Tattoo Artist Interview – Sarah Carter Schor
Based at London’s highly esteemed Sang Bleu tattoo studio, Sarah Carter Schor’s work reveals influences from fine art, religious iconography and her own unique life experiences. Sarah will be tattooing this weekend at The Tattoo Collective; we caught up to find out more about her work and what she has in store for us at the Convention…
How did you become involved with the tattoo world, and what was your apprenticeship experience like?
I got into tattooing almost by chance. A tattoo shop opened up literally across the street from where I was living in Edinburgh and I loved the traditional tattoo imagery I saw in the windows. I went in there out of curiosity but, long story short, ended up working as the receptionist and became the apprentice.
Having followed your work since the early days, you have continued to develop a distinguishing style that is instantly identifiable. How do you feel your work has evolved over the years, and how would you describe your style today?
I never set out to have a style. I just wanted to make good tattoos but I guess my own visual language from my art work and the influence around me from other tattooers coloured what you would consider to be ‘my style’ today. I find it quite depressing how a lot of younger tattooers are so concerned with this now. I feel it’s going to ultimately fragment the world of tattooing and disassemble it into an online world of egos.
Outside of the tattoo world, which artists inspire or influence your work?
A multitude! I love all types of art. I guess I can trace back to when I used to visit the Prado in Madrid every year from when I was a child. The huge Velazquez paintings, the Van Der Weyden ‘Descent from the Cross’, Goya, Bosch. Aside from this I love artists such as the Chapman brothers and Sue Webster. I love art but things all around me influence my own work more. My life experiences.
There are some recurrent subjects that appear throughout your work, such as cell patterns and religious iconography. Can you explain how these themes developed?
A lot of this imagery stems from my art work which I was making long before tattooing. I guess the cells come from the fact that both my parents were scientists so, growing up, I was always surrounded by this kind of imagery. Religious iconography is something I’ve always been drawn to as it has a real graphic power which can’t be denied. I love the rich drama of Catholic imagery. Velvet and incense; it’s very seductive.
You welcomed a daughter in 2014. Has parenthood inspired your creative process in any way?
Yeah, she’s amazing. I’d say it alters rather than inspires, haha. Having a kid completely changes your life in every way so there’s no way it won’t affect your work. Time is the biggest factor that changes. You simply have a lot less of it so the way you approach your work and creative process has to change. As a mother this can be challenging but I feel I’m coming into a really good phase where I’m learning how to integrate all the different aspects of my life better now.
Do you have any guest spots or new projects approaching in 2017?
I’m going to be working at Kings Avenue Tattoo in NYC in April which is where I used to work when I lived in New York. It’s an amazing shop full of a lot of talent. I may also do a few other guest spots closer to home. I worked at Rain City in Manchester and Rag and Bone in Norwich last year and loved both those places so hopefully will get to visit them again soon. Aside from that I’m always trying to make time in the studio for my art work and my writing. I have an article coming out later this year in Gut magazine which I’m looking forward to.
Lastly, what do you have in store for The Tattoo Collective?
I’m going to be working from some new flash as well as my book of designs so expect a lot of weird little bangers! Aside from that some awesome new long sleeves and prints of the new big flash sheet! I’m excited… it’s been a while since I’ve done a convention so I’m looking forward to it. Thanks!
Stop by the Sang Bleu booth to take a look at Sarah’s newest works this weekend at The Tattoo Collective. Advance Tickets are now on sale; get yours today!