This here. We catch a few words with him…week’s Londoners is Paul Hill, Tattoo artist and owner of Vagabond custom tattoo studio on Hackney Road. Vagabond opened earlier this year and Paul inked us up on a recent visit, check out the video
US: So you set up shop in Hackney but how long have you been living in London and what made you choose Hackney?
PH: I moved from Cheltenham to Hackney 3 years ago. East-end boozers, food markets and independent shops are what make this such a great place to live. On Kingsland road and Hackney road especially its cool to see new places pop up over night. It still has that exciting and evolving feel about it. Working on Hackney Road means I’ve been able to create some great relationships with not only the people who have recently moved to the area but older generations who have grown up here, older locals with stories to tell make my day.
US: You’re a tattoo artist and you have a fair few of your own too. When did you first get into tattoos and what was ‘your first’?
PH: I got my first tattoo at 16 on a family holiday to Spain in a dodgy seaside parlour where I tried my luck and the artist turned a blind eye. At the time I told my parents it was henna which they fell for until a year later when the tattoo was still there! It was stars on my inner elbows which have long since been covered.
US: Obviously you can’t ink yourself so where do you go to get your tats done?
PH: I get my current work done at my studio by one of our resident artists Andy Hulbert. Some of my bigger pieces are done by Sam Ricketts. I also have a lot of work by Paul Scarrott from Mantra in my home town of Cheltenham
US: It’s Friday night, your in the mood for some dancing, where are you going to go?
PH: I prefer a proper east-end pub to a club so I usually choose The Sebright Arms or The Marksman on Hackney Road to get started and then off to the Dolphin for trashy dancing and maybe a sing-song.
US: Oh we bloody love a good sing along! What about grub?
PH: The Royal Oak on Columbia Road for some up-market pub grub, Market Cafe on Broadway Market or Bistrotheque for something fancy with the girl. Raizes on Hackney Road for some authentic down to earth Brazilian food.
US: Ooooo we haven’t tried Raizes, sounds right up our street! Tell us what your perfect day in London would be…
PH: I’d start by Popping-in to see the Rocket Barber boys for a fresh cut and funny stories then a stroll up to Broadway market to grab a salt-beef bagel, taking the long route home through Victoria Park. A ride on my motorbike up to my mates workshop in the afternoon for bad jokes, good coffee and to tinker with our various projects. Ride back via Angel to meet the girl at Cafe La Divina for some fancy French dinner then to the Hunter S in the evening for good beer and dead animals.
Sounds like a pretty sweet day to us! If you’re in the market for a new tattoo then check out Vagabond it’s pretty great we can tell you.