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ARTICLES > LIFESTYLE


INKED UP: DYLAN AGIUS

Tags:   Tattoos,   Art,   Career

By Mila Camilleri   -  January 02, 2015


   Tattoos malta,  Art malta,  Career malta,  Inked Up: Dylan Agius malta, Lifestyle malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

He might be new to the tattooing scene, but The Mad Tatter's DYLAN AGIUS is by no means an amateur artist. He had a chat with SWAG and told us all about how he got into the business and what is was like opening his own studio at the young age of 19.

 

 

How long have you been tattooing? 

 

I’ve been tattooing for almost a year now, 10 months to be exact. I was always inspired by art and spent most of my time relaxing and expressing personal feelings on paper by sketching. I found it very rewarding after completing a piece of art. 

 

I showed an interest in tattooing at the age of 16. I searched among local artists for someone who would teach me but was refused, as I was too young. Three years later my hopes were still high and at the age of 19 I decided to take up tattooing as my career.

 

Skinlabel Tattoo Studio owner Matthew Agius is a great, talented local artist and friend. He agreed to be my mentor during the tattooing course. With hard work and determination I learned as much as possible and I was eager to succeed and make my dream a reality.

 

And so I did – I’m now the owner of The Mad Tatter Tattoo Studio in Zabbar. 

 

 

Are there any artists or tattooists that have influenced you?

 

I’m interested in every type of artistic work, whether it's tattoo-related or not, I always find something new to learn by studying different methods other people use.

 

Some of my favourite artists are Gun Tattoo, who is well known for his different and out of this world style tattoos, and Find Your Smile, who specialises in watercolour effect tattoos.

 

 

Do you have a style of tattoo that you prefer to do? 

 

I’m new to the tattooing world, so I try to specialise in all kinds of styles because at the end of the day, you never know what comes through your studio’s door. But deep down I know that watercolour style tattoos are my favourite style to ink. 

 

 

What was the first tattoo you ever did? 

 

I’ll never forget my first attempt with a tattooing gun for sure! I got hold of a tattooing kit when I was just 16 years old, and my dad was my first victim. I gave him a simple stick man on his ankle, which he is more than proud of, he says. 

 

Nowadays a stick man is the least of my worries. Presently, clients commonly want old school, neo trad, realistic, watercolour, trash polka or comical – so I try to adapt.

 

 

What did your family and friends think about you getting into the tattoo business?

 

My parents were the ones who insisted on me becoming a tattoo artist. I’m happy to say that I never had a complaint, but instead they gave me full support. Fighting over who gets the first tattoo at the studio is more than support I guess! Likewise, friends also give me full support and some even wear my art.

 

 

Are you interested in other forms of art? 

 

I like sketching whatever comes to my mind, mostly on paper. Whether I use a pencil, a pen or colours, it doesn’t really matter. I also use Photoshop as a form of art, I try to create illustrations and designs, then sketch them up and then put them to work.

 

 

When did you open your studio and what has the experience been like? 

 

I opened The Mad Tatter Tattoo Studio around March 2014. I remember seeing my first canvas coming through the door and I had goose bumps all over knowing that this is something permanent I’m dealing with. At first I was a bit anxious, I wasn’t sure if I knew how to run a business by myself, since this was my first real job.   

 

I had a lot of new faces coming in that led me to different styles of tattooing, which I was continuously learning from. Week after week I saw an improvement, both in my work and with clients. I took up tattooing as a full time job, I knew that it was going to be a rough road at first, but I was greedy to succeed and still am. 

 

 

What would you say is your favourite part of the job?

 

I have to say that I love the process from start to finish but I turn into a different person as soon as I dip the needle into the ink for the first time. I feel relaxed and at the same time excited to see the finished art .

 

 

If you weren’t a tattooist, what do you think you’d be doing?

 

I think I would have turned out to be a designer, not sure what kind, but I just love the diversity. It gives me satisfaction knowing that I think differently to others.

 

 

What would you recommend to someone wishing to get into the tattoo industry?

 

Well, unfortunately some people see the tattooing industry as an easy money-making business, and it’s not. For the artist it’s all about passion and that feeling of satisfaction you get after finishing the tattoo. Although some people learn how to become a tattooist, I believe that you still need to be born with a steady hand and a creative mind.

 

On the other hand, being strong in the beginning is always the hardest, so don’t loose hope. Try to be better than you were yesterday, and improve on every tattoo you do by learning from your mistakes. Don’t worry about the amount of clients coming through the door, just focus on the quality of your work.

 

 

Tell us about your experience at the Malta Tattoo Expo 2014.

 

It turned out to be better than I expected in many ways. I went to the International Tattoo Expo Roma and I was impressed by how well-organised it was here in Malta.

 

Tattooing in front of all those people at the Expo was a bit different to the way I’m used to at the studio but it was fun and I made friends and new clients. This Expo also served as a promotion for my studio since I’m new.

 

During the Malta Tattoo Expo I tattooed different canvases, two of which were water coloured effect tattoos. I also got the chance to hang out with some of the local artists, get to know them and even learn from them as well. I’m looking forward to the next one! 




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