Hi, my name is Wilhelm Sørensen, a 29 and half year old dude from Fredrikstad in Norway. I have the best girlfriend, Nina, and a son who is 5 years old. Soon I’ll have a new baby too!
Who are your biggest inspirations?
In tattooing my biggest inspirations are Marius Meyer from Norway, Tim Lehi and Timothy Hoyer from America. They are all tattooing in a loose style, that is going straight to my heart. They can also paint and draw in multiple styles. I get the right feeling when I look at their stuff. It’s just perfect to me. I also think the loose kind of style is aging much better in the skin. It’s more dynamic and real. I know it’s really trendy and in the wind to get tattoos that look like perfect stickers, but I think they got less magic then a Meyer/Lehi/Hoyer tattoo. They are all tattooing my favorite images like dragons, skulls, snakes and demons. The Ed Hardy School of tattooing – a nice mix of American and Japanese tattooing. Not too traditional Japanese, just a mixed style that I love to wear on my body and watch on other people. When I say this, it’s like I’m not into Japanese traditional…I actually am! I love Ichibay, the Horitoshi familys tattoos, Mike Roper etc.
Tattoo-talk with my fellow tattooed friends – and tattooer friends – like Ivar, Avery, Marius and Morten is also very inspiring. Buying tattoo books, reading old TAM-magazines, collecting tattoo art, travelling for tattoos and going to the London tattoo convention.
Outside tattooing my biggest inspirations are family, friends, great music and road cycling.
What first drew you in the tattoo world?
I can’t remember exactly what year. I just remember my cousin, who is 12 years older, who was a late 80s/90s punk rocker that had a lot of biomech and traditional tattoos. Full sleeves and her legs full. Not very common to have in Norway at that time. She also had a box stored on our grandfather attic with some crazy tattoo books. I can remember I found The 1000 Tattoos Book by Hank Schiffmacker. Naked girls, vaginas and dicks tattooed with japanese hannya and tengu masks. It was crazy to see photos like that for a teenage kid. So much cool stuff in that book. I still love to look in it!
Some years later when I was 14 she gave me Glen E. Friedman photobook, “Fuck you Heroes”. Photos of Henry Rollins and Darby Crash with their punk rock tattoos made me wanna have tattoos. Later some of my older friends got tattoos by the local tattooer when they was 18. It was still just a dream to get my own tattoos but I realized it was possible.
Tell me about your first tattoo..and your last one! What is the main difference?
I think I was 18 years old when I first started to do some serious research in magazines and MySpace trying to find out what I wanted to get tattooed. I ended up flying from Trondheim to Bergen getting a full sleeve done in two really big sessions by Tomas Brudvik. He is a tattoo-legend in Norway.
It was portraits of Johnny Ramone and Iggy Pop, a skull and a Man’s Ruin tattoo. The sleeve is now covered by some of my favorite tattooers.
I did not hate the tattoos that I covered but I went out of space, so I just had to cover them.
I also love the black and mysterious look of big cover ups/blast overs. I still have the Man’s Ruin, though!
Going back to some decades ago, who is the first tattoo artist that comes to your mind?
I’m still a kid in the tattoo world and has only been in the tattoo world for one decade. But my good friend Morten Lønning/Marbelart, who is a great tattooer and started tattooing in 1997, is borrowing me his old magazines and books from that era. I really enjoy reading them and looking in them. I can’t pick just one name, but I would say Ed Hardy, Dan Higgs and Eddy Deutsche. Also Freddy Corbin and Timothy Hoyer. Old Chris Trevino is my favorite!
Who did you get tattooed by? Would you define yourself a tattoo enthusiast?
- Tomas Brudvik
- Tony Nilsson x 2
- Morten Transeth x 2
- Elizabeth Miles
- Brian Kelly
- Andrea Furci
- Morten Lønning x 2
- Marius Meyer x 8
- Chad Koeplinger x 3
- Chris Garver
- Horimasa Tosui
- Mike Rubendall
- Chris O’Donnell
- Jeff Rassier
- Timothy Hoyer
- Tim Lehi x 2
- Tony Hundahl
- Eddy Deutsche
- Hide Ichibay
- Jeremy Swed
- Jason Brooks
- Ben Siebert
- Chris Trevino
- Josh Arment
I would not call myself a tattoo enthusiast. I just like tattoos and some of the culture around it.
I’m not into talking tattoos with everyone. It’s mostly a thing I have just for my own pleasure.
What do you love the most about the page you manage with Ivar – Lived in Tattoos?
I like that I sometimes get to see tattoos from my favourite tattooers that I’ve never seen before. Sometimes we also get tattoos submitted that you can remember from the 90s magazines – but lived in and aged for years. Like an old Ed Hardy or a Eddy Deutsche tattoo. That’s always a great feeling. New tattoos don’t look good to me – the older the better! It’s also awesome that some of our favorite tattooers and collectors have Sunday Takeovers and show off what they got on their body.
What’s it like to be a tattooed man and dad?
That is not something I think too much about. I like my tattoos and I think my son also does. Maybe they are going to embarrass him when he is getting older, or maybe not. I don’t know.
At least he can learn about good tattoos from me, if he wants to. Haha.
What advice would you give to the youngest tattoo collectors?
Save all your money and travel for tattoos. Get tattoos from the 90s guys before they retire. Buy some old TAM magazines and read the interviews. Buy prints and original art from your favorite artists.
How do you see the modern tattoo society we are living in?
I think it’s too many tattooers and too many shitty tattooers. I like Instagram and watch what the tattooers I like the most are doing on a daily basis. Watch progress photos, paintings, sketches etc. Just take a small part in their life as a tattooer and artist. So it’s negative and positive sides like it is with everything in this modern world. I don’t think too much about it.
I focus on what I like, not the bad things.
What is the situation about tattoo art awareness in your country?
I would say it is still a niche and a bit “underground”, but we have great tattooers here in Norway. We got world class tattooers a tattoo collector should travel to get tattooed by. In my opinion Marius Meyer is by far the very best tattooer in the world at this point. I’m very happy I got a big part of my body tattooed by him. He also had the best guest artists like Tim Lehi and Eddy Deutsche. Blue Arms Tattoo is a well known shop in Oslo. They got a crazy good line-up and awesome guest artists. Iron Shield Tattoo in Sandnes also got a sick line-up. They all got Instagram, so check them out! Norway also got some real and nice tattoo collectors who travel for good tattoos. Some of them have been having Sunday Takeovers on the Lived In Tattoos page on Instagram. Take a look!
Any future project and tattoo plans to share with us?
No big tattoo plans. I save my last spots for Mike Roper, Matt Arriola and Mick. Not sure when that is going to happen, but some time in the future I hope. Soon we get a newborn, so that’s my next project. Oh, I forgot I have to finish a big blast/cover up on my ribs by Marius Meyer. Sorry Marius, see you when I forget how painful it is!