Charlee Darwin is a 24 year old tattoo artist who is based at Tattoos at 58 in the heart of Stafford. In 5 years of tattooing Charlee has achieved a lot, she’s done numerous guest spots around the UK and Europe and has a stunning portfolio built up, featuring anything from dot work to bold traditional animals. Her skills are seriously versatile, despite her main style being neotrad you can tell she is super passionate about every tattoo she does and she’s an artist worth visiting. So here’s what happened when we asked Charlee Darwin some questions:
The one I am sure everyone asks, how did you get into tattooing?
I showed my portfolio to people and asked about at tattoo studios until someone finally said yes to having me there. It can be quite difficult to find someone who wants you to be their apprentice, but with the right work ethic and good drawing skills, you’re in with a pretty good chance. I’m actually still working at the same studio I started in.
Where did the name Charlee Darwin come from?
My name is Charlotte so that’s why I go by Charlee, and then Darwin was given to me as a nickname by Alby, purely because of Charles Darwin.
Alby was who taught Charlee the ropes (how to tattoo) and was her mentor throughout her time as an apprentice.
What is your all-time favourite tattoo you have done?
It’s hard to say, as I do tattoos all the time where I’m like “Yeah, this one is my favourite!” and then the week after, I’ll change my mind. One that has stuck with me though is a girl with a candle I did at my very first convention around 4 years ago.
If you could pick any tattoo artist in the world to get tattooed by, who would you pick?
There are so many that again it’s really hard to pin-point just one, but I’d have to say Rebecca Blair at the moment. Her stuff is so beautiful. Everything she does is stunning.
How many tattoos (roughly) do you have?
I think the last time I counted, I had around 40. I’m really not that tattooed, I only have tattoos on my arms and legs currently. I’m trying to pluck up the courage to have my chest tattooed. We’ll see.
The ‘weirdest’ tattoo you’ve been asked to do?
I had to do a negative silhouette of a saxophone in watercolour on a toe once. I don’t think I’ve been able to top that one.
If you could share a piece of advice for someone who wants to get into tattooing what would you say to them?
Tattooing is not a hobby. If you think it’ll be easy and like a normal job, then you’re wrong. It will consume your life. If you aren’t ready to dedicate most of your time to working, then this isn’t the career for you.
Any tattoo artists you’d recommend checking out?
Here are some great artists;
Flo, La Vida Buena tattoo, Hamburg. (@lavidabuenatattoo)
Federico Galdangelo, Satatttvision, Milan. (@federico_galdangelo)
Clare Clarity, Hot Copper Studio, Melbourne. (@clareclarity)
Hugo, Seoul. (@hugocide)
Danny Potter, Cobra Club Tattoo, Leeds. (@blakstuff)
Filip Henningsson, Red Dragon, Sweden. (@rdtattoofilip)
Thanks for the recommendations and allowing us to interview you, Charlee.