DOLPHINS, chains, teabags, and even the notorious McDonalds golden arches – tattoo artist Clive Harvey has had some exceptional requests over his 20 years within the enterprise.
And though traits change on a regular basis, the demand for tattoos has not abated.
Tattoo Inc, in Brief Wyre Road, has been run by Mr Harvey since 2002 when he was in his early 20s, and subsequent month marks 20 years on the helm for the previous bricklayer who admits he can’t even draw.
Though he has lengthy been obsessive about tattoos, Mr Harvey all the time feared his lack of creative capability would stand in his method of chasing his dream – however when he bought his foot within the door making cups of tea on the tattoo store generally known as Physique Piercings within the early 2000s, he realised he would possibly be capable to carve a distinct segment for himself.
He stated: “I used to be a bricklayer by commerce and I labored for Ipswich Council – I’ve cherished tattoos all my life, however couldn’t actually draw.
“I needed to give up bricklaying as a result of I used to be having issues with my again, and I went round all of the tattoo retailers I may attempting to get educated up.
“I stated I’d work in the future per week, or seven days per week – I stated I’d do no matter, so I began off answering the door and making 40 cups of tea a day.”
Then in his twenties, and ever the keen pupil of the commerce, Mr Harvey began choosing up ideas from the consultants just by wanting over their shoulder.
“I began watching and studying – I began doing the tracing,” he defined.
“I used to be doing Saturdays, then Saturdays and Mondays, then Saturdays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
“I went from in the future per week being a gopher to going there 4 days per week staying till every time they completed.”
Nonetheless standing in his method, Mr Harvey thought, was his incapacity to attract – if he couldn’t grasp the fundamentals, then how may he grasp the effective arts?
The reply, nonetheless, was that one was not a prerequisite for the opposite.
“I stated to the man doing the tattoos there, ‘I’d like to do a tattoo’, and he stated, ‘do it then’.
“I stated ‘However I can’t draw’, and he replied ‘nicely, neither can I’ – the 2 issues are usually not the identical.”
Buoyed by the elimination of what appeared an insurmountable barrier, Mr Harvey set to work shopping for his personal equipment, costing him a whole bunch of kilos.
He began his personal tattoo store, now well-known in Brief Wyre Road, Colchester, as Tattoo Inc, in 2002, and since then he has obtained requests for all types of tattoos.
“It’s modified over time – in the mean time, it’s a rose on the hand or a non secular sleeve, however there have been so many various phases.”
Mr Harvey, now quick approaching 50, then lists off among the craziest – and hottest – requests he’s had.
“Chain symbols [were very popular], dolphins – when a footballer or a pop star will get a tattoo, you’re then doing that for everybody for the following six months.
“Rihanna had stars on the again of her neck – then she bought 20 stars so everybody began coming again.
“I’ve accomplished the Nando’s image, the McDonald’s arches, Wile E Coyote… I had greater than 100 individuals wanting the 5 stars after Liverpool received the European Cup.”
And though many individuals could have their first tattoo accomplished once they’re younger, there are some who be a part of the craze later in life – Mr Harvey has had girls of their 70s and males of their 80s are available asking for his or her first tattoo.
With Friday, July 22, marking 20 years since Mr Harvey opened his enterprise, he’s decided to mark the event.
“The usual cost was £20 again in 2002, so we’d make a proposal like that subsequent month.
“We could have a little bit of a collaboration and hopefully we could have all our regulars again.”
Even a lot of Mr Harvey’s private life has a direct hyperlink to his occupation.
Lots of his buddies – to not point out his spouse, Hollie – he met after they got here into Tattoo Inc over time.
“I’ve bought some actually good buddies, and I’ve met them via tattoos – I wouldn’t have half my buddies if it wasn’t for tattoos, so I really feel very fortunate.”
Even his spouse was a as soon as a buyer at Tattoo Inc, after one in every of her buddies had a piercing accomplished on the store and really useful Mr Harvey.
“I solely met my spouse as a result of she got here in right here – she solely got here in as a result of her good friend bought a tongue piercing right here and stated it was price coming right here.”
Notching up 20 years working his personal enterprise in simply over one month’s time, tattooing can actually be stated to have made an indelible mark on Clive Harvey’s life.