Now into their second decade as one of Glasgow’s premier tattoo studios, Rock’n’Roll Tattoo and Piercing still remain all about the customer. With a dedicated team of artists, managers and apprentices all aiming to give their clients the best tattoo possible, Rock’n’Roll’s Clydeside representatives have only grown in reputation and talent. A year on from the opening of their new flagship studio, first timers are welcomed as warmly as the people who call the studio their second home. Now with the space to allow twelve artists to work at any time, the Glasgow Rock’n’Roll studio remains focused on getting the client what they desire, matching artists to the particular designs being requested.
If any evidence was required, a quick social media search for “Glasgow tattoo” will show how many customers exit through the doors of Rock’n’Roll Glasgow with delight for their new ink. Countless proud shares of excellent tattoos from their residents, apprentices and a constant stream of exceptional guest talent mark the streets of the city in black and grey, realism, watercolours and many, many more. This doesn’t happen on its own though, everyone working for the studio puts the work in to make sure the music keeps flowing. It’s not enough to be the biggest studio around, there always has to be progression and improvement; moving toward newer and bigger goals. Something that studio proudly takes ownership of as their Studio manager Jamie Wilson elaborates:
“Rock’n’Roll is mainly known for its high quality and detailed tattoos, may that be from residents or guest artists, to which we bring some of the world’s biggest names to the UK, like Denis Sivak and Grindesign. We have the biggest team – currently sitting at twelve residents, five apprentices and a piercer. I have never worked with such a fun and passionate team before, everyone always gives it their all every day, making sure we keep to the high standards that Rock’n’Roll is known for. It’s done with ease though as everyone is so friendly and artistically gifted…it’s not just about the tattoo, it’s about the full experience. From booking in, to the finished product.”
Wilson and the rest of the team organising the details in between the ink pots are well aware of the studio’s reputation and often take bookings completely online; from the many customers who travel to the studio just to get ink from their bevvy of talented artists. The high demand for Rock’n’Roll Glasgow’s artists means many do travel from afar. Glasgow is a lovely place to visit, yes, but it’s the tattoo talent in this studio that they’re travelling for. On top of the incredible guest artists that sit in, the studio boasts tattooists capable of blending their unique styles with the wants of the customer. With artists available for specific requests, each resident has grown their personal reputations and portfolios immensely. Duncan Sweeny is just one of the residents loving his time in the studio:
“For me, the sheer variety of artists working at RnR was a big attraction. If you want to be a good artist [aside from hard work] you need to surround yourself with good artists. I really believe in that. Glasgow is a great city. I think the people are what make it so special. Naturally, that is reflected in the customers we have. Ultimately what I love is the complete faith they show in your vision and style that really makes every tattoo super fun.”
Rock’n’Roll is also always developing future talent, with a team of dedicated apprentices, ready to learn their trade in one of the best tattoo studios in the country. It’s no easy task, but the hard work pays off. There’s nowhere better to learn than inside a studio so busy,. Stephen Dali is one of the Glasgow studio’s apprentices and is grabbing the opportunity with both hands:
“As an apprentice in the Glasgow studio, I’ve had the chance to work with a load of amazing artists who specialise in a number of different styles. Having so many artists in the studio has been a good opportunity to learn different approaches to working and tattooing.”
One of Rock’n’Roll’s most sought-after artists is Alex Underwood. His work bringing visitors from all corners. Alex has plied his black and grey illustrative style in the Glasgow studio since his first days as an apprentice, a fine example of the kind of talent that the Glasgow studio can help achieve greatness in tattooing. Hard work and having a team around that are constantly pushing everyone for their best work definitely makes a difference. The years of training, practising and finessing all resulting in the happiest customers. There’s probably no one better to back this up than the man himself:
“Since the day of my interview I’ve worked contently at Rock’n’Roll Tattoo in Glasgow as both an apprentice and resident artist – Glasgow isn’t my birthplace but it’s definitely my hometown! It’s a city that’s friendly and easy to commute around. It’s also an added bonus that the tattoo culture thrives here! Dull Scottish weather helps keep folks’ skin pale which is perfect for the style of tattoos I like to do! I love operating using only black ink, and against the pale skin, it just has the elegant sort of aesthetic to it. It’s always so rewarding to draw something that really interests you and have complete strangers share that same enthusiasm that they would want it permanently on their bodies!”
These are words from just a few of the crew of Rock’n’Roll Tattoo and Piercing – Glasgow. The array of talent stretches further than words can go into. While only hearing from a few of the bodies that work through the blood, sweat, and tears in the studio, there’s a tonne of fantastic tattoos from all of the artists and apprentices that need to be seen. Literally something for everyone.
This article for Tattoo Fan Magazine was prepared by Matt MacLennan
All images courtesy of Rock’n’Roll Tattoo & Piercing Glasgow and the respective artist’s social media