Apprentice love: Beth Kweeday

We instantly fell in love with the fun and bright tattoos Beth Kweeday creates at Bold As Brass Tattoo Company, Liverpool. We caught up with the tattoo apprentice to find out more about her style and life as an apprentice…

How long have you been apprenticing and how did you get your apprenticeship? I’ve been apprenticing since September 2020! I can’t give too much away, but I pretty much dedicated my entire last year of university to building a portfolio for apprenticeship hunting. So I had a good stack of work I could put towards it (I don’t think my uni tutors were very happy about it, but oh well). 

What drew you to the tattoo world? My mum, mostly. She has been getting tattooed for years and I would go with her to studios as much as I could. I was fascinated by it from a young age and couldn’t believe that people could make a living by putting cool art on people’s bodies, it blew my mind and I knew I didn’t want to do anything else! 

Can you tell us about your own tattoos and your first tattoo? I have quite a lot of tattoos, I got my first one at 17 and didn’t start getting any colour until I was 23, so I’m like 85% blackwork! My first tattoo was a little moth on the side of my ribs, done by Carole (@khan.juhoor) who I still love dearly, and I still love my tattoo!

I remember coming home after that trip and being the first one out of my friends to get tattooed and thinking I was the hottest shit EVER.

I also have a life size tattoo of a vegan sausage roll from Greggs, done by my mentor Rachel Baldwin, which is probably my favourite tattoo! 

Do you have a favourite tattoo experience? I have enjoyed all my tattoo experiences! I’m really lucky to be friends with a lot of the artists who’ve tattooed me, and they’ve all been amazing every time. Ones where I get to choose the music are always good though! 

How would you describe your style? I think I would describe my style as girlie traditional? I do a lot of fine line and blackwork stuff, but my biggest love is with bold lines and bright colours. Which is crazy because when I first got my apprenticeship, I had NO interest in colour whatsoever.

I was convinced I was going to be doing a lot of solid black, almost ignorant kind of tattooing. But, I guess apprenticing under Nick and Rachel Baldwin opened me up to a whole new style of tattooing and now I couldn’t be happier with where my work is going! 

What inspires you and what do you like to tattoo? I’m inspired by a lot of things, the people I work alongside, my friends and family, traditional tattooing, flowers and anything botanical, absolutely loads.

I love tattooing lots of things, I love doing fine line work, blackwork, colour, everything! But my favourite would just be anything where I can tattoo a bold line. Top tier satisfaction feeling, honestly. 

You do handpoke and machine tattooing, do you have a favourite? I love hand poking and machine for different reasons. I find handpoke tattooing very therapeutic and I totally appreciate the fact that it’s a preference to those looking to get tattooed.

But, because of the style of work I draw, machine tattooing is definitely better for it! So I would have to say machine is my favourite. 

What’s been the best part of your apprenticeship so far and what have you found the hardest? I couldn’t pinpoint an exact moment in my apprenticeship that’s been my absolute favourite, there’s been a few wow moments though. Tattooing my first grapefruit, finally getting the hang of setting up a coil machine and tattooing my boyfriend who was the first real person I got to tattoo!

Also helping out at Brighton and Leeds tattoo conventions, I had never been to Brighton before so that was super exciting! The Leeds convention was actually held right outside my university accommodation, and it was a crazy moment looking at my old bedroom window and thinking that five years ago I had no idea I would be where I am today. That was a weird feeling! 

I haven’t found anything particularly hard apart from actually learning how to tattoo! It’s super challenging and I am always learning new things, the best part about it is that you’re always learning, no matter how long you’ve been doing it. But it’s the best job in the world. 

Be sure to follow Beth to see more of her awesome bold tattoos.

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