We Interviewed California Based Artist Kelly Scott Orr otherwise known as 'Teen Hearts Tattoos' and asked 5 Important Questions...
1)How long have you been tattooing? What was the main reason behind the choice to become a tattooer?
I have only been tattooing for 5 years. I got into the industry a little late as I have a graphic design background. I was doing that for 10+ years, working for every band, record label and clothing brand under the sun before I finally realized I wanted to start tattooing. Since the first time I got tattooed the passion to tattoo was always there but I just knew the industry was so cut throat and I felt no one wanted new people to come into it. I finally got enough balls and had enough people tell me that I needed to tattoo. So I did. I had a great opportunity that fell into my lap and I took it. End of story.
2)What are your influences/ Who inspires you the most?
I try really hard not to be influenced by other tattooers as much as this question begs for that. I want to keep my style unique. I go to a lot of museums and look at a lot of vintage Victorian books. I base a lot of my lady heads off of physical people such as Lily Elsie or Marie Doro to keep my lady face structures similar. (Shhhh don’t tell anyone). I try to add different elements to my tattoos to make them stand out. Tattooers that I think absolutely shred... The best in the game right now, no questions asked is Ivan Antonyshev. He’s one of my best buds and all around amazing people. If you don’t follow him, you’re crazy. Derek Billingsley absolutely rules, Zack Denis does some of the coolest black work around, Mike Adams is a beast that always comes up with original and unique concepts and let’s end this list with, SeanFromTexas. Yes people give him a hard time because he does such controversial tattoos but he pushes the limits and makes people think. Isn’t that what we are all supposed to be doing?
3)Can you talk a little bit about your journey to your current style?
In the beginning I used a lot of Warhol inspired color schemes and tried to do a little more of a graphic, cartoony style but I get sick of things quickly and realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore and wanted to add more detail and structure to my pieces. I think when people start out they hide behind the big bold lines which was what I was doing. It’s way harder to tattoo with smaller groupings so I changed it up, mainly to challenge myself. I think I have finally found my style that I enjoy doing, but we shall see. Maybe I’ll start hand poking space ships next. JOKES!
4) Do you think there are challenges in being a tattoo artist?
Ummmmmm, absolutely every single aspect of it. It’s hard to find someone to teach you, it’s hard to convince people you have what it takes, then once you get past that which is already a nightmare, the real nightmare begins. It’s hard to figure out your machines, it’s hard to figure out how fast to run them, what needle groupings to use, what ink to use, what style you want to do and the list goes on. I have said this before and I will say it again, tattooing is by farrrrrrrr the toughest medium to master and I will never be as good as I want to be and that is what drives me to continue doing it.
5) Favourite thing about being a tattoo artist?
My favorite thing about being a tattoo artist is being able to create a piece of finished art on someone’s body every single day and seeing how stoked they are when they leave. Tattoos give people confidence and I’m glad I can assist them in being a little cooler than they were when they came in. Haha
HUGE THANK YOU Kelly for sharing this with us.
You can find Kelly's work on Instagram @teenheartstattoos
For appointments contact: TeenHeartsTattoos@gmail.com