Interview with Karac Wilson | The official blog for Things&Ink

37-year-old Karac Wilson is a social care worker and tattoo collector from Sheffield. We caught up with Karac to chat all things tattoo…

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What inspired you to become heavily tattooed? Growing up my older brother was heavily tattooed when I was around 16 years old, he was tattooed before it was cool. I didn’t really give it much thought back then, but he definitely inspired me to get a tattoo. As I got older I remember watching guys like Lil Wayne and music videos of heavily tattooed guys and always loved the look. Allen Iverson the NBA player was my idol growing up he was heavily tattooed and had his own style that changed the NBA. He was seen as the badboy of the league due to his tattoos that’s why I have his portrait on my leg by (Gibbo0)

When did you get your first tattoo? What was it and do you still like it? My first tattoo I was 18 I was into Ja Rule. And he had a “pain is love” tattoo on his chest. I took a print out to a tattoo shop and had the exact tattoo on my chest. That tattoo later got lasered and covered. It was one of those tattoos you get when your young and I didn’t really think about it. Lesson learned.

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Has being tattooed ever helped you to get jobs or hindered you? My tattoos so far have not hindered me getting jobs, I currently work in social care with children with challenging behaviour and it’s a great ice breaker and a great talking point. On the negative side I worked in the probation service and they were not keen on all my tattoos and pretty much pushed me out because of it.

What kinds of reactions do your tattoos get? My tattoos get me plenty of attention wherever I go, even more so since my head was tattooed. I pretty much have people asking to take photos anywhere I go. Mostly positive reactions but you always get the odd negative one. But it does not bother me, each to their own and all that.

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Do you have any future tattoo plans? Are you working towards a body suit? I don’t have much space left for tattoos as my bodysuit is nearly complete. It’s a a case of being really picky about my last few spots. The last three months I’ve had my stomach, armpits and nipples tattooed and they were really painful areas. I’m working towards a bodysuit and I’m 90% there, I’ve got the majority of it done in the last three years. It’s been a fun journey where I’ve travelled to many artists and cities across Europe.

Did you make a conscious decision to only have black and grey work? What do you love about this style? I started with a black and grey sleeve and then that’s all I wanted. For me bodysuit work is better with one or the other in my opinion. I love colour tattoos but I think you have to look after them much more and have good skin. Black and grey is a solid heal every time, where colour can drop out depending on your skin and aftercare regime. I have seen some amazing bodysuits in colour but black and grey works better for me.

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If you could tattoo your body all over again would you go for colour or the same? If I could start again I think I would still go with black and grey I’ve been lucky to have work from Niorkz, Ben Kaye, Gibb0o, Matt Pettis, Dom Brown and Liv Frost. One black and grey artist id like a piece from would be Little Nick his work is unreal. If I could get a colour bodysuit it would have to be by Alex Wright and Ben Kaye, those guys are doing some unreal work.

All photos taken by Brendan Clayton

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