–––––––– Read our exclusive interview with ––––––––

Andrew Mirfin

Exciting times here at IOC HQ. With the ‘soft launch’ just days away we thought we’d whet your appetite with the first of a series of exclusive interviews with the artists themselves. First in the hot seat is Andrew Mirfin, whose design will shortly make history as the first ever IOC wearable art piece. In between a packed schedule of designing and tattooing I caught up with Andrew to talk inspiration, art, and of course, tattoos.




Every artist seems to have a unique story about how they found their art form. What’s yours?

I got into tattooing through my love of illustration. A friend of mine at the time wanted a tattoo and asked me to design it and things just spiralled from there. It’s kind of one of those questions every Tattooer hates, I must get asked the same question at least 5 times a week, lol.


Why did you decide to work with IOC?

I was asked by Neil to do the full launch later on, but unfortunately I was too busy. I struggle to find time for myself never mind other projects. I'm currently doing a Dragon sleeve for Neil so I wanted to help out as best I could. I let him use some of my designs to test printer quality etc and gave him feedback on the results. Neil asked if he could use one of my paintings for the T's for the soft launch and I was happy to help. I will hopefully do some more designs later this year.


With the IOC designs you were given total free reign over the design.
How did you decide what to create when confronted with the completely blank page?

I will say I always struggle with ideas. I hate it if customers say do what you want, I prefer some guidance, a starting point, something to get the creative juices flowing.


Do you find you have similar themes or imagery that you go back to time and time again in your work?

Because I did my first 4 years in a very busy shop I was expected to do pretty much whatever came through the door. This has benefitted me in the fact that I can tattoo various styles to a high standard, I suppose that’s one of the things I'm known for. On the flip side I think it hindered me because I was never really given the opportunity to concentrate and develop on one specific style, so now it’s hard for me to do the work I really love because my client base is so varied. If I could do just one style it would be Japanese without a doubt, I feel most comfortable with that style.


Outside of tattooing, which artists in other fields inspire you?

My influences inside and outside of tattooing, there’s too many to mention. Completely out of the box, one of the people who I find most inspirational, and a true British hero, Dorian Yates, The English bodybuilder who trained himself in his dungeon of a gym in Birmingham, working out all his own nutrition and training strategies and through intelligence and pure dedication beat the Americans at their own game and won the Mr Olympia competition 6 consecutive years. That’s proof that if you want something enough, and your prepared to put in the time and dedication, you can achieve anything.


I’m reading a book in which a character is a tattoo artist who has no tattoos herself. Would you ever trust someone to tattoo you if they had none themselves?

I think it’s important for a tattooer to know the pain he or she is inflicting on their customer. I wouldn't understand a tattooer with no tattoos themselves, tattooers love tattoos, both getting them and making them. If you were passionate about something you would have them yourself, otherwise it would be just like doing it for a job. I think 99% of tattooists would still tattoo if they won the lottery tomorrow, I certainly would, I'd just take things a bit easier.


If you could tattoo anyone in the world AND choose the tattoo, who would you pick and what design?

Anything Japanese style and I'm happy. I don't think there’s anyone in particular I’d like to tattoo, plenty of people I'd like to inflict the pain on though. I always find it incredibly complementary when I get asked to tattoo another tattooer and at the same time incredibly terrifying. But it’s nice to be appreciated by your fellow tattooists, it means a lot.


So there you have it, Andrew Mirfin, the calm in the eye of the IOC storm. If you’ve already ordered your IOC, rest assured it will soon be winging its way to you just in time to make all your friends jealous. If you haven’t, there’s still time. Payment can now be accepted by our website. We’ll see you the other side of the launch. Until then, please help to spread the word of IOC by sharing on the new-fangled social media sites of your choice.