In my second last year of high school, my careers advisor asked me what I wanted to do when I finished school. I told him 'I want to be a tattoo artist'. He laughed and said 'that's not a career!'….
I have always had a passion for Visual Art. After studying art in high school (and spending many nights spray-painting the railway lines) I spent some time doing Life Drawing at Julian Ashtons. Wanting to take my Art career more seriously, I then went on to study an Advanced Diploma of Fine Arts, majoring in painting at Meadowbank tafe. After completion, I painted Landscape oil paintings from 2005 to present. I am currently represented by Gallery Oscar, Sydney.
I wanted to get into tattooing for many years. I started tattooing in 2009 at BodyArt with Dr Rev - The Bloodpainter. After working for him for 12 months I was offered a formal apprenticeship by Nathan Puata from Tatudharma. I jumped at the chance.
A tattoo apprenticeship is hard work with little to no pay but I wanted to learn from someone and not just tattoo without any proper knowledge of what I was doing. I am very lucky to have a supportive girlfriend, family and friends, and I am very grateful that I was offered the apprenticeship.
In December 2011 I completed my apprenticeship with Nathan, though I still constantly use his knowledge and the knowledge of the other artist who I work with to better my own work.
Although I have only been tattooing for a short time I have worked extremely hard to get where I am.
I strive to use everything I have learnt so far in my art practice as well as the things I have been taught by Nathan, Josh Roelink, the guys I work with and many other artists, to create pieces of art on skin. I am particularly interested in Japanese style of tattooing but am also happy to tattoo other designs. Anything creative is enjoyable.
I feel privileged to be able to work with a group of passionate, hardworking and extremely creative and talented individuals and to be able to do the thing I love most everyday - to create art. It makes me want to work harder and to be the best I can be.
This is only the beginning.
- Brett Hayes, January 2012