interview with jordan croke | realistic tattoo style | uk 26/10/2017

Hello Jordan Croke! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers.
Please start by telling us something about yourself and what inspired you to start tattooing?

My name is Jordan Croke, I tattoo at Second Skin Tattoo, Derby, United Kingdom. I've been tattooing for around 6 years now, I'm a second generation tattoo artist so I guess it was my dad that inspired my career choice.

Q:Was it hard to learn the basic skills? Did anyone help you in the process?
A: Yes, tattooing is a very difficult medium to learn, at least it was for me. Of course the pressure is much higher on skin than on paper or canvas, any mistakes are permanent. You can never stop learning with tattooing which I find the most interesting about this art form. My dad has been tattooing around 15 years and he helped teach how to tattoo but he was also very keen for me to find my own way in my artistic style also.

Q: Nowadays tattooing is a lot more than just a simple design and it makes me happy seeing every day more and more tattoos that are custom creation, so unique and specific. For sure, you the new generation of tattoo artists made a huge progress. I really love your style! Such a great use of color, brilliant shading and nicely done details that make every tattoo so special. I can't even say one particular is my favorite. : ) How would you call your style?
A: Thank you very much! Yes, tattooing nowadays is moving at an incredible pace and I find it extremely exciting to be part of this amazing industry. My style, I would say is based on color realism primarily, however I do like to design my own custom pieces also, I like to use a lot of light sources either space, fire or lightning for example but the application of the my tattoos is very much based on color realism techniques.

Q: I bet the knowledge of the ink plays a big role in the process, not just while tattooing, but even after when the tattoo heals. Is there any special technique to point out, especially when it comes to portrait/realistic tattoos?
A: For sure, the healed tattoo is something I'm always thinking about when I'm working, it's the most important part. I always try to make my color look as solid as possible without overworking the skin, I also saturate 100% of the area I'm working on with no skin showing through, I also try to get the color choices correct first try with an even finish to make everything heal much smoother.

Q: Any favorite tattoo ink brands? I feel like there are some really cool inks that you use, so it works like magic! :)
A: Yes I'm sponsored by Eternal Ink, I use those colors in all my tattoos! I feel they have great palette choice and they heal super bright!

Q: Big tattoos can take a lot more work, time and patience of course, what's the longest session you've had with a client?
A: The longest single session I have had with clients is 12 hours and I have also worked on a couple 3 days back to back pieces. I usually work around the 7 hours mark, after this the tattooing process itself becomes way more painful and also the healing process becomes much more difficult.


Q: After the tattoo session, people are glad that the pain is finally over... :) What reaction from a client makes you loving your work even more?
A: It is an amazing feeling seeing my clients happy with the work I have done, most of my clients put a huge amount of trust in me to come up with tattoo designs for them and it's a massive honor for me. Especially on large scale projects like full sleeves or legs, you spend a lot of time together and it's exciting seeing the pieces come together and evolve and it's the best feeling in the world seeing it all complete.

Q: Gaining respect from clients is cool, but gaining respect from other artists can make a whole new experience and push forward in my opinion. Fortunately, we have internet so we can connect and share our art, ideas, experiences with many people out there. Do you feel like the internet helps us a lot when it comes to growth and learning?
A: Definitely Instagram has changed the landscape of tattooing forever, whether you like social media or not it has become a huge part of our business. For me one huge benefit is to talk to other artists from around the world and now we can do this so easily from a device in the palm of our hands. I have huge respect for many tattoo artists around the world so it's always a great thing when an artist who you admire drops a comment on your work online or comes by your booth at a convention to say hey for sure.

Q: Tattoo conventions are a great place to meet lots of creative people. How often do you visit this type of events?
A: Yes I love tattoo conventions, I try do as many as I can but it is hard with such a busy schedule at home. Conventions are an invaluable experience to learn from amazing artists from all over the world and I feel have played a huge part in my own development. It's a great place to meet and see artists in real life rather than instagram. For me, the London Convention was always my biggest goal, I used to visit the convention every year before I even started to apprentice and now to work at such a prestigious event is great.


Q: When I see your tattoo works I'm just wow, wow... look at this, and then another tattoo.. oh wow, then look at this one, like I said I don't have a favorite one, ok maybe all are! : ) I know many artists even when they are already know for good work, seem like they're always looking for more and more improvement. I love it. Do you have any challenges when it comes to your work? Would you change something, or try a different style?
A: Thanks a lot! Yes, that is why I love this art from so much, I'm the happiest I have ever been with my work at the moment but I still feel I have a long way to go and so much more to learn. I wouldn’t like to try other style yet but I would definitely like to concentrate more on my own concepts in the future still very much based in realism though, I like to work on large scale projects that tell a story so hopefully in the coming years I can work on some of the ideas I've had in my mind for a long time and see them come to life.

Q: As an experienced, professional artist, what are some of the biggest mistakes when it comes to progress in this field? What my beginner audience should know before they even think to start tattooing?
A: I think the biggest mistake is rushing into things. Tattooing is moving incredibly fast so I understand why artists want to jump in and start as fast as possible but I think taking your time and working on your artwork is the most important thing.

Q: Where are you located know?
A: I am located at Second Skin Tattoo, Derby, United Kingdom. You can find my work on instagram @jordancroketattoo and get in touch via my email

Mr.Jordan Croke, Thanks so much for the interview,
Kind Regards,
Iva Green