This week I caught up with the don of Black & Grey, Illustrative Realism, & Script Lettering tattooist, Justin Burnout. He began his career in the industry eleven years ago, and since then has become one of the biggest names in the world of tattooing. Interested in finding out a little bit more about his guilty pleasures, what inspires him, & his favourite machine? Then read on…
1. Any hobbies?
Tattooing and art is a lifestyle for me and consumes all my time one way or another, so not much time left for actual hobbies. But if I had any it would be as simple as grabbing some whiskey and chillin’ with some good friends.
2. What’s your favourite movie?
The Crow, with Brandon Lee
3. Any guilty pleasures?
Fucking love a bit of Gaga and Rihanna! But in all honesty I don’t feel guilty about either of them haha!
4. What was the last song you listened to?
Post Malone – Patient
5. What’s your biggest fear?
Eggs, I’m allergic to them and fucking hate being near them.
6. Tell us about the last dream you had?
Was on holiday with Rihanna (here she is again…) and I was lying in a hammock reading a book. She was telling me to get up and come with her somewhere and I was like “yeah yeah, in a minute” with some serious lack of interest. I have no idea what it was all about, but I hope the dream comes back to continue at some point and I get to find out where she wanted to go…
7. What’s your favourite insult?
Bellend! Just a classic init.
8. One word to describe yourself?
9. What’s your favourite tattoo on your body & why?
Portrait of my mum on my ribs, wouldn’t be here without her.
10. If you wasn’t a tattoo artist, what would you be doing?
Continued in a band I was in and have no doubt I’d be half killin’ it and half fucking up somewhere in the world, but I wouldn’t change what I do for the world!
11. How long have you been in the industry?
12. Who are your biggest influences?
Manuel Valenzuela, Fernie Andrade, Vetoe, Orks Lora, Fred Flores, Kore Flatmo and BJ Betts. Have loads and they change a little all the time but these guys are always up there for me.
13. Where do you usually gather inspiration from for your designs?
Portrait photography, old Renaissance statues and architecture, Chicano culture and imagery. Always checking out what my peers are up to and try and take inspiration from different ways of doing things, but making sure to keep it very me after I’m done. Soaking in the work, never copying it.
14. What’s your favourite style to tattoo?
Black and Grey
15. What’s your favourite machine?
Micky sharpz ‘Micro Dial’
16. What’s your favourite tattoo convention?
London Tattoo Convention, always on point! Palm Springs convention in California is always so much fun! My homie Sean puts it on and he always makes it a lot of fun!
17. What do you think makes a great tattoo studio?
A studio that has a nice relaxed atmosphere combined with artists that put out a great standard of work. If these two things are happening within a studio it’s usually a great place to be.
18. What advice would you give to anyone looking to join the industry?
Take a long hard look at yourself and truly ask why you want to go into this industry. If the answer is because you love the idea of dedicating all your time for the next five years (minimum) to drawing, listening/talking about tattoos non-stop, designing and re-designing, learning the art of patience and super late nights…then your ready to go for it! If the answer is any different, I’d say don’t bother. In my eyes what I just described truly is what it takes to do it right and the reality of what it’s gonna be to get anywhere with it. It’s amazing, but only if it’s the right fit for the individual. It’s very different to how it’s perceived by many people.
19. Do you have any guest spots coming up?
Modern Classic Tattoo – London
15, 16, 17 Dec 2016
Love Letters – Los Angeles
23, 24, 25 Jan 2017
Golden State Convention – Pasadena, California
27, 28, 29 Jan 2017
Idle Hand Tattoo – San Francisco
6, 7, 8 Feb 2017
The Tattoo Collective Convention – London
17, 18, 19 Feb 2017
20. Anything else you’d like to share?
Thank you to everyone that supports my work, from getting tattooed by me and all the way to double tapping ya screen! It’s tricky to say thank you and get back to everyone, but truly it all means the world and keeps me pushing my work! C/S
If you’re interested in getting tattooed by Justin he’s currently based at Ghost House Collective in Derby, UK. To check out his work head over to his Instagram.