INTERVIEW: Tattoo Artist, Jan Moat (Identity)

To celebrate the release of my 4th horror novel – apoc-horror, DOLL PARTS – it’s been all-tattoos-all-the-time at the blog. I’ve had the pleasure of Simon Marshall-Jones’ company, looking at tattoos and discrimination. Tattoo artist Sween popped over. I was interviewed myself, about my own (ever growing) tattoo collection, over at THIS IS HORROR.

Today, it’s great to have another great artist dropping in, Mr Jan Moat of Identity.


Hey Jan. Thanks for joining us! Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into tattooing.

Hello, my name is Jan and I’m not an alcoholic. If anything,  I’m crap at drinking but that’s besides the point.

I first thought about becoming a tattoo artist at the age of 16. The craft had always intrigued me since watching a film called Tattoo, starring Bruce Dern, when I was a kid. The start shows a fuck load of Yakuza types with full body suits and something just clicked in my head.

Anyway skip to being 18 and I have a few tattoos from this street shop and I find out they are looking for an apprentice.  So I take in my portfolio and they put a machine in my hand that day to see if I’ve got the balls to do it.

I spent two years apprenticing then another four working at that shop till it all went tits up.

After that I spent a year working at a buddy’s studio and then opened my own place, Identity.


Do you specialise in any particular style of tattooing? Anything you prefer to do over other work, or do you enjoy a mixture?

I like a mixture to be honest. I find myself stagnating if I get stuck in a rut doing the same style tattoos over and over, but my first love will always be black and grey style horror images: there is just something great about transferring gore and disturbing images permanently onto someone’s flesh.



I know you’re a fan of the horror genre. What are your favourite films/ books/ comics?

There are so manyfilms: you have the likes of The Thing, Alien, most of Romero’s work. Asian horror like The Ring and The Eye (untill hollywood decided to jack all their shit and ruin it). Comics-wise, I love The Walking Dead series and old clasics like AVP. I did have a great collection of Batman stuff (involving The Joker) but most of it got killed in a house move due to water damage.

Books horror-wise, I love Simon Clark’s work, Richard Laymon but I’m a bit of a sci-fi nerd as well so Alfred Bester, Philip K Dick and William Gibson feature heavily in my library. Not to forget your good self Wayne – I have just finished reading Fever.


Thank you, sir. Hope you enjoyed it! 

Do many people request horror tattoos from you? 

Yeah I get a decent amount of folk wanting cool horror themed tattoos. I’ve done work from Silent hill, Aliens, Resident Evil. I just finished a tattoo of the Kraken from the Clash of the Titans remake. Then, of course, there are zombies; I love doing tattoos of anything zombified.


What are some of your favourite horror tattoos out of those you’ve done?

My favourite horror image out of what I have done so far is a portrait of Vincent Price: it was a joy to work on and he is one of the coolest motherfuckers that ever graced the silver screen.

I know you moved studio recently. How’s the new place going?
The new place is great. Loads more natural light and space. It’s doing really well and is easier to find compared to the old spot.


Finally, you’re working one day in the studio when in come a horde of the undead. How would you dispatch them?

Oh dude the options I’ve got are endless: there are the two “decorative” machettes, my arm rests would make pretty nice warhammers, and, of course, there’s the trusty chainsaw that I always keep handy for such occasions. Im trained in the filipino martial art of Kali as well so I’m basicaly waiting for this zombie horde to turn up so I can test my skills haha!

Visit Jan online right here.