Psychocity Tattoo & Apparel – Kamloops, BC
I’m Norm Gardner and I’ve been in the tattoo industry for fifteen years. I started creating art in my early childhood, and have developed my skills by using many different mediums. I’ve developed artwork for local businesses, motorcycle event posters, t-shirts and more.
I started my apprenticeship at Valhalla Tattoos in Regina, SK, then joined the team at Razmatazz Tattoo Shop. In 2003 I left there with former piercer, Drew, and together we opened Psychocity Tattoos – where quality is the NORM!
Do you have any favourite pieces you’ve worked on?
Some of my favourite pieces are actually collaboration pieces. I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Ryan Scarpino, Klym Mainland, and Steve M, on some pretty cool pieces. Collab pieces take your art to the next level! You get to work alongside another artist, who has a totally different style and process, and together you create art.
Mentors and favourite artists?
There are so many artists I look up to and follow, but those who have influenced me are: Bob Tyrell, Dino Cook, Tom Renshaw, and Carlos Torres. Some other honourable mentions who inspire me, and I’ve had the pleasure of forming friendships with, are: Scotty Ford, Monty Ricken, Greg Nicholson, Dallas Cruz, and Big Ceeze. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to tattoo with such amazing artists in my career.
You have an apprentice right now, can you tell us a bit about your experience as a mentor?
Yes, I’m working with a young and very talented artist named Kate Black. Apprenticeships nowadays are certainly different than they were back when I started. We used to make needles, scrub tubes, and use coil machines; now it’s all pre-made, and pre-packaged, with plug and play tattoo machines! We used to make every needle, scrub them, bag them, and sterilize them. We made stencils with a photocopier, NOT Photoshop! We took pictures of our work, waited a week for them to be developed, then placed them into photo albums in hopes that someone would come into the shop to see our work. There was no Instagram, no Facebook, and we didn’t pay $2000 for an ad in the phone book! Times have changed though, and as an artist, we need to adapt to these new changes while still teaching the fundamentals of tattooing to those who follow in our footsteps. I’m from the older generation, but I’m constantly learning from the newer guys and girls about technology coming to market. It’s important that we realize we can learn from one another, and grow together.