Inked AU/NZ #22 - Authent/Ink

Inked AU/NZ – Authentink Article – September 2013

by Kian ‘Horisumi’ Forreal


Ah perspective. That devil that comes upon us when circumstances have changed, when the tides have shifted and what was once clear as day becomes murky and grey. What we once ‘knew!’ for certain, our opinion, our feeling, our soul told us the truth and what is right… and what was wrong…  how it can all become unstuck and be undone with a snap of the fingers and with a simple shift of perspective.

I have opened a tattoo shop and I have become a tattoo shop owner. I have become ‘The Boss’ ha! Man.. I am eating a lot of words right now, eating a lot what I thought and how I felt about things. I see my entire world from a different position now as the buck stops with me entirely. It’s interesting and I am thoroughly enjoying being humbled by the new experience, I owe a lot of people apologies for past behaviours and things I’ve said. You know who you are, if I’ve worked for you then this probably means you

It’s a fucking pain in the ass opening a shop, dealing with the council, solicitors, banks, real estate agents (although mine is awesome) landlords, more council, and now the police. I got my fingerprints taken yesterday for my license; I was having a yarn with the constable doing my prints about tattoos etc… He was telling me about how the Force was going to ban officers from displaying visible tattoos and how it wasn’t fair as you can’t judge people for tattoos anymore, things are different now, everyone has them, blah blah blah.. I pointed out the irony of what he was saying to me as he was rolling my thumb across the touchpad so it could registered in the system and I could be a labelled and catalogued as a ‘tattoo artist’ by the police for my crime of making tattoos! He didn’t get it or even crack a smile. The drop down menu in the computer system for the capturing of my prints listed me as ‘offender’ then my name, then ‘tattoo applicant’ I took exception to being listed as offender but there was no other option he said. Nice system.

Anyways, so all these bright ideas I used to have and dish out free of charge to the various people I worked for over the years…  I see all that for the utter nonsense it was, a shop owner doesn’t want to hear that shit. It’s their shop, they wants to run it their way. I am fortunate in that the lovely people I have working with me are awesome and we work as a team..  I don’t think I could handle another me! I guess what I am learning is that as an employee artist you only see the day to day stuff… money comes in, tattoos go out, easy peasy. So much stuff happens out of hours, unseen to the rest of the people, the stress, the bills, the risks, it really does take its toll.. at least in the city, maybe things are different in different places but in central Sydney the time not tattooing is what’s making me tired these days!

Whingeing aside though, it has been a very rewarding experience creating and opening my own place after 20 years of working for other people all over the world.  I worked very hard for this, I lived in squalor in Europe for years doing most of that travelling and guest spotting I had fuck all to my name…  and now I love driving in to work in the mornings and knowing I made something cool that others want to come to and be part of, a place where others want to come and work with me.  Its funny though when I got the place I had it all planned out it my head how I would set it up and how it would look, and it is nothing like that at all now, everything just fell into place as it should have and it feels just right, like it was meant to be.

At the moment I have two great people working with me that also specialize in Japanese tattooing and they are both Japanese so that’s a definite plus and they are both super nice and down to earth folks. Come check them out and the shop if you’re around Sydney area.

The shop is called Authent/Ink Studio and it’s near central station in Surry Hills.  In the new year we may be looking to take on more artists in different styles so if you’re keen to join a winning team drop me a line through the shop website or my website and we’ll take it from there!  Thanks for reading and  hope to see you in the new shop soon. Please come visit!


Horisumi – Kian Forreal is a professional tattoo artist with 20 years international tattoo experience and specializes in traditional Japanese Style Tattoo. He has worked all over the world and has studied under some of the leading tattoo artists of today. Kian was given a Japanese tattoo title in 2013 by Horiyoshi III in Japan and works out of his shop ‘Authent/ink Studio’ In Sydney, Australia.  His personal website is


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