Interview with Caroline Derwent |

39-year-old tattoo artist Caroline Derwent works out of Dust n’ Bones Tattoo in Plymouth, UK where she creates an array of dotwork and colour tattoos in her girly traditional style…


When did you start tattooing and what made you want to join the industry? I left school , went to art college and then to Manchester to do a degree in interior design, however, it wasn’t for me. I always wanted to do something art related, creative and something I loved. It wasn’t until eight years ago I began my career in tattooing. I was working a supervisor role in a print shop which was unfulfilling. A friend who worked in a tattoo shop asked me if I wanted to learn and I thought I’d give it a go. I learned alongside two other jobs and when Neil opened Dust n’ Bones Tattoo, I worked weekends and evenings, just on friends at first.

I was made redundant from my print job and thought it was time to give it my all and started full time down at Dust n’ Bones. It was a slow burner, and a lot of hard work building a client base, and eight years later, here I am. Working along side a strong team, still at the studio where I started out with a great client base, continuing to work hard and improve my skills. You could almost say I was in the right place, at the right time and I never take it for granted, being where I am today.


How would you describe your style? I would describe my style as a girly traditional, without the heavy black ink! I love pastel colours to make cute and pretty tattoos but I also do a lot of blackwork as it seems quite popular at the moment. I am very lucky to have loyal clients who love my artwork, it’s very fulfilling knowing my work is out there permanently.


What inspires you? My favourite things to tattoo are Harry Potter designs, Star Wars, Disney and just anything cute and girly. Floral work is always popular and I love tattooing that style too. I myself have mainly colour work tattoos, it’s just my preference and what I love best to tattoo. I love to see the end result of a colour tattoo. I am always wanting to improve, and luckily I am surrounded by talented colleagues and friends in the industry who I have met through doing guestspots and conventions.


Do you have any guestspots or conventions planned? I have worked at Blood and Honey, Cheltenham, I will be working at Black Moon in Frome in February, and then Jolie Rouge in London in April. I am always open to new guestspots as it’s nice to be able to reach out to new clients that can’t make the journey down here to Plymouth.

In the past I have worked Leeds Tattoo Expo, Sheffield and Manchester Tattoo Tea Party, which I loved. I’ve just booked to work Manchester Tattoo Tea Party in March, and will maybe do some others this year too.


I always remind myself to stay kind and to be thankful for where I am. I often get overwhelmed when people travel to get tattooed by me and feel very humbled to be where I am today. Hard work pays off after all.

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