Diamond in the Rough

Over the years he’s honed his skills in various styles including Old School, Traditional Japanese, Oriental, Semi-Realism and Neo-Traditional, which has seen him win countless awards. His superior drawing skills have also given him the freedom to freehand most of his pieces, from tiny finger scripts to detailed sleeves and full back jobs. Although his speciality in the past few years has been cover-ups, giving old and tired tattoos an entire new and striking appearance.
After first picking up the tattoo gun when he was 18, Diamond has been immersed in the world of tattoo ever since, “Art is in my veins, it’s the core of who I am. I started drawing at a very young age, before progressing to painting, and from there came tattooing. The thing about tattooing I love the most is that my art is living, its walking, it’s breathing, it stays with my clients. I have met many artists over the years that I share a mutual respect with, and we all have the same passion and love for creating something beautiful for the world. Tattooing and art is like breathing, I can’t exist without it.”
And when it comes to Diamond’s favourite style of tattooing, it seems he doesn’t mind giving anything a go, and his main focus is to ensure the customer always gets what they want, “For me I don’t have any favourite styles, I love to bring my client’s feelings to the surface. Tattooing in my mind is a form of true expression of emotion, it’s a celebration of life, death and everything in between. For me it’s being able to share my gift and clients sharing of life, because in that moment we are truly sharing a special moment in time.”
And unlike many other tattoo studios, most of the time you’ll only hear one tattoo gun buzzing away at Sanctuary Ink Tattoo, simply because Diamond is the only tattooist at work, “I prefer to work alone. I have had other tattooists working with me in the past, but in the end its better working alone especially when it comes to quality control. I am always busy, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. My younger brother is also a tattooist and has been my partner in crime in the past, but these days he lives overseas so I don’t get that privilege very often.”
Another interesting feature of Sanctuary Ink Tattoo are the bikes you see around the studio, which is another one of Diamond’s passions, building customs under the banner, Dirty Rat Customs. “My bikes are another form of art for me, I love everything about them, the total freedom they bring to the way each body can be customised to take on its own personality. This is a passion I enjoy just for me, and I often spend hours with my girls (bikes) and feel totally blissed out.”
So in summing up, we thought we’d ask Diamond what advice he might have for someone looking to get their first piece of ink. “Tattooing is much more acceptable these days, especially now that there’s less judgement attached to it. I think society understands it’s a true form of expression and art. Having said that, if you’re looking to get your first tattoo, it needs to come from within. If you have to think about it, don’t do it. But when you are ready, make sure you go to a reputable tattooist. Even feel free to drop into Sanctuary Ink Tattoo and I’ll get you sorted”