Looking for top quality realism work? Then take a look at Tattoo Artist, Nicholas Werner Taljaard. Working out of the new FH Black (Fallen Heroes), Nicholas has refined his style and technique to become one of the best in the business, producing tattoos that are true masterpieces.
Name: Nicholas Werner Taljaard
Age: 29 years young
Shop: Fallen Heroes
Years tattooing: 7 years
Tattoo style: Realism colour and grey scale
Hourly rate: R1100ph
Give us some insight into the world of Nicholas?
My world doesn’t consist of as much as most people would think [laughs]. I like the quiet life, chilling on weekends and being in my own mind. I like cars too, a lot, so I go racing with friends…always looking for that extra boost. Other than that, it’s just work. People don’t realise how much of your time/ life gets given to this industry.
Explain your realization point of becoming a full time tattoo artist?
I’m not too sure when I realised that this was what I wanted to do. I just got into the industry and found myself pushing harder each day to better myself. Ever since then each day has been a personal challenge with myself, constantly trying to go further.
What are your pro’s and con’s of the tattoo industry?
Pro’s of the industry – you can stick it to the man, Yeah!
Con’s – there is no such thing as paid leave or benefits [laughs].
How would you best sum up the tattoo world?
It once was a lifestyle for the outlaws, now it’s pure art. We have truly amazing artist tattooing now and it’s definitely become more of an art form all round. People are appreciating tattoos a lot more.
How did you get into the industry and how long did it take you to become a full-fledged tattoo artist?
I got into the industry by pure luck. I know, there are a lot of guys out there that would sell certain body parts to be part of this world. I needed a job, walked passed a tattoo parlour and thought “this could be fun”. Little did I know what it would entail. I did my 2 year apprenticeship, was hell, but super glad I did it that way with who I did it with (Brian Christopher Andrews). After 2 years I started working on some skin.
You are working out of the new FH Black studio. What’s the vibe like in shop?
The new FH black shop is super chilled. It has been setup in way that is out of this world, it’s super relaxing and peaceful. The aim with FH Black is to have a more relaxed and quiet studio. The artists that work at FH Black are artists that do a lot of large scale projects, in a sense it’s for the artists to be more focused on their projects. Don’t get me wrong, the artists at FH Red put the same quality and effort into their work!
What type of tattoos do you enjoy making the most?
I enjoy realism, a little bit of neo traditional every now and then is quite nice too. I guess with realism it’s the biggest challenge, to give something depth on a surface that’s flat and get it to look as real as possible is no easy task!
How do you make sure you keep progressing as an artist?
I push myself by criticizing my own work the hardest. Never be 100 percent happy with what you did, I mean be proud of it but always look for areas to improve. Complacency is a killer, I’ve seen that happen with so many of the artists I used to look up to. You can always be darker, smoother, lighter and more tidy.
What is the most requested tattoo?
Lions, dream catchers, infinity signs, feathers and now the semi colon.
What is one of the more strange requests you’ve received, and did you do it?
[Laughs] I was asked to tattoo two ponies in bondage on husband and wife. I had to do it. I didn’t really ask questions, different strokes for different folks.
Where would you like to see your tattoo career take you?
I’m not too sure where I want to see it take me, I mean I don’t have a set timeline for anything to happen I guess. As it is, my career has made me something I never thought I would be, and for that I am super grateful. I do want to own my own studio one day, but when the time is right.
If you could collaborate with any other artist, who would it be?
There are so many artists I would like to collaborate with and it’s purely for the reason to learn, you can never know enough. They would be, Nikko Hurtado, Steve Butcher, Jason Butcher, and the list goes on and on.
For anyone wanting to get work down by you, what would the next step be?
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org and setup an appointment.
Tattoos by Nicholas