One of the faces of our SS17 campaign is tattoo artist Gareth Davies. A beach boy at heart, he grew up on the Central Coast, but has lived and worked in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs for 13 years now (so we’d consider him a local).
If you’re a tattoo or TV fan, you might know him best through his work – as he spends his days tattooing clients at the now-famous Bondi Ink studio.
So let’s start at the beginning - how did you first get into tattooing?
I have been tattooing professionally for around 3 years now, but I first fell in love with tattooing ever since my first tattoo at age 17 (15 years ago now). After my first tattoo, I became obsessed with tattooing, I had books of tattoo designs I would draw for friends to get tattooed and also became fixated with the commercial TV shows such as LA and Miami Ink. I eventually bought a tattoo kit off eBay and started tattooing friends and family from my parents’ garage. I never thought as tattooing as a real career path back then, so I eventually packed the tattoo gear away and focused on university and other career paths.
How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as illustrative and traditional. I love traditional American tattoos and illustrative pieces with bold lines and dot-work.
What are your favourite kinds of pieces to work on?
Being in a street shop, you need to be across most styles. I actually like working in most styles except for realism. While I respect the artwork of realism, I don’t believe it will last forever. I prefer styles with bolder lines, shading and colour. I believe these tattoos will look good forever.
You’re currently tattooing at Bondi Ink. What’s it like working somewhere TV famous? Do you think it impacts the kind of clients you get?
Haha. It’s a very busy shop. I would say the TV show brings in a lot of international clients who want small souvenir tattoos – something to say they’ve “been tattooed at Bondi Ink”. We get our regular clients as well, but the TV show makes our shop extra busy – a lot of walk-ins.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I love health and keeping fit. I jump at any opportunity to get outdoors with my girlfriend and spend time in nature - I believe it completely resets the mind and amazing for mental health and wellness. Travel is up there too.
What’s your go-to summer style?
My go-to summer style would generally be any bold print boardies, graphic tees or muscle tees (usually tattoo designs or vintage), long socks (usually Adidas) and a pair of Vans or Nikes.
What’s an ideal day in Bondi for you?
An ideal day in Bondi would be wake up when you wake up, grab a coffee and a cruisy brekky, head to the beach for the day with a packed lunch (usually Tamma), then head to the gym in the afternoon.
What do you think Bondi will be like in 10 years?
I hope Bondi will continue to grow its health and wellness culture. I would love to see it’s café scene grow also - I would love it if a bit of Melbourne came to Bondi.
In Bondi, where do you go for:
Food? Always go to Banana Blossom for lunch, Soy Japanese is amazing for dinner. Bondi Fish is also great!
Drinks? Bondi Hardware