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Q&A: An interview with Telford Tattoo Studio Splattered Inks

Q&A: An interview with Telford Tattoo Studio Splattered Inks

| by Editor | Posted in Telford News, Telford Business

This week we caught up with our newest community partner, Paul Porton, owner and tattoo artist at Splattered Inks on Wombridge Road in Trench. Paul was kind enough to allow us into his studio, where he told us about how he got started and what it’s like to run his business in Telford.

TDP: So Paul, how did you get started?
Years ago I saw a cover up being done by a local tattoo artist who was working from home and thought I could do better. That was about eleven years ago and I’ve never looked back.

TDP: Were you good at drawing at school?
Yes, I was good at it but unfortunately, I had a teacher that really didn’t believe in my talent and stopped me from drawing, which is why I didn’t pursue a drawing career.

The teacher actually failed me on my art exams because he thought I’d been cheating by tracing pictures. That’s when I stopped drawing. I only really started again when I decided that I wanted to be a tattooist. I actually spent some time working as a welder before starting my own studio.

TDP: Did you start your business working from home?
No, I actually opened my first place in Dolittles Garden Village – I started from a shed and everyone thought I was mad! But I proved them wrong within the first 12 months when I started to build a regular client base. Sometimes, if you really believe in something, you’ve just got to go for it. I’ve now been here in my own studio in Trench for four years. 

TDP: You must have seen some horror stories over the years…
*laughs* oh yes! I’ve seen some really bad stuff. But, some really nice stuff as well by some very talented artists.

TDP: What’s the worst thing about being a tattooist?
The worst thing is when people want things done fast and they have no patience. I’ve been asked to do a full sleeve in an hour, when actually it takes weeks, months, or even years.

Sometimes people simply don’t understand that great work really does take time… and patience. Also, cancellations do annoy me, but I totally understand that life happens, or people can get nervous just before they come in. Having a tattoo is a big decision. If they are nervous or indecisive, I’ll always try and work it out with them

TDP: What do you really want people to know?
It’s often quite difficult to explain to people about cover ups. They often have an idea about what design they want to cover up another tattoo with, and sometimes it can be unrealistic.

I want people to come here and be comfortable with a realistic design, which is why I’ll always offer as much advice as I can and try and guide people in the right direction. A tattoo is for life – unless you have it removed of course, (which I can do here in the studio) – so you’ve got to really like it. I’ll generally always do a stencil design first, so they can see what it looks like before making it permanent. 

TDP: What’s the main reason why people want a tattoo?
It can be for a variety of reasons, but I do well out of relationship break-ups, when people are emotional, or they want something covered – like names.

I’d personally not recommend having a name tattoo, as there are so many other ways to express your love for someone, like an image or symbol that means something to the couple. I also tattoo quite a lot of couples.

TDP: Have you ever been asked to do anything really weird?
(Paul did tell us a very funny story, but as we have a mixed audience, we felt it best not to publish it. Needless to say, he turned the work down.)

TDP: Did you need to apply for a council licence?
PP: Yes, every tattooist needs a health and hygiene licence, but every county is different, so wherever you practice you need to be registered with the council.

TDP: There seems to be a lot of tattooists in Telford. If someone was thinking about getting their first tattoo, how would they know where to go?
You really do have to do your research. Make sure you look at the work – not just on the studio’s website, but also on social media because I have known tattooists display work that isn’t theirs.

Make sure you see work when it’s healed, too. A fresh tattoo will look completely different to a healed one. This is why a lot of people will go to a tattooist on reputation and word of mouth. A huge amount of my clients now come to me through word of mouth.

TDP: Would you ever do anything else?
No, I love being a tattooist. If I had to do anything else it would be restoring and selling cars, but my passion is exactly what I’m doing now.

TDP: Have you ever turned anyone away?
Yes, I have turned away people with unrealistic ideas or those that make a decision on the spot. I really do believe that it’s a decision you need to genuinely think about and take seriously, especially about where on the body you want the tattoo because the wrong place can really knock someone’s confidence later in life. And underage people, of course, they will always get turned away here. 

TDP: What’s the best thing about your job?
People who leave here with a smile after sitting in the chair for a while and then they realise what the tattoo looks like and they’re really pleased with it. Also, after I’ve fixed a bad tattoo they’ve had somewhere else and made them feel so much better about themselves.

Huge thanks to Paul for his time and patience. It was a real pleasure to chat with this lovely artist and Telford small business owner.

If you’re thinking of getting your first or your next tattoo, make an appointment with Paul by calling 07519 506561 or drop him a message on Facebook.

If you’d like your business to be featured on Telford Daily PRSS, get in touch to find out about our community partner opportunities. 



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