Interview with Tom Sandys - Sponsored Artist of the Month
Magnum Tattoo Supplies' Sponsored Artist of the Month for August 2022 is the epic Tom Sandys!
What drew you to Magnum Tattoo Supplies?
I was drawn to Magnum Tattoo Supplies as they have a range of different products to other suppliers, plus very fast postage and great service. My favourite products are the TatSoul Envy Gen 2 cartridges and anything from the Butterluxe range.
How long have you been tattooing and how did you get started?
I've been tattooing since 2016. I started as an apprentice in a shop called Shadys in Maidstone, Kent. I then went on to work at Humphrey Tattoo, also in Maidstone, and then to Black River Tattoo in Rainham, Kent, where I am now.
What is your favourite thing about your job as a tattoo artist?
Every day is different, there's not one type of person that gets tattooed and they all want different things, which keeps the job fresh. You never stop learning and can try all different styles and always keep pushing to be better. It's a never-ending thing that you can do for your whole life that can also take you around the world, and I think that's pretty special.
What is something you wish you knew before you became a tattoo artist?
I wish I'd known how good being a tattoo artist is so I could have started at a younger age.
What is your proudest moment so far professionally?
My proudest moments have been working alongside and tattooing other tattooers that I looked up to for years before I was in the trade myself. I currently work with Ben Griffiths at Black River Tattoo who did my first tattoo when I was 18, a traditional eagle on my foot, which I still have today. I've also worked alongside Benjamin Humphrey who I have massive respect for and probably wouldn't be tattooing if it wasn't for his support early on in my career. He taught me traditional ways such as making needles, rebuilding machines and hand-poke tattooing. All things I think people should learn and increased my understanding of how machines work, away from and within the skin.
What do you love to tattoo and what would you like to do more of?
I love the dark and macabre, I do a lot of blackwork but I also really enjoy doing woodcut pieces, recreating the look of something that has been etched or printed. I like to use medieval artwork, gravestone artwork, plants, bones and skulls for my subject matter.
What are your hobbies and passions outside of tattooing?
Outside of tattooing I like to collect skulls and taxidermy, which also influences my work as an artist. My favourite part of my collection are my human skulls. From one point of view I find them fascinating to own but they also make great reference for artwork. I can light and photograph them in the way I want to use them to draw from. This gives my clients unique images that aren't just skulls pulled from the internet. For example, you'll often see human skulls with the same teeth missing in my work, as these are the ones I possess at home.
What are your ambitions for the future?
In the future I would like to experiment with different styles and influences and try and bring something different to tattooing if possible. I'd like to think I can one day do pieces in a way no one else does.
Take a closer look at Tom's epic work by heading over to his Instagram!
Plus, make sure you're following our Instagram account @magnumtattoosupplies.uk to keep up-to-date with our latest promotions and Sponsored Artist posts.
Remember if you've been inspired what Tom had to say, you can also get your tattoo equipment from Magnum Tattoo Supplies!
- Sarah Crookes