As a young, growing shop in the city, we're always on the lookout on how to improve our art each and every day. Aside from the technical stuff, one of our favourite things that actually help us get better is to look at all the amazing tattoos that's being produced all around the world. As a way to pay homage to the legends in the industry, we've decided to put together a feature series where we interview world-renowned artists who have paved the way for us to make it into the game as well as our idols, influences, and greatest motivators. To kick off the series, we were lucky enough to pull aside Elvin Yong ( Elvin Tattoo ) of Singapore and discuss a variety of topics. Here is part one of the interview, with the second half to be released later in the day. Thank-you again Elvin for your time! Also stay tuned for more exclusive interviews with some very notable names that you may recognize over the coming weeks. This interview—along with the entire series—is conducted by Chronic Ink's Mikey Nguyen, a 21-year-old tattoo writer and hip-hop journalist whose work has been published for tattoo and music publications such as Inked Magazine, Urban Ink Magazine, Freshly Inked Magazine, Skin Deep, Tattoo Life Magazine, Complex Magazine, VIBE Magazine, and XXL Magazine. Q&A with Elvin Yong. Chronic Ink: One of the things I’ve admired most about your work is the fact that you go all out with your drawings. You don’t just do line drawings, you fully draw out the entire piece for the client, which is something you don’t see often. How has sketching everyday made you improve as an artist? Elvin: Well I guess it's a classic case of practice makes perfect. It also gives me an excuse to draw since I love drawing, anyway. I do feel its important to give a complete rendering to the customers as most of them are not usually able to visualize the piece. And with sketching your tattoo designs, do you feel it helps create for a better overall tattoo as opposed to freehanding and using reference photos? Elvin: Definitely, because this gives me room to play with the layout. As an artist, you tend to do a rough sketch to get a better grasp of the concept and composition which I tend to focus a lot on. I always treat tattooing like painting or drawing—everything has to flow well. I noticed you’re doing a both of digital drawings and drawings on paper. What method do you prefer using more and what are its advantages? Elvin: Honestly I am quite ok either way. I guess it really depends on my mood.
Digital rendering tends to be a lot faster but over-reliance on this can make one lazy.