Peter Masters is not your typical business man, he is a fearless adventurer on the side of the good guys who happens to own a Skinzophrenic tattoo studio in Hereford, a Skinzophrenic tattoo studio in Iraqand a laser removal and piercing studio in the works to be located in Hereford’s High Town. It makes you wonder if he is planning to take over the world.
The truth is taking over the world is the least of his concerns, he is a man with a camera, one with guts and a purpose for documenting the war in Iraq, and a man who would gladly leave Western life behind to fight for what he believes in. How he manages to get so close is a matter of speculation…we are just glad he can. It is brave souls like him who put themselves in harrowing situations to show the world the truth about what is really going on at the front line in Iraq that are heroes in this war along with the survivors who live it daily. A photograph cannot lie and can tell a thousand tales.
“What is most eerie is that a young boy is standing in front of the family like a shield, perhaps his father is gone now, you see that he is no longer a child but the lone male defender carrying the burden of responsibility to protect his family on his young shoulders”
Sometimes in life there are people who have to work extra hard to make their dreams happen as is the case with the Skinzophrenic tattoo crew. Peter Masters has created a popular tattoo enterprise that consists of two tattoo entities; one in Iraq and one in Hereford. What a lot of people don’t know is that he has made it happen by opening his doors and heart to artists who have had many doors slammed in their face, not because of their craft, but because life and society allow many people to sadly fall through the cracks.
The appreciation and respect his tattooists give him is evident when you enter the doors to Skinzophrenic. These guys are always hard at work, and often in a state of full concentration. They are proud to be a part of Peters team and it shows in their work ethic.
I have often sat alongside the various artists at Skinzophrenic, watching them create works of art, and respect how focused and busy they are, yet regardless of being busy at work they never fail to make me feel welcome. Certainly, their clients must receive the same welcome.
I have developed quite a soft spot for them all, but aside from all the mushy stuff, I think an introduction of these Skinzophrenic tattooists is in tall order. Get to know them a bit, and decide who the guy is for the job…oh and girl, because Peter has a lovely young artist who is 14 years old under the work experience program. It is just what Peter Masters does, and is all about. Opportunity. I guess you can say he is a natural born mentor.
Vid is originally from Lithuania, and has been tattooing professionally for 5 years. His first tattoo was around 15 years ago, and since then has mastered black and grey ink work and is a talented illustrator. He is one to go to for portraits, detail and shading. Each time I have popped in Vid has been in the middle of some very intricate pieces worthy of admiration, and not something I would say anyone could do. He is a talented dude. Vid also has worked in the Skinzophrenic shop in Erbil, Iraq tattooing men and women on the frontline. Not your average everyday tattoo gig.
Aaron was well known around Hereford as a ‘scratcher’ (well didn’t they all start off that way?) according to Peter, who thought his work was worthy of a spot in his shop giving him a respectable outlet for his craft. There is a lot of competition out there, and it isn’t always easy to get into a tattoo shop. Luckily, Aaron had that door opened for him and is now building up a steady clientèle. That’s how it works folks.
Francesco is the latest addition to the Skinzophrenic tattoo team, and the expression “it’s all in the name” goes a long way here. Francesco is of course Italian, I couldn’t really get to know him because my language skills only go as far as Spanish. I could have tried and annoyed the guy he was putting body armour on, but surely Francesco would not have been happy. He is a wonderful artist and has recently received praise from his clients. Reviews are a powerful thing in any industry, and go a long way. Good job Francesco Italiano!
He also specializes in HD semi-permanent eyebrow tattooing for us ladies who got a bit carried away trying to look like Hollywood startlets who plucked our eyebrows within an inch of their life.
Zac Morris is the youngest kid on the block. He started off as an apprentice and has earned his stars and stripes as an in-house tattooist. He has done guest spots in the Skinzophrenic Shop in Erbil, Iraq, which for such a young lad is an amazing accomplishment. Peter is sending him off to Iraq again at the end of this month. We wish him a safe voyage.
Zac is keen to work on all styles of tattooing, which is a good sign for someone entering the industry, getting too comfortable with one style that early on is quite limiting. Zac is up for a challenge, but prefers illustration, traditional and new traditional style tattooing.
Since Peter Masters opened his Iraq Skinzophrenic Studio it has received international attention. After all, a shop on the frontline doesn’t crop up everyday. Peter is an excellent photographer by trade and through his travels and connections it occurred to him to establish a shop where his main customers are soldiers wishing to find expression and release through the art form of tattooing. Read more about Skinzophrenic Here
One stormy Sunday in Hereford city centre, Skinzophrenic on West Street grabbed the cancer bull by the horns and fought the mighty beast straight on.
Zac Morris, who has trained under the watchful eye of Peter Masters seasoned tattooists, in particular Jon Harper, honoured their close and very young friend Ben Wooles, who recently was diagnosed with cancer, in hopes of raising money for Benny’s Fund, created to raise money for his treatment, by tattooing the cancer ribbon on the brave souls who dared withstand the site of Zac in his pants…yes I did say pants! Bless – he is a young fit lad – surely the ladies did not mind.
Well hope turned to success, as the lines of people gathered into the shop with minds and hearts determined to support this cause for one personal reason or another by donating £20 a head; soon Benny’s Fund saw the numbers rising. How noble…but also well…hilarious. Sometimes it is better to laugh in the face of cancer then it is to let it beat you, and that is just what Skinzophrenic did.
But let us not forget, cancer is a very frightening, and very expensive obstacle in many people’s lives…so let us not stop the donations to Benny’s Fund here. This young lad is in need of many more donations to reach his goal. Make a donation to BENNYS FUND HERE https://www.gofundme.com/h677ujek
Skinzophrenic Tattoos, 18 West Street, Hereford HR4 0BX TEL 01432 358696