A tattoo artist has shared his secret to success in the industry after leaving The Sixth Form Bolton many years ago.

Tom Withington, 25, has established himself as a tattoo artist at the popular Manchester-based studio Rapture.

Tom, who studied Art and Design at the sixth form between 2014-2016, now has more than 13,000 followers on his professional Instagram account and has managed to reach an impressive 1.4 million views on TikTok for one of his Darth Vader masterpieces.

He says that the course helped him understand the foundation of putting art together and the many skills he developed on his course.

Tom said: “The art and design course really helped me to understand how to put art together, especially contrast and balance.

The Bolton News: “The skills I developed and the confidence I built really supported me in my career progression.

“My teachers were passionate and approachable, and we had lots of opportunities to engage in live briefs and real-world experiences.”

Tom searched the studios of Manchester looking for a break in the industry, before eventually landing himself an apprenticeship where he honed his craft and enhanced his artistry.

He says his first ever full leg sleeve was his favourite tattoo, which he created for his dad as a thank you for his support.

The former Westhoughton High School pupil was inspired at a young age to seek a career in the demanding tattoo industry, supported by his family.

He specialises in pop culture portraits and black and grey realism.

His business has become so popular that those wanting one of his famous creations often have to wait up to six months.

Tom is now hoping to inspire more art students to consider tattooing as a career.

He said: “My advice to anyone hoping to break into the industry is to perfect their craft on a paper.

“Draw, draw and draw again.

“Only when you are perfect do you consider picking up a needle.

“Also, don’t be afraid to explore, find your own style and make your own impact in the industry”.

To discover more of Tom’s creations, visit tom.tattoos on his official Instagram account.

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