March 2019

Lines And Fades

Rudin Rashid Rudin Rashid Rudin Rashid Rudin Rashid Rudin Rashid Rudin Rashid Rudin Rashid Rudin Rashid Text: Oliver Georgiou Images: Rudin & Joey Rashid

Melbourne based Rudin Rashid is a long-time drawing fanatic, his Copic 1.00 mm pen has taken him on many a journey, from zine making to tee-shirt design, exhibiting his artwork in gallery spaces and now into the realm of ink in skin. After tattooing his family and friends over the past couple of years Rudin has joined Waycool Tattoo in the outer Melbourne suburb of Dandenong and is honing his skills and making beautiful tattoos happen. Oliver Georgiou managed to catch with him to talk about making the transition to illustrating skin and how the love buzz is treating him.

Oliver Georgiou: You’ve been tattooing for a while now, but I understand that things have started to pick up for you in recent times.
Rudin Rashid: Yeah, I was tattooing at a previous studio since October last year and before that was just a lot of work from home and it was kind of progressing but I have joined a new studio, so I’m out in Dandenong at the moment at Waycool which just started last week and that was the next step in me tattooing. I was doing as much as could without having a strong amount of peers and good tattooists around pushing me so now I’m getting involved in a good busy street shop. I’m doing a little bit of custom work but tons of people are coming in to get tattooed, you know Dandenong is a big hub for it, I didn’t realise how big it was out there. Now I’m more focusing on tattooing as a career, as a long-term thing I’ve been able to push and get solid hours there so I will be able to progress a lot faster. I feel as though it’s the birth of my next lot of tattooing in a way, I’ve been doing a lot of stuff until now from home, a lot of stuff that I enjoy doing and now I’m getting into working more consistently rather that doing something here and something there or being in a quiet studio, now it’s an every day thing, a constant learning experience, being pushed by people around you.

OG: Looking at drawings and zines that you have done in the past a lot of your creations are line based, your style has for a long time lent itself to tattooing.

RR: Yeah, all of my stuff has always been kind of line based and it does help me out with tattooing. A lot of the tattoos that I draw, if given the chance to custom draw something, are very illustrative based, built in clean, solid line work. And that’s why I love the old school traditional tattooing as well, a lot of it is based on heavy big thick lines. Newer art that I have been doing in Illustrator also consists of lots of solid lines and gradient work, which again reflects back on my tattooing as well. My earliest recollection of doing tons of drawing was all comic based, that’s why loved doing the early zines, it was all based on big thick lines and lots of black ink.

OG: Are there any particular motifs that get you going more than others?

RR: I’m into quirky things, I like to give things a bit of a spin, I mean at the moment insects have been a big thing, the last exhibition I had I did a couple of paintings of insects, kind of deconstructing them and reconstructing them in my own light. Lately I have been working on taking insect anatomies and really stripping them back and making them only an insect idea and then adding things like all seeing eyes and blood drops, just little random bits and pieces to kind of recreate them as my own. I have also been drawing a lot of horse drawn carts lately, taking the horse drawn cart, which in reality has heaps of line work in it, bringing it right back, almost streamlining it, giving the lines heaps more definition and depth. I love working with animals, owls, birds, roses, hearts, I love drawing books and keys, I’m into symbology.

OG: Your brother Joey has heaps of your tattoos, has having people around you willing to slip you some skin been helpful for getting your confidence up to tattoo people you don’t know?

RR: It has and it hasn’t, it’s ace because I always love tattooing Joey, he is into really good subject matter, he likes me to draw it up and I kind of get free reign with him and that’s been great and I love doing it. It does give me confidence with line work and with shading and putting colour in, as like the fundamentals of tattooing, but I guess when you get into the studio and people come in and don’t want what you’ve got, sometimes they come in with their own ideas and come in with stuff that’s really finicky like tiny little lettering on wrists and this stuff that your so not used to. It’s the same with anything, if you do a tattoo that you’ve designed and you love you are going to do it in the way you want to do it, where as if someone comes in and wants something completely out of your element it’s tricky, you get curve balls thrown at you everyday. You have to change your approach and you have to change the way you kind of look at it as well, because you are like, well I’ve done this before maybe and a lot of it is new to me as well. It has been great being able to tattoo my brother and friends a like, including my girlfriend Brook, I’ve done a fair few tattoos on her and that’s helped me out heaps, but I’m still learning something new everyday whether it’s a new needle configuration or something your machine is doing, I don’t think you ever stop learning in that field.

