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#TattooArtistThursday ft Interview with Canadian Tattoo Artist: John Wayne

This Week, we have the pleasure of sitting down with John Wayne from @BeestingTattoos located in Belle River Ontario (Near #Windsor). John has been one of those Artists that has dominated the Tattoo scene for many years, with a #Tattoo style all his own. For those of you that don’t know John, prepare to be awestruck. For those of you who do….. You'll know why we chose #JohnWayne for this week’s #TattooArtistThursday Spotlight here at

PA: Please tell us a little about yourself, your shop and your style.

JW: Well, I’m 43 and married to an amazing woman with whom I work with every day running @BeestingTattoo. I am a self-taught tattoo artist and this is my 26th year tattooing. Beesting just turned 20 this year so I am pretty proud of that. My studio just underwent a major facelift this past December, from floor to ceiling, it got a complete makeover. It's a wood, metal and stone theme, making it feel like a cabin or lodge style but yet a very country feeling with a bit of a mature theme to it. My style is the hardest to describe, as many others have just labeled my work as well rounded... so I guess that's the best way to describe it. I try to do as many styles as possible, there are some styles I won’t attempt but I always love a challenge. The 2 styles I am known for the most are Realistic and New School.

PA: As your style is so vastly unique John, what inspires your specific style of art?

JW: Honestly enough, my inspiration comes from photography, music and movies.... I see something or hear something and it drives me to a unique area of creativity and I think that's why I change it up so much.

PA: Who do you look up to within the industry John? Do you have mentors that drive you?

JW: "I look up to so many nowadays , Jesus, I mean there are so many new guys just out the gate right now that make me shake my head as to how fast they are grasping tattooing. To name a few..... Aaron Cain, Larry Brogan, Bob Tyrrell, Paco Dietz, Tristan Zhang , Derek Turcotte"

PA: There's no doubt in my mind John, that you as an artist and the work that you do, is some of the Best to come out of Canada over the last 20 years; but what's next for Mr. Wayne? Any upcoming projects that would blow our minds?

JW: "My next step for me is to first of all , spend some much needed time with my family and friends. I have focused so much on my career over the past 20+ years, that I need to reconnect with those who know me and love me. 2nd, is to take care of some back injuries and neck injuries that have inhibited me over the past years, so I can focus on my career into the future. In my future of tattooing, I will be doing my best to give my clients the best that I can, large and small scale work, focus more on a lot more drawing , get back into airbrushing and a sketch book."

PA: John, as you've been in the Tattoo Industry for over 20 years, what is your advice to new artists on the brink of entering into this career?

JW: "My advice ... hmmmm, take nothing and no one for granted. Everyone you come across can be disappear. I've learned this the hard way... I've lost friendships and friends that have died and those unfortunately I can’t get back. Another piece of advice is, get proper furniture to sit on; your body will let you know before long its had enough, if you don't take care of it."

PA: This year is Beestings 20th anniversary, congrats! What's your advice to anyone thinking about opening a shop?

JW: "Thank You :) My advice is to take your time and not to bite off more than you can chew. Enjoy the ride and try not to push it forward to fast. If you're patient and work hard and use no one, it will come to those deserving."

PA: What do you love the most about being "John Wayne" the Tattoo Artist, and what do you dislike about being "John Wayne" the Tattoo Artist?

JW: "The one thing I can say I love the most ... is that look you see when the client sees that tattoo finished in the mirror ... they light up and you know you did good .... and the ones that are the memorial tattoos... I have to say as much as they can tear me apart inside when they see that portrait and it brings that moment of closure, it still makes me want to just break down but I know it’s what has helped them and to me that’s the greatest thing I could have done for them to help heal."

PA: Weeding out all of the social influences, as we're bombarded every day with thousands of Tattoo images; is there any up and comers that you've got your eye on? Who are they and what is it that's tweaked you about their style?

JW: "Well I have to say the 2 on the top of my list (I can’t say really they are new, but definitely steam rolling over so many in my eye) are Tristan Zhang and Derek Turcotte ... both are under 10 years tattooing and by far have progressed in their own unique styles. I have had the pleasure of tattooing Derek and he did his very first guest spot and collaborative tattoo here at Beesting Tattoo. Tristan Zhang tattooed my entire right rib area with his unique style of Black n Grey Japanese style. In my opinion these 2 are the ones to watch out for in the future, as skyrocketing in the tattoo world."

PA: John, out of the thousands of Tattoo's you've done, is there one that you can specifically say is your best? A piece that just puts that smile on your face? Can you share it with us?

JW: "Well that’s a real tough one for sure , I enjoyed them all and feel they all got my best I could do for them, but if I would have to pick one ... the parrot , it seemed to have gotten a lot of attention on social media and would say without a doubt I even shocked myself with the outcome lol."

Quote from John Wayne: "It's all about the pain, the ink is just a souvenir" 
Follow John Wayne on his Instagram @BeestingTattoo

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