Everyone likes an underdog; they inspire people often influencing people and the actions they take. It’s not always easy to meet them because they are humble. My job often places me very close to them, and I never get bored as I continually learn. Art takes so many different forms; one of them gained popularity over the last two decades as celebrities from nearly every industry-endorsed it. The artist known as Sami has a story to tell, I am very fortunate to write about it.
His journey started in 2007; back then, he was a young University student who had a dream—born into a Turkish family with a strong work ethic, discipline and high expectations. A strong want and need to be involved in the tattoo scene would see him invest what little money he had, into some basic equipment on eBay.
His journey started in 2007; back then, he was a young University student who had a dream—born into a Turkish Cypriot family with a strong work ethic, discipline and high expectations. A strong want and need to be involved in the tattoo scene would see him invest what little money he had, into some basic equipment on eBay.
Sami needed to apply the theory, and this would see him convincing his closest friends into allowing him to practice on them whilst perfecting his skills. Who would have thought that a TV show called; The Secret screened at two in the morning would prove to be the catalyst and that the purchase of a book would spark the beginnings of a very successful business model.
Were you your parents biggest nightmare, being a tattoo artist wasn’t a respectable job when you wanted to be one?
I was very fortunate; my parents allowed me to be who I wanted to be. They supported me and the decisions I took. My parents were strong motivators for me they both had tattoos. I guess it’s easier to convince when the very concept is endorsed.
If I was young and wanted to enter your sector, what advice would you give me?
I would tell them to work hard to follow their dreams, get an apprenticeship and practice the theory. Having between one and three years in my sector is considered to be Gold. Learning from others and the mistakes they make can enhance your skills.
What skills does a tattoo artist need?
Patience, perseverance, attention to detail, the ability to change and update are all high up there on the list.
“Never be complacent; always be willing to learn”.
Are you a businessman?
I was self-taught, so I earned money the hard way. Reputation means everything to me, and that’s how I built a business. Referrals are how you survive. By default, I guess you could say that there is a part of me that gives my time for money, yes.
It’s my name so I never delegate to others, what I can do myself. I’m an artist, so take pride in the type of work that I do.
I heard that you are involved with a charity, can you tell me more about it?
I’m involved with a non-profit organisation, and it’s called; Gratitude Lifestyle. My best friends are involved, each of us brings something unique towards the same cause. We all co-founded this idea to help the homeless in London and Vic and Moodee work on business development and design, respectively. The idea is based around a lifestyle brand, empowering people through tools and techniques of practising gratitude. We introduce a product range to motivate, teach and inspire you to master your thoughts and manifest your dreams.
I think everyone has a dark period in their lives, and I’m certainly no exception, my troubles fuelled a want and need to help others who are less fortunate in society.
As an organisation, we work with a charity called; Hands on Hands out. They tell us what we need to do to help, which can be anything from providing sleeping bags to serving food.
As our interview drew to a close, I realised that if we were meant to meet people in life who carve out a future, who can make a difference and who can make a difference to society as an individual, Sami was one of them. His creative abilities as a tattoo artist meant he worked with some of the biggest names in the music, television and movie industries—his name on speed dial with celebs from all walks of life who want to experience his talent.
If you would like to get involved with his project and the homeless, I have posted flashing links on images on this article. I hope to catch up with Sami with a follow-up interview in a future edition.