Wiltshire Publications

Westbury tattoo artist is Best in Show

Award winner, Ryan Smith at work

Award winner, Ryan Smith at work

ANaward-winning tattoo artist from Westbury was the star of the show at the recent Frome Tattoo Convention when he won first prize in the ‘Best in Show’ category.

Ryan Smith aka ‘The Scientist’ is a tattooist at Studio Ink in Westbury town centre. He won Best in Show for his work during the convention – every piece that is completed during the convention is automatically entered and the best one wins.

On winning, Ryan, 34 said, “There was some really nice work I was up against but thankfully I still won it! This was the first Frome Tattoo convention to happen and I really enjoyed it. It’s quite a bit smaller than the usual conventions I work at, but nevertheless it was a great show with a fantastic turnout through the weekend.

“I take my work very seriously as I do showing my skills at a convention. I often find I’m the first to arrive and the last to leave! I’ve worked at some really big shows including Skin Deeps Tattoo Jam which is the largest in the country with 325 artists normally competing.”

Approximately 2,000 people attended the Frome Tattoo Convention at the beginning of this month. The event, held at the Cheese & Grain, featured tattooing, piercing, and barbering.

Ryan, whose nickname comes from his first class degree in sound engineering, won five awards from across Europe last year, competing in England, Ireland and Italy.

He said, “I don’t feel any pressure being watched at shows but I do put a lot of pressure on myself. Once I’ve set up, to me it’s no different to working in the studio. In Studio Ink I work alongside fellow multi-international award winning artists Marc Nutley and Matt King, and we have a really busy shop where everyone is always fully booked & have plenty of visitors everyday.

“I’ve only been tattooing for four years so I’m still a baby within the industry, but I have been getting tattooed for 20 years so I took to it like a duck to water! Throughout my twenties I worked in the music industry which was a lot of fun and I had quite good success with it, but looking back at my life I know  I was always meant to do this!

“I’ve been described as having a uniquely distinct style; I pay close attention to severely detailed & complex designs, and everything I do is my own design, everything is unique and is never replicated again.

“I have a lot of big plans in the pipeline this year including many conventions here and abroad, winning the Best of Show in Frome is just the start this year! The whole Studio Ink crew have many special projects coming up this year including the usual magazine features but we have one huge secret project on the go which will be unveiled later this year… All I can say is get ready!”

Frome Tattoo Convention organiser Tim Beale was thrilled with the turn-out. He said, “For our first ever tattoo event it was a great success and proved how diverse Frome is. An enjoyable time was had by all the stall holders and visitors alike, even those bravely enduring the needle!”

Studio Ink is on Market Street, Westbury, and their work can be seen online at studioinktattoostudio.com.