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

Paul Talbot

Next up to face the laser-like inquisition of the IOC interview is launch artist, Paul Talbot.


How do you think tattoos and tattoo artists are perceived by the art world in general?

Dunno, i guess you’d have to ask one of them ’proper’ artists!


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

In the UK in the 80’s a lot of children’s sweets and comic books seemed to come with free stick on tattoos. I think that must have been the beginning of my fascination with tattoos. That and Paul Stanley, I was obsessed with Kiss as a kid, Paul Stanley was my hero and he has a small tattoo of a rose on his arm.


Why did you decide to work with IOC?

They had really nice business cards and promised to buy me a Starbucks.


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 just did what I do every day. I made something that was hella cool and that I would wear.


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

Art is commentary and tattoos are no different so yes I do find myself on familiar ground quite often. My clients are drawn to my art because we (generally) have the same outlook on life and tastes so similar themes come around. Quite a few of my tattoos include my sense of humour or socio-political views but only if the client agrees! I think this is inevitable when you create art as we cannot help being (and creating) a product of our surroundings, culture and influences.


Your website, www.paultlbt.com, gives details of your tour schedule. It looks pretty busy. Are tattoos the new rock ‘n’ roll?

No. Rock ’n’ Roll is, was and always will be the new Rock ’n’ Roll. We just do the colouring in.


This is a first for IOC. I have never before spoken to a Grammy award nominee. In fact, you’ve been nominated twice. Did you attend the ceremony? Tell me about that?

No, I didn’t attend. Awards for art are pointless and I couldn’t be less interested in them if I tried.


You were also nominated in the ‘best avant garde’ category in the 2014 Tattoo Jam awards. Was that better than the Grammys, because you won? What did it mean to you to be recognised in that way by the industry?

No it wasn’t better it was exactly the same bullshit - a parade of average, racing to the bottom. It meant absolutely nothing at all.


A quick read of your story so far suggests you are very driven and aim for the top in everything you do. You were in a band, Grammy nominated. You wrote poetry, it was published. You tattooed, won an award. Give the rest of us hope, what are you rubbish at??



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

Paul, Gene, Ace and Peter.


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?

Yep. Getting tattoos only helps artist to learn by experience and gives them some empathy when clients are struggling. But a good artist is a good artist regardless of this.


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

I’d tattoo at portrait of Noel Gallagher on Liam Gallagher!