,can you tell me how long you’ve been tattooing, and how you got started. What made you start this strange lifestyle we lead? You don’t have to go into lots of detail. Just to get an idea.
Kelly Violence: I’ve been tattooing for 15 years. I had a strange lifestyle already, I was 19, I wore inanimate objects in my hair, and listened to Death on a daily basis.
Scott: Did you do any kind of apprenticeship? Or did you just fumble around like a baby deer in an antique shop? Do you know how to make needles or machines?
Kelly Violence: Nope- and I don’t promote that way of starting, but it was a loooong time ago. My friends dad was a tattooist and helped me get my first set up from Mickey Sharpz. I sold my car, and everything I had to get quality stuff as you couldn’t buy shit on eBay back then. Learnt all about cross-contamination and just ripped into my own leg. Thank fully I’m a DIY punk, and had lots of understanding, willing participants donating their poor skin who knew the situation. I taught myself everything I know from scratch. I learnt how to solder and jig needles yeeeears ago, but pre-made made it to easy to keep it up.
Scott: I wouldn’t last five minutes if I couldn’t buy stuff online. But there you go. Do you have a particular set up you use? In terms of machines. Have you been through them all like me or are you one of those bizarre tattooers who still uses the first machine they ever got even though it’s crap?
Kelly Violence: Ha- I kept the first machines I bought for sentimental purposes, but they now look like they were reclaimed from a really shit salvage yard. I couldn’t use them if I wanted to, my weiner wrists can’t handle the weight. I rinse through machines really quickly, I get bored easily and I like dropping stuff on the floor.
Scott: As someone who’s been tattooing for more than five minutes like myself, do you hark back to the simpler days pre-internet/pre-Instagram where people had to physically come back and find you in a shop, or do you like the way things are now. I mean, how important do you think the Internet has become to tattooers? And do you think you would be able to survive if President Trump turns it off?
Kelly Violence: I am very old fashioned in my views of tattooing ethics. The Internet is an amazing tool for tattooists and customers alike, it has it’s pros and cons. It’s just a totally different world now in every sense and I don’t think it can be compared. I reap the benefits of a small online presence so it would be hypocritical of me to start whining about how much it was better before emails. It’s opened people up to a lot of different avenues.
I survived fine in shops before the Internet, so if Trumpet Buns turns it off, I’ll be fine again.
Everything that applies on the Internet, could be applied to street shops before fibre optic technology. Copying, bitching – It just happens faster and more people know about it.
Scott: If you could only tattoo two things for the next year without going mad what would they be?
Kelly Violence: I would definitely go mad. If I HAD to, I’d make sure it was some kind of medieval weaponry, so I could dream of using it on the people making me do it.
And cocks. Because no matter how many of the little comedy spurting shafts I draw all over the place, I never get bored of them.
Scott: Hahahahaha fucking hell
Do you have any avenues you turn to in terms of influence? Do you have any go to films or albums that can get ideas going? Or are you just a creative genius who can pull ideas out of a floating hat?
Kelly Violence: I use no one as influence, I can honestly say I never had. I’ve just learnt by trial and error. That’s not me being big headed- I’m an absolute troll, it’s just always how I’ve worked in any output of creative activities. My head is just a whirlwind of toot. It’s not a nice place to be, but it’s productive from a ‘creative’ angle.
These days, people don’t seem to know the meaning of the word ‘influence’. They use it as an excuse to take core elements of others hard work and ride on their coat tails.
I’d say my biggest creative influence is the Vengaboys though. They’re just brilliant.
Scott: That’s the sound of the Vengabus am I right?
Kelly Violence: CORRECT!
We like to party. Except I don’t. Because I’m boring.
Scott: Who’s your favourite Tattooer? Do you have one? Or more than one?
Kelly Violence: I don’t have a favourite. I don’t like favourites. I have LOADS of artists who’s work I respect massively though, even if it’s not something I’m personally into, I can appreciate a well crafted, well thought out tattoo. Top of my ladyboner list at the moment are Lukasz Sokolowski (@looqsok), Alex Boyko (@alexboykotattoo) and Gara (@gara_tattooer)
Scott: Never heard of em. What’s your favourite place to tattoo someone? Do you have a favourite spot or are you just the bollocks and completely unphased by tricky areas?
Because if I could avoid tattooing elbows for the rest of my life, I would.
