10 Questions with Sam Kane
1. What is your name, where are you from and what do you do?
My name is Sam Kane, I'm from Sydney Australia and I tattoo at a studio called "Ocean Ink" with a great team of artists. I do tattoos of all styles but lately have been more known for skulls/scenes, neo-traditional based illustrations and sharks.
2. How long have you been tattooing, and how did you first get into the trade?
About 6-7 years. I was getting tattooed a lot and hanging out at studios. A lot of drawing, persistence and being a pest meant I was lucky enough to get a apprenticeship at a shop called "mischief moon" in Sydney city. It was an old school street shop and it taught me a lot about real tattooing and doing whatever comes through the door.
3. We love your skulls and sharks, where do you get the ideas for the individual themes for them and where did those concepts originate from?
Skull illusions have been around for ages using all sorts of imagery, guys like Salvador Dali pioneered it. I guess I wanted to create ones that were a scene and could be used for a wild range of subject matter but done in a bold colourful traditional way. In the beginning there was a lot of inspiration through surf culture and film/folk art for the imagery but as of late they have become more custom with the clients picking their own themes or imagery they would like in them which is cool. I think that's appealing to people, they can have their favourite place/movie/game/hobby/etc. incorporated.
With the sharks I've always been a fan of cross section illustration, I had lots of books when I was a kid with car and ship cutouts. I love sharks, I think they are such amazing creatures and as a tattoo I think they have a nice bold look. Similar to the skulls it allows options for a whole range of things to be put inside the belly or transform the shark into a vessel of some sort, skeletons being the favourite choice followed by ocean scenery. I like to have fun with the skulls and sharks. There are so many ideas constantly running through my head, the options are endless!
4. I saw a while back you were considering making a book of your theme skull flash paintings, is that still happening and if so when should we expect it?
I'd love to make a book of skulls!!! And also a shark one. I've never done anything like a book before so I need to do the research and find out how. Hopefully I'll get something sorted soon and a book out for next year!
5. For those who haven't seen it, describe your work in 3 words.
Bold , bright , interesting
6. What is your opinion on the way social media has affected the art community?
I think social media - like anything - has its pros and cons, but it's great for communication and finding other tattooers on a daily basis. As a business tool it would be silly in today's age not to have it, I get a lot of clients through Instagram and Facebook.
7. Who is your dream client?
Anyone who has a cool idea and lets me have some creative input, I'm just super lucky and thankful that I get to tattoo for a living whether it's a 5 minute job or a large ongoing project. It's a dream.
8. What was the first tattoo you ever did and who was it on?
The first tattoo I did was a little skull with bones on my leg... I put hair on the end of the bones cause I'd seen it before and thought it was cool. I think it was the way I drew it but it ended up looking like a skull with heaps of dick/ballsacks penetrating it haha.
9. What do you do on your days off?
I like to surf and do any sort of ocean activities, paint and hang out with my friends and beautiful girlfriend.
10. Who else's work should we check out?
There's so many... too many. I'll keep it really short. Everyone I've had the pleasure to work with but especially my workplace (@ocean_ink_tattoo), Jay Smith (@jaysmithtattoo), and Bugsy (@bugsybugsy) and everyone @third_eye_tattoo
Sam Kane can be found on Instagram @samkanetattoo