First up, thank you for your time, what’s been happening?
No problems mate. Thanks for having me.
I’ve been staying busy trying to juggle work and keeping healthy, hanging out with family and friends, playing music, staying out of trouble haha.
For those who are unfamiliar with you, can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
I’m a Tattooist at Vic Market Tattoo in North Melbourne. I grew up in the bayside suburb of Chelsea. Outside of tattooing I play in a couple of bands called Late Arvo Sons and the other one is called Angry Seas. I try to go to gigs as much as possible I enjoy going surfing and going on road trips every chance I get.
Do you recall when you first got in to art?
Not exactly but I was certainly drawing at a young age. I don’t think it really clicked into gear until high school though. That’s when I really fell in love with drawing and painting etc. I’m not sure what happened but I found my self really enjoying it more as the years went on, so less actual school work was getting done and more drawing on scrap bits of paper.
What phases/styles did you go through artistically to come to do what you do now and who influenced you along the way?
How did this lead to you starting to tattoo? I was heavily into graff throughout high school and my 20s but I’ve always kept it fairly separate. I mean some certain aspects of my art are influenced by graff culture but I really try to keep it separate.
When I first started to take art seriously it was not even remotely similar to graff or tattooing style. I was painting in oils in my spare time. Really detailed scenes of the suburbs and social situations. I really enjoyed that medium and the way it was so workable but it was so time consuming so I think I was looking at something that would allow me to work faster and be more productive. it really wasn’t until I began to get more heavily tattooed when I became interested in using acrylic inks and began playing around with the bold black lines and my first attempts at painting flash began. From there I really never looked back, ever since I have tried to translate those detailed concepts I used to try and express on canvas into simple bold tattoo designs. I Hope at least sometimes pull it off, haha.
You’re work is distinctly Australian and really reflects the area where you grew up. How do you feel the environment you grew up in has influenced your style and approach to art and what you do today?
I think it played an absolutely massive part in influencing my art. Growing up in a working class beachside suburb of Melbourne, we had so many interesting people floating about and we had endless activities to do. We had the train line right there on the beach which gave access to all sorts of wonderful characters. At times it was rough but I loved that. It was paradise for me. I loved all the funny stereo types the area produced. Working as a concreter for years around that area was inspiring too. It’s all about the people you meet I think.
My main ideal behind what I like to paint and tattoo is things that I’m familiar with. Things that I actually know. And often lots of people can really relate to it. Especially on a local level. I realise this limits my audience a bit but it’s It’s something that I personally find really important. I like to think you can see a lot of my environment come out in my art and if people can have a laugh or connect with it I’m stoked.
Getting up every day knowing that you have to create can be a hard thing to do, how do you stay motivated and what inspires you to get up and do what you do every day?
Yes there are days when you may not feel like being creative for one reason or another and that’s where the “job” side of it comes in. Then I remind me self to stop being such a pussy and how lucky I am to be getting paid to make art ,tattoos and talk shit with people all day long. It’s unreal. I try to never take it for granted and the moment I do I remind my self I could still be battling away concreting but instead I’m doing what I love and that’s all I can ask for.
What do you think about social media platforms on their effect on Tattooing, Tattooers and the Tattoo Industry?
I think it plays such a huge part in the industry for better and worse. There are so many positives to it. I mean because of Instagram for example I gain quite a bit of work. Essentially it has become my folio and a point of contact for people. I also stay connected with what other tattooists and artists I admire are doing. It’s inspiring to be able to constantly see the quality of work 24/7 rather than waiting for your favourite magazine to come out. I think it also pushed Tattooists to work harder and do their absolute best on every job because it is out there for every one to see.
On the down side, it has made tattooing so mainstream to the point where every one is an expert and it sometimes gives people unrealistic expectations of what can be achieved. But I really believe the positives out way the negatives, keeping in mind social media has been around since I started tattooing so I can’t imagine it any other way and to a degree envy the old school tattooist being able to work with out the extra hassle of the Internet and social media, but yeah it definitely helps me out more that it pisses me of haha. Apart from that I think we all spend way to much time and emphasis looking at a tiny little screen ( my self included) instead of looking out the window at the world around us. So that’s a new goal for me. More looking at real life like in the 90s haha.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve encountered, seen or been asked to do while working in a Tattoo Shop?
Haha there is so many. I have been in one punch on in the shop because this bloke had stole my work mates folio off the counter and we knew it was him all along. He tried to come back into the shop months later and when he was accused of the theft he came out guns blazing. He got me a ripper right on the chin, but I think my work mate sorted him out nicely.
Oh, this junky woman wanted some small tattoo down stairs but instead of just telling me about she thought I needed to see exactly where She meant so she bounces out the back and pulls down her trackies and before I could shut my eyes I got a good look at how much piss she hadn’t squirted into the toilet and and eye full of the most unwashed underpants you’ve ever seen.
Alright, lets talk some shit.
What’s in your pockets right now?
Hah nothing I’m wearing board shorts with no pockets.
What have you been reading, listening to and watching lately?
I’m currently reading a book called Let The land speak by Jackie French about how indigenous Australians understood, utilised and shaped the landscape and vegetation to survive and then also how colonisation effected this. Fascinating read!!
I’m Really into a few bands at the moment. A band from Sydney called Hoodlum shouts. I’m not sure how active they are right now but I dig what they do. Also can’t get enough of the new hardcore super group World be free, members of Terror, Strife, Judge and Gorilla Biscuits. Right up my alley. As far as Tv shows, the quicker the new season of Vikings starts the better haha.
What are five things that you always pack with you on your travels?
My epi pen. (severe peanut allergy) My Leatherman knife, a good book, a Camera of some description and also a trusty pair of runners.
What’s next for Mark Lording? Anything happening or coming up we should know about?
Mmmm Appart from head down bum up with tattooing I’m working on a couple of graphics for an Australian skateboard company and a local surf board shaper, so that’s been heaps of fun. A few gigs with the bands. Late Arvos Sons just released an album so hopefully play a string of shows. I go nuts if I’m not busy
Word association, you know the deal, say whatever comes to your mind when you read the word.
Australia work in progress
Tattoo John Entwistle Religion war Black fella, white fella, it doesn’t matter what your colour , as long as you, a true fella
Time waits for no man
Instagram sore eyes Ugly racism Free surfing Art liberating Life love regret Peace someday
This Life one shot
Where can people follow what you’re up to and view your work?