Story: Derrick Okrah
With over a decade of experience, convention tours, travelling abroad and a solid reputation as a one of a kind freehand tattooist, Andy decided on locating one of his many shops in Pitsmoor near home.
“I was just a punk kid… but I guess I’m still a punk kid. I started my apprenticeship the old way and I did that for nothing so that they wouldn’t kick me out of the shop and also, yeah, to survive as a punk,” laughed Andy, as he told me how it all began.
Andy receives customers from outside Sheffield, including Doncaster, Amsterdam, Newcastle, Japan, Manchester, Germany, Rotherham and Thailand, and there is no doubt his Pitsmoor-based shop, Lab 13, is the best in town.
“I guess it’s natural, I always make sure my customers get the best of everything, if you want me to do a procedure on you, all you have to do is trust me and you will see what you’ve never witnessed before”.
Lab 13 is strict about hygiene and the customers it offers services to. The best sterilisation equipment, tattoo machine, needles, tubes, ink, and tattoo after care, advice and materials are available for your comfort.
“I can’t believe how many inexperienced tattooist there are to be found in the Sheffield area. I’m pure freehand, but I also understand the hygiene of my customers and also the setting up of my machines – a lot don’t.”
Andy has teamed up with people such as Markus Manue, a local graffiti artist who painted the spacemen mural on Spital Hill, who has furnished Lab 13 with its own art, inside and out. Jenny Clark has been working in the tattoo world for 15 years; her designs have won her awards and for the artists who tattoo them. A good friend and a well known tattooist from Amsterdam will be invited to Lab 13 in the summer.
Andy plans to open a tattooing school for apprentices who wish to learn the skills of the trade, and the school seems to have had a lot of response already. There are about 3 or 4 apprentices currently undergoing training. The door of Lab 13 is open for only serious people who are determined.
“A lot of tattooists in Sheffield may love or hate me, as I’ve plans to open a tattooing school, to show serious people the right formats of this taboo trade. It’s a bit like being a magician, you’re not supposed to show people your tricks, but they have to remember somebody gave me this opportunity and that is why I am what I am today.”
If you are looking to have your body decorated with all kinds of tattoo styles and piercings by a specialist in freehand, look no other place than Lab 13, and Dr. Sosk and his team of surgeons will perform a procedure you will always thank them for.
Lab 13 is open 6 days a week, 11am – 4pm on Mondays and Fridays, 10am – 6:30pm on Saturdays, and are also willing to take appointments at anytime outside working hours.
“A good tattoo ain’t cheap and a cheap tattoo ain’t good.”
To find out more contact Andy at Lab 13 on (0114) 272 0301, or email email@example.com.
Lab 13, 424 Pitsmoor Road, Sheffield.