Interview with Jonny Saunders | The official blog for Things&Ink

31-year-old tattooist Jonny Saunders tattoos out of Pulse tattoo studio in Banbury, Oxford. We chatted to Jonny about his dotwork swirl designs, how art relaxes him and how he chooses to decorate his own body with tattoos…

me.

How long have you been tattooing? I’ve been tattooing professionally for four years now. I used to study art, I had private art classes with Sue Burns who is the wife of Jim Burns the airbrush comic artist. Growing up with ADHD I found nothing interested me, except art. Art was the only thing I could do for hours on end and it helped to calm me down, it still does.

What made you want to become a tattooist? I wanted my artwork to have a bigger impact than I got on paper – it’s one thing to draw on paper and frame it but it’s another to mark someone for life. I love the rush of tattooing knowing I cant make any mistakes, the whole way from the power output to my running of the machine to how deep to go and what angle, and having it all work together to create amazing artwork to last a lifetime.

ornage peel

You tattoo in a lot of different styles, which is your favourite? Working full time as a tattooist brings many different styles of art daily. My favourite style and the one I want to make my name for is my 3D Dotwork stippling.

What do you love to tattoo and what would you like to do more of? As I’m still fairly new to tattooing I would love to do more and be known for my dotwork paint swirls and my custom mandala geometric designs. Big plans and designs to come.

dotwork buddha

What inspires your work? Are there any artists that you admire? I get inspired by doing photography and speaking with customers and their ideas. Without sounding stuck up I don’t admire anybody. I’m a strong independent artist with my own ideas and way of thinking. I have taught myself to tattoo and because of this I have my own way of working. I have my own thoughts on how art should turn out. In truth I want to be the one other admire.

When did you get your first tattoo? When I was 22, I got a tribal rose that was for my mum as her middle name is rose, but now I have it blacked out (my mum forgives me).

Twisted

You’re heavily tattooed, including your face, what sort of reactions do your face tattoos get?  Having face tattoos for me has done nothing but make me so much more confident and free. I get stared at constantly and random people come up to me asking about them and I love the attention. I blacked out one of my ears as I didn’t want to look stupid by blacking out both.

dotwork statue

What inspired you to cover your face and black out your ear? Was this a journey or more of a spur of the moment thing?  For me just the look of black abstract tattoos is as deep as it gets. It doesn’t mean anything to me there is no planing when it comes to the outcome of my body art. I get tattooed by Eli who works in Brighton, I show up and get tattooed. There is no plan, I just let him go crazy and I feel that with this way I won’t ever regret my body art. To be completely free of planing or worrying about if it will come out as planned feels amazing, there is no goal and no end.

paint swerl

Head to Jonny’s website to see more great tattoos or follow him on Instagram.

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