interview with Matt Reid | empire private studio, Australia  | 30/07/2019

Hello Matt Reid! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our magazine. Please start by telling us something about yourself and what inspired you to start tattooing?
I was lucky enough to have my tattooist at the time, Craig Watson who had become a very good friend, he opened his first studio and offered me an apprenticeship after seeing my portfolio of mostly sketches and scribbles.

Q: What kept you motivated during the start while you were still trying to learn how to do tattoos? Was it hard? Did you have any help from someone?
A: I find the craft naturally motivating and tried to apply a fundamental refining view to all jobs. The start was extremely difficult as I started in a new studio with no clientele and having moved from interstate a relatively small network of friends. My wife Ryann has been absolutely supportive and in some of the early times when I was about to go back to my old work she’d ensure we got by so I could pursue this career. Big love to her.

Q: What type of art outside tattooing do you like the most? Any artists you find as influential?
A: I’d say oil painting for sure! As for influence I’m surrounded by it everyday, everywhere my closest friends and work colleagues are all amazing tattooers, painters, musicians.

Q: I've seen many beautiful portraits in your portfolio. Tattoo realism is definitely a very popular style nowadays, many are trying to master it. What are some of the most difficult parts to work on while doing a portrait tattoo?
A: The hardest part for me is creating the stencil. Ensuring it is legible and not too cluttered. This makes the application of the tattoo far less stressful and enables more focus on hues and value etc.

Q: Do you think color ink gives a bit more creative freedom when it comes to tattoo realism?
A: Definitely... instead of using simply value (black and grey) to create an image you can manipulate hues as well, allowing for gradiation between warm and cool tones and applying bright vibrant highlights.

- Do you have any particular favorite ink brand?
I use mostly fusion inks. They’re great.

Q: How much is important to have good drawing skills in order to be a good tattoo artist? Tattooing is a technique that needs to be learned but is it crucial to have a bit of a background?
A: I think it’s pretty important. And I’d say if you can tattoo and can’t draw, draw more. It’ll show in your tattooing.

Q: Do you use other creative mediums such as canvas painting, digital art?
A: Yes I paint a fair bit, oils, acrylic, and occasionally watercolor. I do a lot of digital sketching/sculpting but it’s not as fun as the paints.

Q: Many people think that being a tattoo artist is a lot of fun, is it? What are some of the most challenging or even difficult parts of being a full time artist?
A: Being a tattoo artist is fun, it’s very fun but only if you love it. For me the most challenging part is juggling family life with work and balancing those things, but damn it’s fun.

Q: How much is important to be willing to explore new ways of working in order to improve artistically? Would you change something about your work?
A: I think if you want to keep doing the same thing and take no interest in progression you’ll keep doing the same thing. The more you know... I constantly change the way I work purely to explore new techniques and ideas.

Q: What would you say to those who are willing to try getting into this business?
A: It gives you back what you put in.

Please write down your contact info and studio location.
Instagram; mattreidart
Facebook; mattreidart
Studio; empire private studio, Melbourne, Australia

Mr,Matt Reid Thank you so much for the interview.
Kind regards,
The team