Tattoos

Interview with Caroline Derwent

39-year-old tattoo artist Caroline Derwent works out of Dust n’ Bones Tattoo in Plymouth, UK where she creates an array of dotwork and colour tattoos in her girly traditional style…

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When did you start tattooing and what made you want to join the industry? I left school , went to art college and then to Manchester to do a degree in interior design, however, it wasn’t for me. I always wanted to do something art related, creative and something I loved. It wasn’t until eight years ago I began my career in tattooing. I was working a supervisor role in a print shop which was unfulfilling. A friend who worked in a tattoo shop asked me if I wanted to learn and I thought I’d give it a go. I learned alongside two other jobs and when Neil opened Dust n’ Bones Tattoo, I worked weekends and evenings, just on friends at first.

I was made redundant from my print job and thought it was time to give it my all and started full time down at Dust n’ Bones. It was a slow burner, and a lot of hard work building a client base, and eight years later, here I am. Working along side a strong team, still at the studio where I started out with a great client base, continuing to work hard and improve my skills. You could almost say I was in the right place, at the right time and I never take it for granted, being where I am today.

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How would you describe your style? I would describe my style as a girly traditional, without the heavy black ink! I love pastel colours to make cute and pretty tattoos but I also do a lot of blackwork as it seems quite popular at the moment. I am very lucky to have loyal clients who love my artwork, it’s very fulfilling knowing my work is out there permanently.

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What inspires you? My favourite things to tattoo are Harry Potter designs, Star Wars, Disney and just anything cute and girly. Floral work is always popular and I love tattooing that style too. I myself have mainly colour work tattoos, it’s just my preference and what I love best to tattoo. I love to see the end result of a colour tattoo. I am always wanting to improve, and luckily I am surrounded by talented colleagues and friends in the industry who I have met through doing guestspots and conventions.

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Do you have any guestspots or conventions planned? I have worked at Blood and Honey, Cheltenham, I will be working at Black Moon in Frome in February, and then Jolie Rouge in London in April. I am always open to new guestspots as it’s nice to be able to reach out to new clients that can’t make the journey down here to Plymouth.

In the past I have worked Leeds Tattoo Expo, Sheffield and Manchester Tattoo Tea Party, which I loved. I’ve just booked to work Manchester Tattoo Tea Party in March, and will maybe do some others this year too.

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I always remind myself to stay kind and to be thankful for where I am. I often get overwhelmed when people travel to get tattooed by me and feel very humbled to be where I am today. Hard work pays off after all.

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