Ching interviews Jimmy Shy

What is your background and how you got started tattooing?
When I was 16 years old I was watching my friend getting a tattoo and it was mind blowing to see this way to create something so permanent. I started tattooing officially as a job after my military service.

Would you like to tell us the most important steps in your career?
When I went to the London Tattoo Convention 10 years anniversary. It definitely opened my eyes… there were so many good artists from all over the world tattooing in front of me, it was pretty amazing! After that trip, I started thinking about so many cool things on my own.

Could you name three adjectives which describe your tattoos?
I always want to make my tattoos to look more natural, historical and cute, good looking.

And three which describe you as a person?
Im very friendly, shy and happy most of the times.

Do you have a subject or something which you’re particularly passionate about?
I like Taiwanese or any kind of religions temple art, folk art style. About life, especially praying for good luck or power.

Who are your mentors? And who do you admire now – in art, and in life?
My mentor is Benjamine Lee from NN8 tattoo. He was the very first artist who focused on
western tattoo style in Taiwan. He showed me magazines, flash books he bought during his traveling. Not only about tattooing but also about being part of the community and respect what our senior tattooists did in Taiwan. Getting tattooed by Chad Koeplinger blew my mind… he does some guest spots at my shop from time to time and I admire his skills and speed, the attitude of being a professional tattooist, and the way he builds his unique, strong style of tattoo naturally. Gus from Fineline Tattoo Japan in Yokohama is definitely a big influence on my tattoo life. He told me once, “if you treat tattoo well, tattoo will treat you well as well. Not only financially but more than that”. We talk about machines, what is original all the time. It is fun.

Where are you working at the moment, and what dreams do you harbour for the future?
I’m working in Taipei, Taiwan. It’s one of the best places in Asia for tattooing. I wish every customer here could understand more about tattoos. Every different places, different styles of tattoo culture.

What are your thoughts regarding tattooing, at this particular historic moment?
I started tattooing right before internet things explosion. Watch it growing every single
day, bigger and faster. The new information about supplies and references makes the
tattooists force the new changing. But if we talk about tattoo itself, it’s still one guy
making a tattoo on another guy who accept it. I wish I can keep it simple every day and facing the new challenge.

What advice would you give to young people who are interested in following this career path?
Everything takes time. Building your tattoo art naturally and doing fun and cool stuff
from your heart. I really like Sailor Jerry’s business card, it says “My work speaks for itself”. This is what I say to myself on a daily basis and keep it in my mind as guide of my career.

Contact name: JimmyShy
Studio 你好紋身HelloTattooStudio
Email: htstaipei@gmail.com
IG: @jimmyshy
Facebook: Hello Tattoo Studio