SOUND STORY

Southern Telegraph - - News - El­lie Honey­bone

Grow­ing up in a fam­ily of artists, Se­cret Har­bour res­i­dent Khail Aitken was des­tined to have a cre­ative and colour­ful fu­ture.

At only 21, the Rock­ing­ham­based Sin­is­ter Ink artist is mak­ing waves in the tat­too industry, with his at­ten­tion to de­tail earn­ing him his first award at the Perth Aus­tralian Tat­too and Body Art Expo.

On Septem­ber 16, the first day of the expo, Khail spent eight-and-ahalf hours in a booth cre­at­ing a large, colour­ful Iron Man-in­spired arm piece for a client.

As he worked, Khail said his tat­too was spot­ted and he was ap­proached by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Aus­tralian tat­too ma­chine com­pany Inkjecta.

“They asked a few ques­tions and said they had been fol­low­ing my work for a while now,” he said.

“It was un­real at first be­cause I had been us­ing their gear for ages and then they asked if I wanted to be part of the team and I couldn’t be­lieve it.”

Af­ter se­cur­ing sur­prise spon­sor­ship from Inkjecta, Khail went on to en­ter his piece in the expo daily com­pe­ti­tion and took home the award for tat­too of the day.

“There were hun­dreds of good artists there, so I re­ally did not ex­pect to win,” he said.

“I didn’t have any words at the time, it was crazy.

“To win the first com­pe­ti­tion I ever en­tered and come home with spon­sor­ship and ma­jor ex­po­sure was amaz­ing.” Tat­too­ing now for three years, Khail says he orig­i­nally planned to head to univer­sity af­ter school, but de­cided to ap­ply for a job at Sin­is­ter Ink af­ter be­ing en­cour­aged by a friend.

“I spent years draw­ing on my skate­boards and tak­ing art at school, but I never thought I would end up here,” he said. “I’m lov­ing it and we will see where it takes me.” Khail said peo­ple spot­ted his work on Face­book and In­sta­gram and came to him with ref­er­ences and ideas.

“Most peo­ple are will­ing to let me see what I can do with their de­sign and I take it and do what I think is best for them and their body,” he said.

“I find it more in­ter­est­ing and chal­leng­ing to do shad­ing and de­tailed pieces and I pre­fer to work in big sit­tings where I can con­cen­trate and keep fo­cused on the one piece.

“It de­pends on the client, of course, but I like to put every­thing into what I’m do­ing rather than get dis­tracted by what’s next.

“Most of the work I do is black and grey, but that is just what peo­ple ask me for — I love do­ing colour and will jump on any op­por­tu­nity.”

Next month Khail will travel east for the Mel­bourne leg of the expo and he hopes to meet new artists and have fun.

“At­tend­ing th­ese events earns recog­ni­tion,” he said. “Inkjecta now sup­ply me with every­thing I need and hope­fully I can just keep show­ing peo­ple how the industry is con­stantly im­prov­ing and get my work out there.”

Pic­tures: El­lie Honey­bone

Hard work is pay­ing off for lo­cal tat­too artist Khail Aitken af­ter his work earned him spon­sor­ship with Aus­tralian tat­too ma­chine com­pany Inkjecta. IN­SET: The Iron Man piece that earned an award at the Perth Aus­tralian Tat­too and Body Art Expo.

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