Classics never go out of style, which is a useful attribute when talking about a piece of art that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Black and gray might not be as flashy and exciting as some of the new tattoo trends, but you can rest assured that you won’t regret this decision a few decades from now. Becky Salter understands this and specializes in black and gray, producing incredibly sick portraits. Learn more about the talented Aussie in our interview below.
Tell us a little about who you are.
My name is Becky Salter, I am from Melbourne, Australia. I am the owner of Reverence Tattoo, we have / own two locations, Oakleigh (which I work with) and Richmond (minutes from the CBD). I have been a tattoo artist for 12 years and specialize in black and gray tattoos.
When did you first discover the love of art?
My love of art started very, very young, maybe around the age of 4. I drew art for my friends in school, I hosted little art galleries in my room for my family to see. I knew it was my passion and that one day I would make art for a living.
How did you start your tattoo career? Did you do an apprenticeship or learn on your own?
I started my apprenticeship in 2010, and I fell in love with tattooing. I have found that other mediums do not have the same passion as creating a tattoo. I graduated in a year and started tattooing full time from there.
How is the tattoo scene in Melbourne?
Melbourne as a city in general is very cosmopolitan. The demand for good quality tattoo art is very high. I think that’s great, because I always find myself raising the bar, challenging myself a little more, striving for perfection in every piece that I make.
How did you find your way to black and gray?
Before the idea of ââtattooing even germinated in my mind, I was a portrait painter, creating custom graphite portraits of pets, family members, and more. So I have always preferred to work in black and gray.
What about black and gray continues to inspire you? What do you find most difficult about styling?
I find it timeless, classic and pleasing to the eye. It captures a moment in time, especially a tattooed portrait of a loved one, it brings you back to the moment that photo was taken, like a keepsake you can wear forever! I think that’s what I love the most about it.
This can be difficult at times when a client wants a portrait of maybe a grandparent, and the only image they have is a wallet-sized photo that was taken when they were young. The photo needs to be enhanced through Photoshop first before it can be used for tattooing.
Do you ever work in color?
Not usually. I am too much in love with black and gray and I like to learn every day how to improve my techniques in this department.
What are some of your favorite subjects for tattooing?
I like the mythology of any culture. In particular, I like stylized female portraits. Roman, Greek, Nordic are a few to mention. Perhaps a female Valkyrie, or a goddess with an ornate mystical helmet, etc.
What’s the key to capturing the essence of someone in a portrait?
Oh I love the portrait. The key to capturing the essence of a portrait is the very reason I love creating it so much: it’s all in the eyes, the window to the soul!
How would you describe your signature style?
I think my signature style would be beautiful women with sweet angelic faces. I like the attention to detail. I think my tattoos have a very feminine touch. Having said that, my male clientele is as important as my female clientele, so I think my style is suitable for everyone.
What are the most valuable life lessons you have learned from tattooing?
Being able to create a portrait of a loved one for a client is such an honor. Being able to offer something so precious, and having them literally in tears of how much they love it, for me is the greatest blessing. I am very touched by what I do.
What other artistic mediums have you worked in?
I have done large-scale paintings on the walls in community centers and local business gyms. I also paint and gold leaf on canvas for commissions in my spare time.
Can you explain your design process to us?
I do a first consultation with my client to get an idea of ââthe direction in which he wants to go. I research some ideas and start to create a design using Photoshop. Once the design is created and stenciled on the skin, I spend some time drawing additional movements and elements onto the piece, working with the contours of the body to create a fluid mural, where everything has its place and its place. goal.
What’s one tattoo that you are dying to get that you haven’t had a chance to work on yet?
I’ve done celebrity portraits, but I’d really love to do a full sleeve of 1950s Hollywood stars (something like Gottfried Helnwein’s âBlvd of Broken Dreamsâ artwork).