Meet Tony: from Sweden to Norway through Traditional Style tattoos. He’s a tattooist, an artist and the co-owner of Blue Arms Tattoos (in Oslo) – a collective tattoo shop he founded in 2012 with 5 friends…
Hi Tony, how would you introduce yourself to Tattoo Life readers?
My name is Tony Nilsson and I’m a Swedish guy living in Norway since 2002. I work at our own shop Blue Arms Tattoo, that we started in 2012 as a collective for friends – with no owners or masters.
Three adjectives to describe you, as a person and as a tattoo artist …
I would like to say I’m a positive curious optimist, if I could narrow it down to three adjectives!
How long have you been tattooing?
I started tattooing in 2008 and kind of didn’t have any teachers but rather a lot of friends with the same interest.
Who were your teachers and what are your points of reference?
I try to base my tattoos and other art work on old pictures from the early 1900 and trying to make the best out of the references, do its justice and stay true to the traditional tattoo style – with a twist, if I can describe it right. I’m a big fan of Cap Coleman, Bob Wicks, Milton Zeis, Percy Waters, the Norwegian Amend Dietzel and many more…
What were the most important moments of your career?
The most important moment in my career is probably the beginning of Blue Arms Tattoo in 2012, before and after that so many things have happened that I don’t even know where to start (he laughs, ed).
How would you define your Traditional style?
I would define my traditional style based on the illustrations and references from the past, made with the techniques from the past, done today.
Do you want to tell us about the Blue Arms Tattoo?
Blue Arms Tattoo marks 10 years soon and its a collective shop with 5 friends and me. We try to cover most traditional styles and it’s such a fun shop to be part of. Thanks to @hanseblearms @niocholasbluearms @christianbluearms @erikbluearms and @chrisblueaerms.
Do you also have other projects besides tattooing?
Oh, I’m trying to do anything I feel that seems fun, I’ve been involved in a bunch of other projects such as books, and collabs with other brands (clothing, jewelry, design, pop ups.)…
Are you working on something in particular right now?
At the moment @joelsoos and me are doing a side project called secret MFG which is a bit of everything. Exciting things to come. I’m also currently working on an art exhibition, 2 new books, NFT Art and collaboration with @fewandfarco. And many more personal things.
Do you want to add something before saying goodbye?
Thank you for the support everyone, and I hope the world gets better soon. Peace.