20 year old Rory Ellerton is an aspiring tattoo artist living in Leicester with his partner and 1-year-old son Alfie. Rory works in a specific way where his work consists of unique black layerings to create a textured look, this allows the pieces to become recognisable as his own work and style.
How did you first find your own style?
When I decided to get into tattooing I wanted a unique style I could brand myself around and something that would make me stand out. After a lot of trial and error I did a small wolf series in this new style and knew it was what I wanted. I still want to develop and improve it some more but I’m pretty happy with where I’m at right now.
What inspires you?
I am constantly inspired by other artists I follow and film/television also; but my son influences me the most. He makes me want to push myself and be successful so I can provide a good life for our little family.
How has your son influenced you and your work?
He’s actually the reason I got into tattooing! My partner fell pregnant with him whilst I was at university studying Animation, I was doing tattoo designs in my spare time at this point but with a baby on the way I had to make a serious choice about what I wanted to do with my life. Not wanting to waste another two years at University I left to pursue a career in tattooing so I could start earning a living. It turned out to be the right choice as I’m happier than ever and love where I’m at right now. He’s a little young to fully understand my work and what I do but I always encourage him to draw and be creative. My dad always told me to spend my time doing something I enjoyed and he’s the reason I pursued a career in art. I hope I can similarly inspire Alfie to be whatever he wants to be and do what he loves.
What role does an artist play in this kind of society do you think?
I think as an artist it’s our job to bring a bit of creativity into peoples everyday lives. You may not realise it but art is all around you everywhere you go. The world would be a pretty dull place without art.
Any obstacles you have faced?
Time is definitely the biggest obstacle I've faced. It’s been very difficult trying to regularly create artwork when I've been busy with various day jobs and looking after my son. It’s taught me to use my free time more productively and that a good sleep schedule is very important. I used to stay up till 3/4 in the morning drawing but then it has a knock on effect and you’re ruined the next day. I’m in a good routine now and hopefully will be making even more work this year.
What advice would you give to other aspiring artists
I would say to anyone serious about becoming an artist that social media like Instagram is a great tool for getting your stuff out there but your work is more important. Focus on what you enjoy and practice practice practice. Eventually your skill and style will develop and then once you’re happy with what you’re creating you can begin to build a following for your work.