Not content with just being a sought after tattoo artist and creator of one-of-a-kind doodles & site-specific commissions across the country, Prisontyle AKA Tim is also the owner of Folkestone's hottest tattoo studio BRB Studio.
Ahead of his flash tatt takeover at our the depot_ Shoreditch, we spoke with Tim on a day in the life of one of the UK's most sought after tattoo artists.
What does a typical day these days look like for you Tim?
Foot in the face by toddler, smiley baby wake up call, strong coffee, concise shower routine, an attempt at yoga, 10 pull ups, cereal, child to school, start panicking about work, enter work, panic attack, set up for tattoo, do tattoo - that’s it. Concise.
Generally how many people do you tattoo in a day?
Probably 3 or 4 - 3 or 4 is enough, really. It used to be a lot more, and when I do guest spots it’s more like 8 to 10.
How many guest spots are you planning in the upcoming months?
Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Brighton, Bristol, Zurich, Los Angeles, New York, Bangkok, Chiang Mai. I’m packing it in.
What’s a typical day like when you’re doing a guest spot - do you move around studios and tattoo the whole trip?
I try and be practical, so what I try to do is just do it all at the start of a trip and tattoo like heck for 3 or 4 days and then do 2 or 3 weeks off with my family travelling. So generally just one shop at the start and make some money, do some tattoos and then chill - because then I’m burnt out and I really need to chill by that point.
What does a day in your studio look like when you are away guesting - is there anyone else working from there when you’re not?
No there’s not, but that’s an interesting idea which I’m exploring right now. We’ve got a lot of guests coming in, so we’ve got 5 guest artists lined up for the rest of the year so far - but there’s heaps more acquaintances I have that want to come and guest so I would expect it to be a rolling month of guest spots. And then, hopefully move on to artists, with an exhibition space, and maybe music space for unsigned bands. Like white label vibe - they can’t sell their stuff because they haven’t got a record label so they can come and do a show and flog it, and the same with artists if they haven’t got representation.
Speaking of music, what does a day look like when you’re on tour with your band DANCEHALL?
Carnage, misery, depression… No, no, just a joke. It’s more like - full transparency - feeling old, trying to stay in shape, probably panicking about the gig, driving a lot, eating junk, drinking lots of caffeine, panicking before a show, doing a show, feeling great about a show - and forgetting everything afterwards that you were worried about. That’s exactly it.
When you were on tour, were you generally packing a lot into a small space of time? And is it hard to be away from your family for a long time touring?
Totally, we just limited it to doing a week’s worth of gigs, because I had family and the guys still had work. So until that time that we’re supporting U2 and we have to go away for months on end in South America, it’s just small things - but make them count. Doing the small stuff and making it count actually works better for bands, I think. Because you could do 30 gigs around the country, but you’re still playing shit holes 30 times, with 5 people in the audience. So you just make that week of gigs count.
What did a day for you look like before you were tattooing?
It looked like getting up at silly o’clock - without kids - travelling across London to do a retail job that basically slowly killed me day by day. Then get home, drink lots. And that’s it. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Work for the company, die for the company.
Are you a morning person or more of a night owl? Do you have to be a morning person now that you have kids?
Absolutely a morning person, but without kids; not really ever grumpy, quite a lot of energy considering I’m 40 next year. Totally a morning person.
What’s your favourite part of your day now?
This is going to sound quite old, but figuring out what’s for dinner and what we’re going to watch on TV with my wife - that’s my favourite part of my day, it really is.
Do you find that now you work for yourself you have more time to do the things you like in a day?
No. I think I’m worrying about all the things I’m not doing more, actually. I’m worried I’m not doing enough, but at the same time I have maybe 20 or 30 projects on the go that I need to do this year.
What would the perfect day look like for you?
Wake up in Thailand with my wife and family, leisurely breakfast by the beach, pool, probably kids club for the kids, sit by the pool with my wife, drink cocktails, listen to podcasts. That’s the dream. Please make that happen...