The Evolving Art of Tattooing – Interview with Chaz Orr

Today I’m delighted to be interviewing Chaz Orr, tattoo artist extraordinaire and up-and-coming entrepreneur who is venturing into the world of fashion.

1. Firstly, could you tell my readers a little about Chaz Orr?
My name is Charles (Chaz) Orr. I’m a 31 year old tattoo artist from a lil place called Mount Maunganui in New Zealand. I’ve been tattooing for 12 years now but have only really considered myself a professional tattoo artist in the past 6 years. I spent 6 years hanging around studios doing odd jobs for tattooists to try and get a foot in the door in the industry. It was frustrating as it was unpaid cleaning jobs or running errands or drawing them stuff in exchange for the chance I might learn something about tattooing along the way. It eventually paid off and I did a very good apprenticeship through a studio in our capital city, Wellington around 6 years ago where I learned most of the skills that have helped me have a fun and successful career in tattooing. After being in the industry so long I’ve started exploring other art forms and I’m also on the verge of starting a very exciting new venture in clothing which has always been a passion of mine being creative an all. It’s actually something I’ve been secretly working on with a couple of other ninjas behind closed doors the past 7 years now. Follow me on Facebook or Instagram to find out more about that as it unfolds throughout the year!

 

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2. What kind of tattooing do you prefer to work on, traditional (clean and simple), portraits, tribal, hybrid etc?

I love traditional work for its bold strong lines, simple but effective colouring and sometimes quirky fun meanings behind them. Collectors of traditional tattoos are often fun clients to tattoo also I’ve noticed! Lately though I’ve been loving doing colour portraits, colour work I prefer doing over black n grey.

3. Could you expand on the above and tell my readers a little about your style of tattooing and how your style came about?
My style of tattooing came about from experimenting and trying to master all styles of tattooing. I love trying new things and along the way I’ve found my own kinda ‘new traditional’ style which is proving to be popular.

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4. Some tattooists corner themselves into one style of art and are happy to do the same thing day in and day out. Do you feel like you have progressed artistically? If so, tell my readers how you have progressed artistically?

I’ve always loved a challenge and I am always experimenting artistically. If I see something pleasing to the eye whether it’s a tattoo, sculpture or oil painting I want to have a go creating something similar and before ya know it my mind is going crazy with ideas of new things I have to create. Haha, I am addicted to creating! I’m currently making my own ornamental skulls and skateboard decks to do my art on instead of plain old canvas. People are loving them, especially the skulls, so much so that they have been used as trophy prizes at a couple of international tattoo conventions which I thought was pretty cool!

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5. Tattooing is a craft for many tattoo artists. How important is it to have good machines, the best kind of needles to use, a healthy knowledge of the industry and experience?

It’s incredibly important. The only way I believe you can learn the art of tattooing to today’s high standards safely and professionally is by doing an apprenticeship through a well-known and well respected tattoo artist. People simply should not tattoo without doing an apprenticeship. There’s a million reasons why. Google ‘tattoo fails’ to see some of the reasons why.

As for machines, needles etc., and these are also very important, you will learn why the easy way by doing an apprenticeship, or the hard way by buying and using cheap rip-offs that are flooding the markets without the knowledge of why they are or can be so potentially dangerous and harmful.

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6. Tattooing is truly ‘available’ to everyone these days. There are tattoo shops opening up everywhere. From an artistic perspective how do you think the increasing popularity of tattooing has or will continue to influence the industry?

Tattooing is always evolving. I’ve seen the industry change and grow so much over the past 10 years. It will stay strong forever because it’s part of people’s cultures, identity and some people think of it as fashion or as being trendy. I really don’t see it slowing down especially in our country.

7. Do you think you contribute something positive to the art of tattooing? If so, what is it that you are contributing? If not, what would you like to do to make a positive impact on the future of tattooing?
I try to inspire. I try to make creating fun instead of work. I try to make people have an experience they won’t forget (in a good way!) when I tattoo them whether it’s a memorial tattoo I’m doing or whatever.

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8. I know you’re going to hate this question but does everyone who comes in to have a tattoo want to tell you about why they are having a tattoo?
Yes hahaha, everyone tells us everything! We are not only tattoo artists but marriage counsellors, psychiatrists, the works! It’s amazing what people (you have only just met) tell you once the tattooing begins.

9. For my readers I’d like you to give them some good advice about getting a tattoo?

Research. Find a tattoo artist that specializes in the kind of tattoo you want. Spend some money and don’t go for the best ‘deal’. Don’t annoy your tattoo artist. Haha, they are permanently marking your skin remember. Wouldn’t want them to slip! But seriously don’t turn up drunk or hung over to your appointment, rest up, eat a good breakfast and you’ll be fine .

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10. Do you have a big WOW that you would like to share with us?

You can follow me on Facebook or Instagram to find out more about my up n coming clothing label, other exciting arty projects and for tattoo bookings or enquiries.

I’d like to thank Chaz for allowing me to interview him. I’d also like to wish him good luck in the future with all his endeavours.

 

If you’re thinking of searching for Chaz these links should help you out!
Tattoo and art enquiries email:
chazorrtattoo@gmail.com
And coming very soon..

 

I’d also like to let readers know that none of the interviews I do happen because of the artist approaching me. Please do not request me to conduct an interview with you. The  interviews I engage in arise from random connection or from me connecting with the artist’s work in some way.  In this case, I spotted the most amazing tattoo on a female’s arm in a shoe store and I asked her about the tattoo.  The tattoo artist was Chaz Orr.

I embrace these moments in time and then the connections that present themselves. This is how I work creatively.

So until next time. Be brave and bold in your chosen field of creativity. And never be afraid to explore new techniques.

Comments

  1. Wow! The tiger is amazing! Thanks Vacen for interviewing Chaz. Love the questions you asked him. His work is amazing! Great advice too!

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