I read an article today from the Yorkshire Evening Post about a young tattooer called Kaine Westmooreland who is making waves with his new tattoo shop. Kaine’s work seems great, and he seems to be someone who is working really hard to becoming a great tattooer. What’s interesting, though, is Kaine is 19 years old, and he has his own tattoo shop already.
Kaine owns a shop in Leeds called Notorious Ink. He started with the shop when he was 17, and never did an apprenticeship. He’s already taking bookings for September, and people are coming to him from all over the country for his work. Kaine’s work is great, if you can ignore the instrgram filters- bloody kids! This, to me, is absolutely amazing.
At the same time, though, I don’t really know how I feel about Kaine having a tattoo shop at such a young age. I can’t help but wonder how a 17 year old can have a tattoo shop, before he even reaches the age when he can legally be tattooed himself. He hasn’t been through the blood, sweat, and tears of an apprenticeship. Kaine’s work is surprisingly great, but I feel like loads of kids his age will look at him and now think they can pick up a machine and open a shop, and start butchering people up. Kids like Kaine are anomalies in tattooing- most people can’t do this on their own.
I don’t know if I’m old fashioned here, but I think that tattooers should go through apprenticeships. I think that they should really know that they’re happy to live and breathe tattooing before they stop calling themselves an apprentice, nevermind open up a shop. If you’re not starting off working under someone else, doing all those jobs they don’t want to, I think you’re missing out on learning a hell of a lot. I don’t want to be bashing this kid and what he’s doing at all, but I can’t help but wonder why he’s decided to throw himself in at the deep end.
At the same time, I can’t help but be impressed by everything he’s achieving. Let’s face it, for being a kid who hasn’t done an apprenticeship and is so young, his work should be crap, in my opinion. To be at the standard his work is at is really cool, and he seems to be working really hard. That is definitely admirable, and I think Kaine deserves a lot of credit for that.
Really though, I’m curious- what do you think of this? Please feel free to leave comments below. You can also see Kaine’s work by going here.