Written by LDS, April 2015
We catch up with the incredibly busy and highly regarded young British tattoo artist Amy Victoria Savage as she takes a breather from her usual schedule to focus on renovating and opening her first private tattoo studio; The Warren.
You’re clearly a very talented artist though where did your journey in tattooing start and what was the inspiration to express in this medium?
Since a young age, I had always been torn between my desire to work with animals or to be creative. Circumstances almost forced me to go down the academic route and so I committed to a degree in Behavioral Science. I loved my degree and dedicated myself to it, however it made me realise that the urge for creativity wasn’t going to go away and so immediately after finishing my degree I decided to work really hard on building a portfolio and started to ask local shops for any opportunity to get a foot in the door.
It took me some time, some tears and a lot of heart-ache before I was finally offered an apprenticeship. That was in 2010, and being some distance from home it was not an ideal set up, however it was a start for me and after going full time in 2011, I moved to Jayne Doe Tattoo where I’ve worked up until very recently…
What was the Jayne Doe experience like and how important was it in your development?
Jayne Doe was a great experience for me to work amongst established tattooers and obtain a better understanding of how a busy shop can run. I feel that by working there, it offered me a greater exposure and a much larger following which has resulted in a loyal and strong client base of like-minded, lovely people.
Tell us about your style which is very unique. And at what point did you develop your dot art?
I originally started my tattooing venture with a goal of working in photo-realism, my portfolio was made up of 90% portrait & animal studies, which is probably quite a surprise to most. However, I was personally collecting lots of traditional tattoos on myself and as a popular style, my friends would let me practice the same style on them…and then it just went from there really! I wasn’t working with anyone who worked in realism or black and grey and so I didn’t feel confident enough to explore that route without any guidance.
As for my dot work, I have been creating print designs in that style for a long time and had never done any on skin. To be honest, it didn’t really cross my mind until my friend and colleague, Nick Whybrow, offered his skin as a guinea pig! I started doing small fillers in a stippled style and then they grew into larger pieces! Its definitely my favourite way to work. I’m so happy my clients have trusted me enough to do my own thing with it.
Yes, I’m happy to say that it was my third year working at the Brighton Tattoo Convention. Its always a great Convention with so many amazing artists, I feel very privileged to be able to work alongside them. There was definitely a bit of drinking, some late nights and long days but it is all very worthwhile!
To what extent have you taken your art overseas and any future trips outside of the UK?
I have previously worked in greater Europe, namely Stockholm and Amsterdam over the past couple of years. They were great trips, getting to meet new people in exciting new cities, super fun times! I am going back to Sweden in July, to work at a shop in Gothenburg. I have never been there before so I cannot wait. I do also plan on going back to Salon Serpent in Amsterdam next year and I really want to work in Berlin too! Mainly for all the vegan foodie treats!
How long could you expect to wait for a booking currently and what is the best way to contact you for one?
I am currently booked up until July and so I have closed my books. They do re-open 31st March for bookings for July onwards. I tend to open my books for a limited time to fill 3-4 months, this can take anywhere between a day and a week, then I close them again to make my life a little easier. It also makes it easier for new clients to get booked in without the hassle of a never ending waiting list.
What has been the strangest request?
Adding stick man style eyes and a nose about a belly button so that can act as a mouth…. it could pull many facial expressions, it was pretty impressive! haha!
Finally tell us about your new studio….
Ah, yes, The Warren! It wasn’t really a planned step in my career, at least not this early on! However a property came available that seemed too good to miss. It also means that i will be moving back to Kent, which believe it or not, makes me pretty happy. Since moving to Essex, i’ve never felt at home, so over the past year, my boyfriend and i short listed areas to relocate to and it ended up being between Kent and Norwich. My boyfriend got the last say and here we are (almost). We’ve been spending every spare moment in the studio transforming it from its previous officey interior and with only a couple of weeks before its open, we are almost there! Just some prints and junk to hang now. Its all very exciting….!
For More Info on Amy’s Work visit:
The Warren, Canterbury, Kent (UK) 👨