Ink and Elegance: Unveiling the Fusion of Modeling and Tattooing by Joshua Williams
In a world where art takes on many forms, the fusion of two distinct realms can create something truly extraordinary. Meet Joshua Williams, a multi-talented individual who seamlessly combines the worlds of modeling and tattooing, resulting in a captivating career that has left its mark, both on the canvas of skin and the pages of high-fashion magazines.
In this exclusive interview, we delve into Josh's unique journey, exploring how he ventured into the tattoo industry, what drives his artistic inspirations, and the delicate balance between being a sought-after tattoo model and a skilled tattoo artist. Join us as we uncover the stories behind the ink, the inked, and the artist who bridges these two worlds.
Hello, Josh! You have a diverse career combining modeling and tattooing. Which came first? And what initially attracted you to the tattoo industry?
- I had friends who would always hang around the tattoo shop in my area, and I would always want to be around it. Then I became an apprentice at the studio when I was 18 and was only there for about 4 months before I was scouted on the street for modeling. I didn't take modeling too seriously in the beginning, but then it really picked up for me and became a full-time job for over 10 years. I decided to slow it down and get back into tattooing during the COVID lockdowns.
Tell us about your career as a tattoo model. How did it begin?
- I was scouted outside a tattoo shop. They asked if I had ever considered modeling, and I thought it was a joke. But when they reached out to me to come to the office for a meeting, I saw how serious they were and decided to give it a try, and it ended up being a good career for me.
Do you remember your first tattoo?
- My mom's name was my first tattoo. I had to make her happy so I could do all the rest, haha.
Which brands and companies have you collaborated with as a model?
- Too many to name, but some of my bigger contracts were with ASOS, BOOHOO, PUMA.
How did you decide to become a tattoo artist? Who was your mentor? And did you face any difficulties in learning this profession?
- I had wanted to become a tattoo artist from a young age, seeing all my friends get tattooed. I was always curious and loved to draw, so I thought it made sense to try to get into the industry. I never really had a mentor, but everybody at the Sans Patrie / studio where I work now has helped me along the way.
You have very interesting tattoos that combine traditional tattooing with techniques found in modern graphics, miniatures, lettering, and even realism. Tell us about your work and what unique features you personally highlight in your creations.
- I've always loved traditional tattooing and designs, so it's definitely a mix between that and the realism/fine-line style. I like to find old movie posters and anything vintage and work off those references, so I guess that's what keeps the old-school feel to my work.
Where do you draw inspiration for your work?
- Cliché to say, but I'm inspired by everything. If I had to pinpoint something, it would mainly be from old adverts/posters/movies.
How do your projects come to life? What is the process from a client's idea to the final tattoo? Or is it different for you? Please share.
- I like it to be a collaboration, so I'm always curious for them to give me their idea of how they imagine the finished tattoo, and I like to advise on how I think it can look best on the body.
What is the most important aspect of tattooing for you?
- The constant desire to grow and be better as an artist. I think this is what will always keep it interesting and push you to deliver the best possible tattoos.
Do you have any favorite tattoos, clients, projects, or perhaps any unusual stories from your career?
- I'm always happy to do religious art, so that's a favorite for me.
Is tattooing art, a job, or something else for you?
- It's a good mixture of art and a job. It's what I do for work, but I mainly create for the art.
You travel a lot as a tattoo artist. Tell us where you have been already, where you would like to go, and where you feel most comfortable.
- I've been all over this year, so it's a long list, and I have some exciting guest spots to come. The place I'd like to visit the most is Japan, and I'd say I feel most comfortable here in London.
Do you attend tattoo conventions? Share your experience and results.
- I recently attended the tattoo convention in Toronto, and I've been tattooed at a convention in London. I enjoy them as it's nice to see so many different styles and artists' work in one place.
Tell us about your future plans.
- My future plans involve collaborating with more brands and designers on clothing and other pieces. I'll always push myself to grow as a tattoo artist, but I feel I have more to give away from it as an artist too. So I want to explore that more. I'm also working on a coffee table book from my travels that will feature some of my favorite artists from all over the world that I look forward to sharing.