Thomas Hooper is one of the most influential artists of our time. His application of sacred geometry and mandala styles, mixed with solid tattoo fundamentals and a virtually all-black palette on large-scale work has help ignite an entire movement in the tattoo world. Below is a short excerpt from Thomas’ TAM interview –
Thomas Hooper: Something I’m very aware of is that I get to do a lot of work that the client didn’t ask for. I get away with doing tattoos on people that might be a good idea from a certain point of view (mine!), but I have to talk them into seeing what I see and make them believe it’s going to be great. The amount of self-confidence required for this in any other case, I would consider as arrogance, but it’s this firm belief that what I am trying to do will look good that allows me to get my ideas into their skin, so I’m left with the question, what am I? Artist, asshole or both?
A lot of times I will do a drawing, and I think its good but the client isn’t quite sure. They might be too polite to criticize it, and I can sense their discouragement and I start having doubts in the back of my head, and this in turn creates a cycle that leads to both myself and the client being unhappy with the result. Of course if they don’t like it then there is no way I push it onto them. What we do is create fear that isn’t even there, I try to get beyond that and be present in the moment, while staying inside the boundaries the client has set for their tattoo.
<< More of the interview and rad photos on the next page. Click to Continue;) >>