OG: I think that it would be intriguing to know and learn about the tools of the trade, is it something you are into?

RR: It’s it totally intriguing. It’s intriguing how people have different approaches to it, with the way different people tattoo. I’m into traditional tattooing so I tend to use a lot of solid line work and tones of black shading with highlights of bright contrasting colours and stuff. Where as one of the guys at the studio does big Asian and Japanese works so he uses these completely different needles that I’ve never used before and his approach is totally different to mine. There are so many aspects of the machinery that are amazing that you can pick up from other people just even down to how they run their machines and their attitude toward doing certain things. It’s crazy everyone does something slightly different and you know there is a basis of how you do things and everyone just does what works for them. Sometimes your machines are fine and then you will do a tattoo and it won’t run right, because you’ve got your power supply as well, which is a whole other issue, you get machines running too hard or running too soft, they heat up, you have to always check that the machine is running okay and that the springs are in order, I don’t even pretend to know a great deal about my machines yet.

OG: When you are looking for reference do you have certain tattoo artists, movements or groups through out the history of tattooing that you are inspired by, or do you get your motivation from a lot of different sources?

RR: There is, I tend to read a lot of magazines as well, there are some really good tattoo magazines that you can get that come with really great comprehensive interviews and discs as well which show artist working. That is one thing I am totally addicted to, watching people tattoo, I love watching people outline for some reason and it’s just one of those things because every time you watch something like that you can absorb information from it, just watching how they work and seeing things you can try. So, yeah there are always artist that I am constantly looking at, there is a great machine maker Seth Ciferri who is just amazing, he is constantly making new machines.

I own and tattoo with a couple of his machines so I am constantly looking at what he is doing with his machines and how he breaks new ground with them. It’s the same with a couple of artists that I love, I’m constantly looking at their websites or MySpace, just to see what they are doing and how they are reinventing themselves. Stuff can sometimes get stale in that classic style of tattooing when people keep repeating same imagery, it’s really refreshing to see artists who are pushing it. A lot of tattooing is reference work and it can come from anywhere, I have heaps of books just on flowers and decorative iron work, banners and scrolls, the dynamic drawing of wrinkles and creases and stuff like that. I looked in my cupboard the other day and there was a lemon olive oil in there, the picture on it is of a Spanish girl holding a bowl of fruit and I have blown the picture up because it’s amazing!                     

OG: Have you got any exciting upcoming tattoos and/or projects on the cards?

RR: Yeah, I’ve got some good exciting ones and I’ve got some good scary ones as well. One of my friends wants a big octopus/ship rib scene, I haven’t tattooed many ribs and they are pretty hard so that’s going to be exciting and a bit scary at the same time. I’m finishing a big piece on my girlfriend’s back at the moment that is a really cool snake and rose combination, my little brother Joey is constantly coming up with new ideas of stuff that he wants but it’s getting to a point where I just don’t have enough time to do tattoos at home.

I think that the new and exciting stuff will be the people that just walk into the shop and just want whatever it is that they want, that’s the way you learn and get your speed up, just pumping out tones of walk in stuff. I want to work on some more zines when I get the chance, I did a bunch of water colour paintings last October and was involved in a couple of exhibitions that were well received which was great because I hadn’t painted in ages. I’m also currently working on my website and I’m also about to do another run of t-shirts before I go to Japan so the Order De Chico thing is still rolling. Other than that, just pumping out the tattoos, I just want to knuckle down, pump them out, build my skill level and just kind of smash it really.

Rudin Rashid

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