Fergus Simms tattoos American traditional and absolutely kills it! By using his own unique style of heavy lines, vibrant colours and imagery, the work really speaks for itself as a testament to his commitment to the craft. You can find Fergus working at Melbourne Tattoo Company along with a range of other well known artists.
The shop is located in the heart of Melbourne on Somerset Place and if you want a quality tattoo he will definitely sort you out. He is one of the best in Aus and he has answered some questions for us about his life and of course tattooing. Enjoy the read and thanks for coming!
How did you know this is what you wanted to do? Any other jobs before knowing this was the one?
I started working in the shop when I was 19, and tattooing when I was 20 years old. I worked a couple of retail jobs before that, but as soon as I got tattooed I had pretty much decided that this was something I wanted to do. What was your apprenticeship like? Any good stories? I started at Celtic Sun Tattoo in Cranbourne, and was lucky enough to be taught by a great tattooer Laurance Whitfield – check out his work and get tattooed by him, he’s a master of all styles. As far as good stories, I think I had my fair share when working in Frankston a few years later. We had riff raff coming in everyday.
What makes American traditional stand out to you? It looks like a tattoo. Along with the Japanese style, I think it’s the most recognisable images to put on skin.
Is it hard to stand out in the industry? There are a lot of tattooers, so maybe. But I think if you put your head down and do tattoos, paint flash, and treat all jobs/people with respect, people respond well.
Any advice to people trying to get a start as a tattooist? Get tattooed more.
Anything about being a tattoo artist that sucks? Personally I’d take the worst day tattooing, over the best day at another job.
Favourite thing to tattoo? Can’t go wrong with any of the classics. They are timeless for a reason. What's the weirdest tattoo request you have done or been asked to do? There’s a ton. I like doing weird ones too.
Anything off limits? Not interested in tattooing anything racist or anyone’s eyelids. Favourite things to do in Melbourne? Eat out, beach when it’s hot, ride the Scenic Railway at Luna park.
Give us 3 records you're listening to? After almost 4 months inside I’m enjoying the silence. Way less music and movies going on right now.
Give us 3 things you hate? Being glued to the phone , being late, and can’t find the keys.
Give us 3 things you love? work, days off, and getting outside in the sun. Summers coming!
Photo Credit: Rolan John