Kelly Violence: Thats because you’re not an edgy bitch like me 💁🏻
Favourite place to tattoo someone is back of the calf. Always. I’ve had to teach myself to be unphased by any area, otherwise I brick it before the tattoo. I don’t like hurting people, but that shits gotta go in, and I’m not gonna feel guilty about it.
Scott: Damn straight. What’s the longest amount of time you’ve managed to keep a cup of coffee going? Is it more than 9 hours?
Kelly Violence: 35 hours. It was actually a couple of weeks ago I made that landmark occasion happen, and I couldn’t have been more proud of myself.
Is it your turn yet? I’m bored of me.
Scott: You are pretty boring to be fair. Ok shoot.
Kelly Violence: I can’t even argue with that. I can hate you though.
Kelly Violence: What was the first tattoo you ever did and who was the lucky victim?
Scott: The first tattoo I ever did was on myself and it’s still there. It’s not finished, it’s facing the wrong way and it’s obviously crap.
Kelly Violence: Do you feel you’ve got any better at it since then?….. HA.
How long have you been tattooing? How did you get you first job in tattooing?
Scott: I feel mildly less stressed out when I start a tattoo now. I’m still winging it though, daily. I’ve been tattooing for four years and a month or something. I fumbled my way into my first shop, on the basis that my drawings were ok so my tattoos would be OK. This however, as we all know, is not the case.
Kelly Violence: Yeah, it’s a whole other craft. You were doing some badass illustration work before you started tattooing. Do you think you’ve kept to the roots of where that work came from, or has tattooing changed how you approach subject matter and allowed you to branch out?
Scott: Hmm. I mean the subject matter is still pretty much the same for sure. But I think tattooing has helped with things like composition and balance, which hopefully have got a bit better. Making things specifically for a body part rather than just a piece of paper. Just because it looks good on paper doesn’t mean it will work as a tattoo. I don’t think I’ve really branched out but hopefully I’ve got a bit better hahha
Kelly Violence: You’ve genuinely been one of my favourite artists for a long time. How do you feel about the ‘rise of the tattoo artist’ in celebrity culture and people making you their role model?
Scott: I think it’s retarded. People seem to think we live some kind of extravagant lifestyle and tattoo bikini models all day. The reality is drawing under pressure for hours on end, sitting tattooing a wobbly armpit for four hours and destroying my back doing it. And then picking everything apart for the next four days and hating myself. Television shows don’t help and neither does the thin veil of reality which is the Internet. It’s all lies.
Kelly Violence: Instagram filters have a lot to answer for.
Your appointed title at the moment is King of the Snakes. Because you’re a sneaky shit. And maybe because you tattoo a lot of snakes. Is there anything you’re sick of tattooing, or can you breath fresh life into anything?
Scott: Haha that’s quite the title. I prefer “Serpent Janitor” though. I draw everything from scratch each time, even though I’ve got a million sketches of everything. That way I know it’s original which is important. I’d rather cut my hands off and feed them to a pig than do the same tattoo twice. Obviously once you’ve tattooed a thousand wolf heads they all look alike, because I’ve drawn them all and they have to look like wolves, you know? There’s no short cuts. I have however managed to avoid tattooing a sugar skull for four years now. I’m very proud of that.
Kelly Violence: You should be, that’s quite a feat! Speaking of doing the same tattoo twice- your work gets bitten quite a lot. One particular guy is relentless at ripping you off- does it make you angry? Or can you shake it off?
Scott: The other night I found or was shown four seperate tattooers who’ve stolen my tattoos. That’s just one night. Blatant copies as well. I mean, it pisses me off as I’m so strict with myself in terms of drawing and the work I put in. I don’t cut corners and I don’t steal. Most of the time the copies are proper bollocks anyway so really it doesn’t matter. But when someone can clearly tattoo well that makes it worse. It must be weird to know you’re totally stealing and copying someone’s tattoos and pretending that it’s your work. It must suck to be that person. Especially as they always get called out. But you can’t win, and you can’t avoid posting stuff online or you’ll get left behind. It’s a lose/lose scenario. Influence is one thing as we’re all influenced along the way, but a thief is a thief. Your work gets pinched left right and center. You know what I’m talking about.
Kelly Violence: One more- If someone said, you have to sit in this room and listen to Adele for 24 hours straight, or never tattoo a wolf again- what would you do?
Scott: I’d tattoo a wolf on Adele for 24 hours straight. That should stop her from writing the same old moaning songs.
Scott Move & Kelly Violet 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.