Freshly Inked Interview with Troy Slack
What made you want to be a tattoo artist?
Tattooing was always something I was interested in but seemed like an impossible industry to get into. A few friends started to show interest in tattoos and wanted me to draw them up designs. Seeing the end result of my design work transformed into a work of art onto the skin, influenced me to pursue this career.
Was there a career you almost pursued instead? If yes, how did you decide to tattoo instead?
I thought about being a Graphic Designer in high school however never pursued it. I had a few years working in a factory before pursuing a career in tattooing.
Where do you currently tattoo?
I tattoo from Sashiko Tattoo, in Mount Barker, South Australia, Australia. I work with some amazing artists so it’s definitely worth looking up.
Do you have any upcoming guest spots/events you're attending?
I will be attending the Australian Tattoo Expo in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne this year and have been asked to be one of the judges in the Tattoo Competition Series. My brother Adam Slack and I will also be attending the first VideoGame Tatts Con in Columbia, Florida at the end of April, and New Plymouth Tattoo Expo, New Zealand in November. There may hopefully be a few more expos but at this stage is yet to be confirmed.
How long have you been tattooing?
I have been tattooing for over 10 years now, and hopefully, at least another 10 years or more to come!
Since the beginning of your career, how much has the industry changed?
I think the biggest thing is that knowledge is much more easily accessible now, and Artists are more open to sharing that knowledge and learning more, which has had a major impact on the quality of tattoos and what is possible.
What's your favorite thing about the tattoo industry?
I love tattoo conventions, traveling, meeting new people and pushing my self to do the best tattoos to my ability.
What's an everyday challenge artists face? How do you overcome this?
For me personally, I have always struggled to find a work and life balance, even still now. It wasn’t until my children came along I decided to have proper days off, try and relax more and focus more on my health and being a better person, so I can be a better father. I wouldn’t say I have overcome it, I would say its a work in progress and will be an ongoing mission.
What's your advice for newer artists?
One piece of advice that I’ve passed onto apprentices recently came from when I first started at my studio which was previously Frontyard Tattoo. It was my first week working there and my boss had organized a weekend with friends in the industry to come down and hang out. These were artists I look up to and were inspired by so it was very nerve-racking having them around. I was asked by Kegan Hawkins (Tater Tats) what I had booked in one day and I mentioned it was just a simple tattoo that I wasn’t too hyped about. He told me about when he was starting out he remembers doing a southern cross tattoo, he took his time and made sure they were as clean and sharp as he could possibly get it. From that one tattoo, he got his clients mates coming to him for much bigger and better things. It reminded me to stay humble, and that every tattoo I do, no matter the size or difficulty it is equally important.
See more from the awesome Troy Slack by following him on Instagram!