Our Tattoo Artists
At Viking Tattoo Studio, Jarrow, our experienced tattoo artists excel at creating bold, original designs for our clients, or are just as happy to work with you to bring your own ideas to life, or tattoo from our extensive library of flash artwork.
The studio is owned and ran by multi award-winning tattooist Chris Wright, who is an excellent all-round tattoo artist, specialising in Japanese style tattoos, as well as black and grey designs, full colour work, and old or new school designs.
Chris is joined at Viking Tattoo Studio by Gav Martin, who is a talented artist with over ten years of experience, and who splits his time between Viking Tattoos, and Triplesix Studios in Sunderland.
To find out more about our tattooists, the styles in which the specialise, and how they got into tattooing, see their stories below.
Chris Wright is the owner of Viking Tattoo Studio; a highly talented and original tattoo artist with extensive industry experience. During his time as a tattooist, he has gained an excellent reputation for creating top quality designs in a variety of styles, and has a number of award wins for his artistry under his belt!
“For some reason, I was very interested in tattooing from a very early age. As a kid, I was fascinated by my Dad’s old sailor tattoos, and used to pester him for the stories that I had heard a hundred times or more about why, where, and who had tattooed him. I also did this with anyone else I met with tattoos, from my uncles to the older lads at my local boxing gym! I always just loved the idea of something so permanent and decorative in the skin.
As I grew up, I pestered the life out of my Dad for a tattoo of my own, and eventually, he took me to a friend of his who was tattooing locally (in Hebburn) to get my first one – a pair of boxing gloves on my upper left arm (I still have them to this day!). From that moment on, I knew that this was the career I wanted to be in, and spent as much time as possible finding out everything that I could about the art and the methodology.
My first attempts at tattooing were hand poking with a needle and Indian ink, but this was a very slow process. Determined to find my way to a career in tattooing, I then went on to building tattoo machines from all kinds of things, including alarm clocks, tape cassette motors, electric razor motors, and anything else I could get my hands on. In those days, everything was trial and error, (as the internet was not around in 1986!), but with hard word and determination, I eventually became more skilled with the electric razor machine, and a local artist gave me a little weekend job at his shop.
My work improved, and under his guidance, I learnt the essential skills and knowledge about sterilization, machine building, needle making, and colour mixing etc. From there, it was just a matter of time and money before I realised my dream and opened my own place doing what I loved. After saving a bit of cash in 1995, I finally opened Viking Tattoo Studio, in Ellison Street, Jarrow.
After a few years, I started working at various tattoo conventions around the UK, and my artistry started to be recognised with award wins for my work in various tattoo style categories, and also started to do guest artist spots at various shops around the UK. In 2001, I organised Jarrow’s first Tattoo Convention, with 30 working tattoo artists, a custom motor bike show, live bands. With over 2000 of the general public in attendance, the event was an incredible success and a personal high point of my career for me.
Fast forward to today, and I am still as in love with tattooing as ever, and proud to work at the occasional tattoo convention and do the odd guest spot too, giving me the opportunity to take my artwork to more people than ever before. To date, my tattooing has led me to work in countries such as Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, and the USA, which has been an incredible journey for me.
My fascination with tattoo artwork spans the entire spectrum of genres out there, so I don’t really have or stick to one particular style of tattooing, as I enjoy working within all styles and try to be a good all-rounder. For me, it’s always about doing the best I can with whatever the tattoo, and bringing the client’s dreams to life so that it fits their own vision, and produces a piece of art that they are happy to wear for the rest of their lives. As a personal preference though, I do enjoy and specialise in the larger scale tattoo work, such as full arm and leg sleeves, complete back pieces, and body suits of black and grey work, colour, and also a lot of Japanese style, which is I guess what I am now best known for. But from the tiniest little personal piece, photo-realistic work, to massive full on body suits, I pride myself in always give 100% regardless. Tattooing to me is not just a job, it’s a way of life, and a life that I love.”
“I was first attracted to tattooing when I was around 12. As a kid my neighbour was a tattooist and was fascinated with the idea from then. He attempted to keep me from mixing with the wrong crowd etc. by getting me involved in drawing small tattoo designs for him to tattoo, and if one of my designs were tattooed, he would give me a few quid. Overtime, I drifted away from the idea of tattooing into a dead end security job, until December 2012, when I decided it was time to follow what I really wanted to do and got into tattooing.
I first started off tattooing a few friends from a biker tattoo studio in Sunderland, before moving around the corner to Robs Tattooz in 2013 (also based in Sunderland). I absorbed as much information as I could from books, forums, and friends in the industry, until a position became available at Viking Tattoo Studio, where things started to get interesting. I learned a lot of old school tricks of the trade, such as how to build a machine properly, how to make your own needles, clip cords and more. I found myself wanting to learn more and more about the arts of tattooing and art in general.
I now split my time between Viking Tattoo Studio in Jarrow, and Triplesix Studios in Sunderland. I consider myself an all-round tattoo artist, but do have a few styles I prefer doing if given the chance. I particularly enjoy doing realism such as portraits, skulls and roses etc., and Japanese styles, but I still get just as excited to do the little walk-in tattoos – I guess I’m just happy doing what I love!”