Artist Spotlight #4


Artist Spotlight #4

Vicky Lou Smith 

(Click to view portfolio)

The tattoo industry is full of very talented artists specialising in many different styles. One of our aims at The Tattoo Book is to provide a platform for those artists and give you a closer insight into their tattoo background and work ethos. 

We spoke with Vicky, manager of Down The Rabbit Hole Tattoo Studio, who specialises in Watercolour and Abstract styles with a strong passion for Indian and Asian styles too.

Hi Vicky! Thank you for finding the time to talk to us.

When did you first pick up a tattoo machine?

I picked up my first tattoo machine in early 2012, and did the worst swallow ever on an orange! I got a little over excited about my first go and rushed it, after that I practiced every day on fruit and fake skin for about a year until I was unleashed on training volunteers.

What got you interested in the tattoo business?

I have had an interest in tattoos since I was at school, but at that time I wanted to pursue a career in Graphic Design. By the time I was 28 I figured it was now or never and managed to get myself an apprenticeship.


What style(s) do you specialise in?

I mostly do colour work, usually abstract and watercolour. But I’m trying to avoid specialising at the moment, I consider myself a newbie to this industry still and want to try as many styles and techniques as possible!

We believe getting a tattoo takes thought, research and a licensed, professional tattoo artist. What would be your advice to someone looking to get their first tattoo?

Research everything! I think its crucial to research your artist, the studio and of course the perfect design that you won’t regret! The internet and social media are amazing tools for helping make the right choices for tattoos. We all get that person that will come in and say they want a tattoo but they don’t know what they want, I usually tell them to brain storm their interests and hobbies then when they are happy with a subject matter google up some existing tattoos based on that genre. Most folks get a clearer idea from doing that.
What is your favourite part about the industry? Aside from the fact that I love my work everyday its got to be conventions, I love everything about doing a convention. Meeting other artists, feeling inspired by their styles and techniques; the artwork on sale, the networking and social aspect. It is also a great opportunity to meet some great clients as they usually want some really cool work done.

If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?

Ridiculous Tattoo TV Shows! They give the public insane unrealistic views of tattoos and the type of people that get them, it makes the industry look like a joke. I find it uncomfortable when our studio is approached to do a TV show, in case you are made to look a fool. Hopefully one day a decent, realistic show will be made to demonstrate to the public what the industry is really like.


What’s the craziest thing anyone has ever asked you to tattoo?

Too be honest with you I almost specialise in the crazy! In recent times I have had a fair few people come in and say ‘do what you want, go mad’ so I do!

You’re currently working at Down The Rabbit Hole in Gloucester, do you have any plans to open your own studio in the future?

Not at present, I manage our Gloucester shop when the studio owner is at our Cheltenham studio so having had a taster of the responsibility I must say I am content at this early stage of my career just as an artist and manager.


What advice would you give to any aspiring artists who may be influenced by you and your work?

Keep learning everyday, never assume you know everything because you don’t. Nobody likes complacent people, so stay humble. I have found it proves most useful to make the effort to get to know other artists, the advice of those more experienced is a powerful tool. Not just for techniques and skills but other things, kit advice, whats new in the industry; the list is endless!

At The Tattoo Book, we strive to provide the public with the tools to locate, research and contact licensed, professional tattoo artists and studios. What are your thoughts on the services we offer on the website?

I really like the site so far, I think it will prove a very useful tool for the industry and I hope both the public and artists use it.


To view Vicky’s portfolio and to contact her directly, click here.


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