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Unveiling the Abstract Realism of Mac Simms: A Tattoo Artist’s Narrative

In the captivating 33rd issue of Tattoo Love magazine (March 2024), we delve into the artistic world of Mac Simms, a distinguished tattoo artist from the United Kingdom, celebrated for his innovative blend of abstract realism in tattooing.

This interview provides an intimate look at Simms’ journey, techniques, and inspirations.


Beginning and Style Choice

Mac Simms embarked on his tattooing career with determination, securing an apprenticeship in Birmingham right on his 18th birthday.

His early exposure to graffiti, mentored by the artist Vomet, laid the foundation for his eventual gravitation towards abstract realism, marking a significant departure from traditional styles through a memorable tattoo of a skull grenade.


Technique and Development

Simms’ technique, honed through years of trial and error, incorporates both color and black and grey, achieving a unique balance between abstract and realistic elements.

Learning to pack solid black effectively and being influenced by seminars with Thomas Carli Jarlier and Matteo Pasqualin were pivotal moments in his career.


Inspiration and Creativity

Drawing inspiration from renowned artists like Jason Butcher and Jay Freestyle, as well as graphic design and everyday textures, Simms emphasizes organic creation in his designs.

His work is characterized by a distinctive use of abstract elements to frame and enhance the realism within his tattoos.



Design Process and Collaboration

Building trust with clients is crucial for Simms, allowing him to blend their visions with his artistic style.

This collaborative process ensures that each piece is not only a representation of the client’s wishes but also a testament to Simms’ creative expertise.


Experience and Evolution

Simms reflects on his evolution as an artist, attributing his technical proficiency to his diverse background in tattooing.

A significant turning point came with his win at the Total Tattoos convention big north, propelling him towards specialization in abstract realism.


Artistic Vision and Future

With a keen eye on the growth of abstract realism, Simms is excited about the future of this style and his role within it.

He plans to delve deeper into color theory and layering to further refine his signature style.


Community and Collaboration

Active in the tattoo community through guest spots, conventions, and collaborations, Simms is committed to learning and growing alongside some of the best artists in the field.

His experience at prestigious studios and shows has been instrumental in shaping his artistic journey.


Advice for Aspirants

For those aspiring to carve out a niche in tattooing, Simms advises focusing on the joy of creation and drawing inspiration from a broad spectrum of art forms.

This approach, coupled with practice and experimentation, can lead to the development of a unique style.


Personal and Professional Balance

Balancing his passion for tattooing with personal life, Simms cherishes his role as a father and maintains a healthy lifestyle.

This balance ensures that he remains dedicated and fresh for each artistic endeavor.


Personal Insights

At 28, Mac Simms is not just a tattoo artist but a fitness enthusiast and a drum & bass aficionado.

His personal story includes a heartfelt connection to his grandmother, a pioneer in his life’s tattoo narrative.

Simms dreams of dining with the very first tattoo artist, curious about the origins of this art form, and would love to tattoo comedian Theo Von, a figure who brings laughter and joy into his life.


Do you want more information?

For more information, you can read the full interview in Tattoo Love, issue #33.

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