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  • Phoebe Robertson

Artist Profile: @smushedavocado

Artist Profile @smushedavocado

Talked through by Phoebe Robertson (she/her)


In the heart of Wellington's tattoo scene, Tim, known to his social media followers as @smushedavocado, has carved out a niche with his unique portfolio of blackwork tattoos. With a background in art and illustration, Tim's a tattoo artist to watch (and book in with). 


The Journey to Tattooing


Tim's love affair with art began early. “I've always been into art and drawing,” he shares. “It's been so embedded in my life that I really wanted to turn it into a career.” Armed with a degree in illustration, Tim faced the uncertainty of joblessness after being let go from his previous job. “For the first time in my life, I was properly between jobs with nothing lined up,” he recalls. It was during this period of transition that he found solace in getting a series of tattoos, which inadvertently led him to build connections within the tattooing community.


“Around the same time, I met my partner, who is close friends with some tattooers,” Tim explains. This connection opened the door to his first apprenticeship, thanks to the guidance of mentors like Tash and Maria. 


Artistic Style and Inspirations


When asked to describe his tattoo style, Tim characterizes it as “nerdy, dark, and illustrative blackwork tattooing.” His work often features elements from beloved fandoms and pop culture, with a particular fondness for Sanrio characters. “I love me a Sanrio tattoo!” he exclaims. This eclectic mix of dark and cute elements has garnered him a dedicated following.


One of his favorite projects to date is a collection of Baldur's Gate 3 tattoos. “This year I've been more focused on portrait work, and I've been doing a handful of Baldur's Gate 3 tattoos—the game where everyone is hot” he says, with a grin.


Challenges and Advice


Like any artist, Tim faces his share of challenges. One of his biggest pet peeves is clients who come in without any clear ideas. “That shit is so stressful!” he admits. “Unless I’ve built a long-running relationship with you as a client, I don’t know what kind of things you like. So a little bit more of a direction and a clear idea is super appreciated.”


For university students contemplating their first tattoo, Tim advises thorough research. “Check out an artist’s body of work and see if it aligns with your vision,” he suggests. He emphasizes the importance of visiting studios in person to get a sense of the environment and the artist's style.


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