The Sixth Form Bolton was delighted to catch-up with former student Tom Withington, an established tattoo artist in popular Manchester based studio Rapture. Tattoo Tom, who studied Art and Design at The Sixth Form between 2014-2016, boasts over 13k followers on his professional Instagram account and has recently smashed 1.4million views on TikTok for one of his Darth Vader masterpieces.
The former Westhoughton High School student was inspired at a young age to seek a career in the demanding tattoo industry, supported by his family, Tom trawled the studios of Manchester searching for a break in the industry. The relentless artist eventually landed an apprenticeship where he honed his craft and enhanced his artistry. Tom recalls his first ever full leg sleeve, his favourite tattoo, which he got to create for his Dad as a thank you for his support.
The 25-year-old Bolton born artist has made a name for himself in the lucrative tattoo world, specialising in pop culture portraits and black and grey realism. Those wanting one of his famous creations often have to wait up to 6 months and endure countless hours of needlework to perfect his flawless masterpieces.
The talented artist reflected on his time studying Art and Design at The Sixth Form and the many skills he developed.
“The Art and Design course really helped me to understand how to put art together, especially contrast and balance. The skills I developed and the confidence I built really supported me in my career progression. My teachers were passionate and approachable and we had lots of opportunities to engage in live briefs and real-world experiences.”
Tom is hoping to inspire more Art students to consider tattooing as a career.
“My advice to anyone hoping to break into the industry is to perfect their craft on a paper. Draw, draw and draw again. Only when you are perfect do you consider picking up a needle. Also, don’t be afraid to explore, find your own style and make your own impact on the industry”.
To discover more of Toms creations, visit @tom.tattoos on Instagram.