Artists: Levi Barnett
What year did you start tattooing?
How did you get into tattooing?
I was repeatedly offered an apprenticeship over the course of 12 months at the local tattoo shop in my hometown of Kilmore, K-Town, then curiosity got the best of me and I accepted the offer.
What was your first shop experience like?
It was all positive, although my mentor was firm, he was never unfair. The purpose of my apprenticeship was to learn how to tattoo, not how to clean toilets and get everyone coffee, and that is exactly what he did. I couldn’t thank him enough.
Do you have any special training?
What conventions have you done recently or are planning to do this year?
Recently I have attended multiple conventions across North America including NIX in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary.
How do you describe your style?
I like to think of my work as being bold and eye catching, yet detailed and intricate where needed and unexpected.
What inspires you as an artist?
Recently I have found a lot of inspiration from local Melbourne street artists such as Rone, with his simplicity and scale, and Smug with his color blends and attention to light source.
What other media do you work in?
It’s a little hard to juggle my workload and still find time for non-work related art at the moment, but there is nothing better than sitting down with a good old-fashioned pencil and paper.
How have you branched out from tattooing?
I am currently in the process of working on some larger scale projects, but you will have to wait and see what I am up to!
What tattoo artists do you admire most?
Jun Cha for his simple, yet perfect, execution and Randy Engelhard for his impeccable palette and flawless blends.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
I am really enjoying doing color work at the moment. I feel I can be a lot more creative with color.
Before someone gets a tattoo what advice do you give them?
I always suggest to get a good night’s sleep, have a big breakfast, and lots of water!
Is there a tattoo that you haven’t done yet that you are dying to do?
To be honest any Star Wars or ‘geeky’ related tattoos are welcomed with open arms.
You’ve done a lot of portrait work, which is your favorite?
There are so many that come to mind, but if I had to pick one, it would have to be a portrait of Audrey Hepburn that I did on my girlfriend Montana.
What’s the tattoo scene in Australia like?
It is massive! There are so many amazing tattoo artists in one country, in all styles. It is definitely a great place to be at this time in the industry.
Who would you love to get tattooed by?
Paul Acker or Randy Engelhard.
What’s the craziest thing a client has asked for?
Probably the time I got asked to tattoo a bunch of retirees’ chests with DNR (Do Not Resuscitate).