Forever Yonge Ink
Toronto, ON, CANADA
What year did you start tattooing?
I started on January 15, 2009. I’ll never forget that day. Everything changed for me from that point on.
How did you get into tattooing?
I always enjoyed art and I wanted to do something creative, something I could develop into a career. I decided to learn to tattoo and found a mentor. I learned as much as I could. I also studied tattooing on my own to get better. Apprenticing was tough work, but I knew I had to pay my dues to get better.
Where did you apprentice?
I apprenticed for a year at a small shop in Seoul called Studio Red.
Do you have any special training?
I don’t have a lot of formal training in art, but growing up I always tried my hand at different kinds of painting and drawing. Everything I know is either self-taught or through picking up tips from artists, and some skills were picked up from my fashion design background.
What conventions have you worked? Have you won any awards? What are some of your best convention memories?
I’m pretty new to the convention world. I worked the NIX convention in Toronto this past summer, and I’ve done a few others across Asia a few years before. No awards yet. NIX was a great learning experience, and meeting my favorite artist was also very exciting.
How do you describe your style?
I like doing a lot of realistic work. I work with a lot of colors, but also black-and-gray stuff.
What inspires you as an artist?
Mostly seeing a lot of amazing work from other artists. It makes me want to do the same and create the best tattoo work that I can. I love tattooing and that in itself makes me want to be a better artist.
What sets you apart from other artists?
I like re-imagining realistic tattoos with a lot of color. A lot of focus is put into color values and details.
What other mediums do you work in?
Aside from tattooing, I like to work with watercolors, oil paints, and even sketching. But my focus is really on tattooing. There is so much to learn in this art, so I’m always studying more if I can.
What tattoo artists do you admire most?
Nikko Hurtado and Paul Acker are two of my favorites out there. I think they are amazing. Many artists like to use a lot of skin in a tattoo, but these guys really focus on color use throughout the whole piece, which is great.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
Just more realistic stuff. I would love to do just a really solid, colorful piece and focus on the detailing.
Before someone gets a tattoo what advice do you give them?
Just make sure they’re confident about their choice. It’s my job to give them an amazing tattoo, and I can offer an opinion. But the customer is the one who makes the final decision.