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Sailor Andy: "I tattoo rock stars now!"


Sailor Andy : "I tattoo rock stars now!"

Interview to Andy Sailor, Finnish tattoo artist who - from Hell...sinki - some months ago had the pleasure to tattoo some guy from HIM. All of us of The Heartagram Path got in contact with him to chat a little.


interview edited by  Mrs. Doom - Marzia for The Heartagram Path


The Heartagram Path: First of all, thanks for your time and for answering to our questions. Going deeper into your personal story, let's start from basic: how did you start tattooing?

Sailor Andy: I' ve started tattooing at home in '93, when I was 17. I was really bad and fortunately I didn´t make too many tattoos before I moved out and started college. Basically, I quit tattooing because of that school, which lasted 3 years, and then I was in the army for a while. Then I went to another school and rented an appartment together with my girlfriend. I did bring the tattoo equipment and every now and then I would tattoo myself, mainly because I´m an idiot, I guess.
In 2002 I started tattooing other people again, and I realized that it was my true passion in life. Designing and codeing websites and multimedia stuff, for which I was getting an education, was not that interesting. I got a place at Legacy Tattoo and started working there in 2003. I haven´t done anything website-related since that day, lucky me!

THP: As seen on your myspace, it seems that your're more into traditional tattooing, mixing it with some black and gray and holy subjects.

SA: Yes, I really like traditional tattooing, because a good traditional tattoo is such a beautiful thing to look at. It looks like tattoos are supposed to look like. There is some kind of magic in them, I can´t really put my finger on what it is. However, when I work I don´t try to do super traditonal looking stuff, I use more colors and usually my designs are more complicated than the traditional style. I have, however, tried to draw simpler stuff lately, but I often get carried away with the coloring. In Finland, you really have to be able to do a little bit of everything, because it's such a small place, no-one can live on doing just one style. But on the other hand, it doesn´t get boring when you mix things up a little.

THP: Talking about influences, nowadays TV is plenty of shows such as Miami Ink and LA Ink: do you think they help people looking at tattoo in a better way?

SA: I think the TV-shows make people think that it´s ok to get bigger pieces, and of course now they know what a good tattoo should be like. Also, because of the TV-shows people think that getting tattooed doesn´t hurt, because it doesn´t look like it takes many hours and lots of pain to get a big piece done. The bad thing about the shows is that people have started to bring in lots of explanations and stories about what the hell the tattoo they want symbolizes to them and so on. But tattooers don´t really care about that sentimental crap. At least I don´t.


THP: Back to your tattoo career, how did you get the chance to enter Legacy Tattoo? On your website it's written that tahe shop's been established back in 2000 and then that you've joined ownership in 2003...

SA: Well, that´s basically how it happened. Kristian Liljelund opened the shop, and in 2003 I went to him with some photos of my work and we got along well and he saw that I was really into tattooing. I worked there for 6 months and after seeing me sit around for 12 hours a day or even more, without even having any customers, Kristian thought that I had was serious about becoming a tattooer, so he offered me partnership.

THP: What about the name? Is there a particular reason for it?

SA: Well, it´s different, and we like to keep the legacy of classic tattoing traditions alive. I don´t know, the name was around before I joined...

THP: Let's focus on tattooing...what's the strangest tattoo you've ever done? Something really bizzare that you'd never thought about; for example on your gallery there's the picture of a chainsaw, quiet a strange subject to do.

SA: This is always a hard question to answer. What´s strange to me might be not be strange to someone else. The chainsaw I did is on one of my best friend, and he is a lumberman, so it´s not really that strange that he would get one, is it? I also did a silhouette of a "man" ( like the man on the door of a public toilet) shitting diarrhea on one guy´s back. A full backpiece, that would have to be the stupidest thing I´ve done so far.

THP: And more bizarre than the chainsaw it's a tattoo you've done to 'some guys from HIM'. Maybe it's as bizarre as its owner and it's not a secret who he is, so...could tell us something about that day? If there's a meaning behind it and you can and want to talk about it.

SA: Well, we do drop-in tattoos on Fridays, i.e. you don´t have to make an appointment. This guy, I don´t even know his name, from HIM walks in and wants a tattoo. I happened to be at the counter, so I just said:"Sure, whatta you want?" And he showed me a pencil drawing that some of his friend had done. I asked him if he wanted me to redraw it or something, and he said that I coud do whatever I wanted to do with it. So I suggested that we would just do it exactly like it was, a thick black line and no finesse whatsoever. It looks really stupid and that´s why it´s so cool, you know? The tattoing was done in about 10 minutes and everyone was happy with the result! He was a nice guy and it would be cool to tattoo him again. He didn´t act like rock star or anything...

THP: HIM is maybe the most famous finnish rock band worldwide and fans from alla around the world have an HIM tattoo. Have you ever tattooed an Heartagram for example or something HIM related?

SA: Yes, of course I have done heartagrams, but not very many, maybe 10-15 in 6 years, so it´s not a lot after all. Most of them have been on Italian or German girls.

THP: What do you think about band tribute tattoos? Have you got some? Or are you planning on getting one?

SA: A lot of people get them, but I don´t have any. I haven´t gotten any because I have never listened to any band THAT much or for that long. So I guess I would regret getting them after a while, when my musical preferences change. If I would get one, it would probably be AC/DC or something else that never will change and start putting out crap albums or something.

THP: This is the last question. Given that we're an HIM site and that music's got a deep meaning into our life, how's music into yours?

SA: I love music and I listen to it all day, every day at work, but I still haven´t found a band that I like enough to get their logo tattooed on me. Music is definetly an important part of my life! We even have a HIM-cd at the studio, but I prefer Jussi Syren´s bluegrass versions of HIM songs.

THP: Well, nothing to add a part from thanking you for your time and answering to all of our questiions. So, we'll come and visit you guys on December...we're planning on getting a walk in tattoo during Helldone time :)

SA: Thanks, please check my spelling, it´s been a while since I used my English! :) And welcome in December!



Sailor Andy's Tattoo:



Soe tattoos taken from Sailor Andy's gallery:


Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/sailorandy

Tattoo Studio: http://www.legacytattoo.fi/tattoo/


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