Graham Beech describes his style as “Contemporary Traditional”, influenced by Sailor Jerry and Ed Hardy, but also inspired by lots of great artists such as Chris Garver, Frank Romano, Regino Gonzalo, Valerie Vargas, Grez… From his “Made To Last Tattoo” studio, in Charlotte (NC) please welcome Mister Graham Beech!
Hi Graham, thank you for this interview. I would like to start this chat with a simple question: what does the word “Traditional” mean to you?
To me “Traditional” in a tattoo motif means iconic style that is instantly recognizable. No matter what object the imagery is on.
How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as “Contemporary Traditional”. Attempting to capture the feeling of a folk style traditional tattoo while incorporating more dimension and energy.
Tell us more about your background… How did you become a tattoo artist?
I spent a lot of time around the punk music scene and everyone had tattoos. Through my friends in that world I started working at a tattoo shop and eventually my drawing ability was noticed. I was offered the opportunity to tattoo. Shortly after completing my apprenticeship I moved to NYC and jumped into tattooing head first.
What were your influences and references in the past and what are they now?
Early on in my tattoo career I was influenced by Sailor Jerry and Ed Hardy like most of my peers. Now I’m trying to build on those original influences with art from anything I come across. There are so many talented people producing amazing art in every medium. The inspiration is endless. If I’m forced to only name a few in tattooing, my top personal influences have been Chris Garver, Frank Romano, Regino Gonzalo, Valerie Vargas, Grez.
Are there any subjects you love the most?
Tigers and Dragons have been my favorite subjects recently. Although, I truly love tattooing almost everything.
Where are you working at the moment?
I’m currently working at Made To Last Tattoo. Located in Charlotte, (NC) USA. I’m fortunate to work with a lot of great people. It’s been a good place for me.
Are there any plans for the future you would like to share?
My life in tattooing is a constant evolution. I really appreciate those who choose to get tattooed by me and I want to make sure I have a welcoming space where clients enjoy spending time.
Where I can share my collection of original art and hopefully pass on an appreciation for the things that inspire me.
Is there anything you’d like to add before we say goodbye?
Tattooing is everything to me. I hope I can continue to grow and share my love for this craft for a long time. Thank you Tattoo Life for taking the time to talk with me.