My Spanish Career

‘A lad wanted F**k Off tattooed across forehead’

'A lad wanted F**k Off tattooed across forehead'
Tattoo artist Steve Hezzell with his wife, Henry. Photo courtesy of Steve Hezzell.
In this week's My Spanish Career The Local chats to Steve Hezzell, an award-winning British tattoo artist and owner of Beyond Reality tattoo studio in Benidorm.

What brought you to Spain?

The main thing that brought us to Spain was the change in weather and climate; we were sick of the weather in the UK. We also thought it was time to make a change in our lives as our children had grown up.

How did you get into tattooing?

I first started the art of tattooing at the age of 9 with my uncle.  When I turned 18 I opened my own professional and fully licensed tattoo studio and haven’t looked back since.  Tattooing is in my blood and heart. I had successful tattoo studios in Mablethorpe and Loughborough in the UK before making the decision to move to Benidorm in 2006.

What are the good and bad points about living and working in Benidorm?

Benidorm can be pretty seasonal and there are tattoo studios popping up all over in the back of hairdressers etc, often they are not licensed and get away with producing dreadful permanent ink! The good points about working in Benidorm are our regular clients who make our job worthwhile. Another good point is the shorter hours in winter, which mean we have more time to enjoy ourselves and be holidaymakers.

Is working as a tattoo artist different in Spain to in the UK? 

Working in Spain is not much different to tattooing in UK although we do get a lot more different nationalities. We get a lot of British a lot of Norwegians as it’s so much cheaper here for tattoos than Norway. We also get quite a few French customers and also a few Spanish, we’ve noticed an increase in the number of local Spaniards coming to us now.

Do Brits and Spaniards have different tastes when it comes to tattoos?

Generally Spaniards like a lot of the same designs as the English but religious tattoos are definitely more popular with Spaniards.

Tribal tattoos are among the most popular with customers. Photo courtesy of Steve Hezzell. 

Do you get many drunk customers getting tattoos they might regret in the morning? What is the craziest tattoo request you've ever had?

We do not tattoo drunks they can book in for another day when they are sober, ink is for life.  A young lad once wanted Fuck Off tattooed across his forehead obviously this was refused in our studio.  Another more unusual request was a man who wanted a wheelbarrow on one arm and a spade on the other arm as he was a labourer.

What are your most popular designs?

Our Scottish designs are very popular as I draw my own so they are exclusive to this studio. Names and quotes are very popular, as are musical notes and tribal tattoos, but that can be very boring work to do.  Polynesian and Japanese sleeving is also popular.

Beyond Reality Tattoo Studio is fully licensed and also offers private and confidential tarot card reading by Steve's wife Helen. Email: [email protected] Tel: 0034 663703824

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