Cole Hooper

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Cole Hooper

Kreative Ink – Victoria, BC

Art has been in my life for a very long time. I started drawing since before I can remember, growing up doodling my way through school, filling up notebooks with drawings and teaching myself different means of art. It wasn’t until after high school that I realized I wanted to take this passion more seriously. I pursued a career as a tattoo artist and began my apprenticeship under Nick Chan of Kreative Ink Studios in Victoria BC. From working under Nick, and trying to learn everything about every different style, I have gravitated towards realism.

I primarily tattoo black and grey realism, but I do have a love for colour and it’s something that I want to learn more about. Not a day passes by that I don’t wake up and think of new ways to push my work, always trying new things and adding more elements to my designs. The way you can use an image to flow with the body, the contrast between lights and darks to create a 3D look; these are the reasons I love realism. I have completely changed the way I design a tattoo now, and my process is simple, yet effective: a foreground, middle ground, and background, as well as some other elements that may better the tattoo. I tend to keep the background fairly simple, depending on the design; by doing this it allows the main image to come forward. That being said, I put a heavy emphasis on the detail of my work. By keeping the background simple it allows me to focus on making sure the main images are detailed and crisp.

What inspires you to be a better artist, and what do you do to stay sharp in this trade?

I look up to a lot of the bigger names in the industry; the level of tattooing some of these artists perform at is incredible and it’s where I aspire to be. My clients also give me a great deal of inspiration, because for me there’s really no better feeling than seeing their reaction when they get that first look in the mirror at their new piece of art! When I think of my life path, tattooing is the only one. I will be tattooing until my hands cannot hold a machine anymore, consistently bettering myself and my art. I try to widen my artistic ability by dabbling in other means of art, other than just tattooing. I love to paint on used skateboard decks with acrylic, and have recently played around with airbrush painting as well. When you tattoo for a living, I find it to be very relaxing to dive into a different medium strictly for enjoyment purposes.

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