Meet Brandon Cross, a 22 year old tattoo artist and model. He began his tattooing experience only a few short years ago and from that moment he began making a huge name for himself in the industry. Alongside that he has been focusing on his modelling aspirations and has already worked with established photographers like Haris Nukem and Chris Beasley, and has been shot for brands like LoveSickLDN and Paris in Cuffs. Here's how his interview went...
Please introduce yourself...
Good morning, afternoon, evening. My name is Brandon Travis Cross, I am a 22 year old model and tattoo artist from south east London/Kent.
So, what does a normal day in the life of Mr Cross consist of?
A normal day in my life consists of hanging out with some cool/good people and creating permanent art or if I'm on a shoot stripping off and getting my nips out.
We know that you have a massive creative side so we can almost predict what your answer will be here, but what would you say are your top three interests?
My top 3 interests….Well obviously tattooing will definitely be number 1 fashion, would probably be number 2 and I have a sick obsession with bowling and I'm extremely competitive so that's number 3.
Hahaha, that third one caught us off guard! With tattooing and fashion as such interests of yours, who are your role models/inspirations?
I'm inspired by a hell of a lot of people I don't really have role models apart from my old man & my grandad. So I'd give my dad the number 1 spot and my grandad number 2. I'm inspired by so many tattoo artists it's hard to pick just 1 to finish of my top 3. Sorry.
No need to apologise man. With Dad and Grandad at one and two, who needs a number three? Now on to the questions that people really want the answer to.
How long have you been tattooing and what got you into it?
I have now been tattooing for 2 years and I got into it from a very young age as my dad is covered and so is my mum. My father used to always take me to conventions when I was young and it was my dream.
So it's kind of in your DNA then! After being in the industry for a couple of years, what have you enjoyed the most about being an artist?
I enjoy everything about being a tattoo artist pleasing my customers, putting my own custom art on people and meeting awesome people. The whole lifestyle is pretty rad.
What has been your favourite and least favourite tattoo you have done?
I love old school and traditional tattooing and that's what I specialise in so I have a lot of favourite pieces but a huge skull front piece I did on yours truly is one of my favourites! I f*****g hate tribal so that's definitely what I hate doing the most.
Well I feel honoured sir, and also disrespected as I have a tribal sleeve haha. Aside from being the best at what you do, what is your number one goal within the tattoo industry?
My number 1 goal is to have a shop by the time I'm 25 and be working along side some of my favourite artists at conventions.
Wow, that's only three years from now so you've got a lot of ambition. What inspires you most with your art?
I get inspired by very old tattoo designs big, bold, and colourful, that's the remedy for a long lasting awesome tattoo.
Now, I feel like we have covered most of the tattoo side of yourself so we'll get onto the modelling before you get bored. What was it that got you into it?
I got into modelling when I first started getting tattooed and brands would send me clothes to shoot back when I was 18 and it's kinda been building and building from there. It's been on and off from 18-20 because of my tattoo apprenticeship that I was trying to focus on.
Ok so with tattooing taking the front foot for a while it's good to know that you have now managed to find time to get back in front of the camera. Other than getting your nips out, which I know you love to do, what has been your favourite thing about being a model?
My favourite thing about being a model is meeting some amazing people I have made some really good friends through modelling.
Of the many shoots you have been a part of, whether for a brand or your own portfolio, what has been your favourite shoot to be a part of?
My favourite shoots are the massive groups shoots for LoveSickLDN, that consist epic of loads of heavily tattooed people getting drunk whilst a photographer walks around snapping they are the most fun. But my favourite shoot has to be with the man of the moment Haris Nukem, he kills it.
Haris Nukem is incredible, anyone who has seen his work falls in love with his style so I can understand why you enjoyed that one so much. Having worked with a number of credible photographers already, who do you hope to work with in the future?
There are so many talented photographers all over the place so I'd like to start to travel around meeting new photographers along the way.
Well don't travel to far otherwise I'll have to find someone else to cover me in ink! Just two more real questions and I promise we are done. Now one last quick question, where do you hope to be in 12 months?
In 12 months time I hope to still be learning and progressing in tattooing and I hope to still be healthy and well.
Wicked man, I can't wait to see how far this journey will take you.
Now Just a few quick, fun questions for the reader. 'Have you ever.....'
...been arrested? I have never been arrested.... I have pretty long legs.
...been fired from a job? Never been fired from a job previous to tattooing, I used to just get bored and quit.
...broken a bone? I've broken a few bones but the cutest one was jumping off a climbing frame in nursery pretending to be Buzz Light Year and breaking my wrist. Learnt pretty quickly that I wasn't Buzz... Fuck Toy Story.
...worn the same pair of boxers two days in a row? I have definitely worn the same boxers two days in a row usually after a very heavy night out.
...re-gifted something you were given as a gift? I have never re-gifted a present I have received hahaha that's so bad recycling someone's love.
Text Kiefer Horlock
Images Haris Nukem & Danny Mee