Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Meet Leigh Oldcorn!

August 16th, 2010 by

I like Leigh Oldcorn.  It doesn’t take long to like him, either.  His work is characterized by a lot of black and grey, which is filled with a variety of influences from other tattoo genres.  It might sound odd, but is was something about the way that Oldcorn tattoos roses that really got me to take a deeper look at his work.  To put into words exactly what it is about Oldcorn’s roses that I like so much probably won’t do any justice to the work.  I think that all I can say is that the work completely nailed my attention.  Does any more need to be said?  If you’re doing the sort of work that immediately gets people’s attention and makes them want to see more of what you can do, then I’d say there isn’t much more you can ask for.  You’re doing everything that you need to be doing as a tattooist.

Which is why Leigh Oldcorn’s stuff is so good: it is unpretentious.  It is subtle.  And it is the end result of much hard work, dedication and due paying.  Leigh Oldcorn knows the value of hard work and the importance of being available for his clientele.  Perhaps most importantly, he remains humbled by the success that he has seen and recognizes that the people he work for matter.  That sort of humility can’t help but form a mutual trust and respect between tattooist and client, which I feel is essential to anyone’s tattoo experience.

“Ooooh, I have lots of them, yeah I have lots of ideal customers. My actual customers. I am not joking it’s a compliment that they choose me to do their work, that they spend an hour or two in my shop. They could go anywhere else but they don’t, they choose our shop and a lot of them will say ‘do what you want’, and that’s a compliment. When you get given a theme and can do what you want. Those are good customers, the ones that let you do what you want and trust you to do it well.”

Leigh Oldcorn has been tattooing since the 80’s.  In other words, he’s been tattooing longer than some of you reading this have been on this earth.  His struggle to get to where he is today as owner of Cosmic Tattoo in Colchester, England has been a lengthy one that more or less began when he dropped out of school at age 16.  Oldcorn began sketching and showing his work to various tattoo studios in the hopes of any kind of job.  He eventually settled in at a shop just basically helping the tattoo artist around the shop, cleaning, etc, and little by little he began to build the knowledge needed to strike out on his own.  It wasn’t until 1998 and many jobs at many different tattoo shops that Leigh Oldcorn finally managed to set up his very own studio.  That studio is Cosmic Tattoo.

“Why is it that all these tattooists are bitching and moaning these days? I read that tattooists are whinging, saying ‘I am booked 3 months in advance, I’m a slave to my shop,’ It’s like mate, you are on at least 50 quid an hour yeah, you get to draw on people and it’s not exactly a hard life. It’s not like working at McDonalds taking shit all day so stop whinging and just enjoy it. Rejoice and think ‘thank God I have the privilege to do what I do.’”

How can you not love this guy?

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