Victor J. Webster tells us about the challenges of drawing on skin.

What’s It Like to Be a Tattoo Artist?

What’s It Like to Be a Tattoo Artist?

What do you do all day?
July 15 2018 2:00 PM

How Does a Tattoo Artist Do His Job?

Meet Victor J. Webster, a tattoo artist who specializes in spectacular, large-scale pieces of body art.

180715_WORKING_Tattoo-Artist
Victor J. Webster.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Shinichi Tsutsui.

Listen to Working via Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.

This week, Jordan talks with Victor J. Webster of Brooklyn’s East River Tattoo, who specializes in striking, large-scale pieces of body art inspired by Polynesian traditions. Victor discusses why working in black ink is trickier than you think, how tattoo machines actually work, his techniques for coaching clients through pain, and how he strives to draw inspiration from foreign cultures without simply appropriating them. While you’re listening, check out his work on Instagram.                                                                                               

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You can email us at working@slate.com.
Podcast production by Jessamine Molli.

Jordan Weissmann is Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.