We would like to introduce you to an amazing vegan tattoo artist from London – Jimmy Galan! Jimmy shared with us his path to tattooing, what’s inspiring him and gave some great advice.
“It’s good to know that you are not harming anyone by doing what you love.”
What got you into tattooing?
Around the age of 15, I was getting into punk. One day I bought some permanent black pens
and started drawing up my arms, stuff that I would have seen in album covers, lyrics from songs, anchors, hearts,
stars, roses, etc. soon enough other kids from school were asking me to draw stuff on them, till one day that i was drawing
a nautical star on this kid whose dad was a tattooer, he came the next day to school and told me that his dad wanted to meet me.
I went to their house after school where he had some machines that he explained to me how they work and basically, that’s how it all began. I was self-taught for a while till I came to London and started my apprenticeship under @knk_tattoo for which I’m so grateful.
Can you tell us a little about your style?
Western classic tattooing with my own twist on it.
I basically mix the classic color pallet with a lot of bright vibrant colors.
On my latest stuff, you’ll notice a lot of pink, yellow, purple, magenda and other colors that you would not usually see in
classic designs. Colors that are “against the rules” of classic tattooing.
I do really enjoy working with colors, they do really make the design pop and come to life.
What are some of your inspirations?
Mainly my customers. Every single story that I get to hear, from a memorial piece to a silly joke tattoo.
I get to connect, learn so much about them and be a part of their journey. But also my own journey, tattooing inspires me.
Digging deep into the classic Americana motifs and trying to recreate them in my own way, learning about the old-timers,
their individual stories, the tattoo industry back then, and taking it forward to now. there is so much history to be learned!!
It’s the most inspiring fun challenge I ever got myself into.
Are there any artists that influence your work?
Way too many!!
My all-time favorites from the old-timers are, Amund Dietzel, Percy Waters, Charlie Wagner.
A few modern artists that I do follow their work and influence me, Shaun Topper, CIV, Valerie Vargas, Harriet Heath,
Dan Smith, Amy Savage, Bill Loika, Freddy Corbin, Jen Lee, Alexandra Skasgard of course KNK and so many more.
Can you give some advice to those artists who want to make a switch to vegan-friendly tattooing?
There’s no point in risking your customers skin/health, there is a reason why the whole tattoo industry
is making a turn to vegan-friendly products, so what is it that holds you back? Just do it. Nothing to lose there,
you can only gain from it and it’s good to know that you are not harming anyone by doing what you love.
Also, make sure to check if your stencil papers and lotions are vegan and if you aren’t 100% sure I suggest you
e-mail the companies or other vegan artists. I would love to help you too, you can message me directly on Instagram or by email.
Click here to read an interview about an amazing vegan tattoo artist and creator of Dark Trash Realism style Anrijs Straume.