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Simplesime – Tattoo Artist


Simon Moody (AKA Simplesime) is a Melbourne based tattooist who has been working in the game for the better part of 16 years. Simon has recently set up his own private tattoo studio in Richmond, but has worked with some of the better known studios in Melbourne throughout his career.

As most people would have noticed – getting a tattoo has become de rigueur and I’ve certainly seen both bad and amazing tattoos over the years. (Simon only does the latter)

Tattoos have become not only more sociably acceptable – they have become somewhat of a fashion accessory and in many instances a work of art.

Simon is indeed an artist and is looking to also get into commissioned mural works in the not too distant future, in addition to his usual design and tattooing.

Simon’s style is predominantly fantasy, religious and Chicano, but he also likes to mix in oriental and color realistic applications. It really depends on what he is requested to tattoo at the time.



Having been formally trained as an illustrator in the early 90′s, his style draws from all mediums and is influenced by other artists worldwide.

Simon’s graffiti influence comes across in his work and his previous education in photography also helps with his shading abilities.

In 2012 Simon ran the inaugural Ink Dots Black Spots Exhibition – showcasing artworks from an invited (and talented) bunch of leading tattooists from around Australia. This year Simon and his crew are again running the exhibition on November 28 at The Aviary in Abbotsford, Melbourne.

Both exhibitions kindly donating raised funds from sales of the works to chosen charities. Last years cause was The Cancer Council Victoria and this year is the RSPCA.


Be sure to head down at the end of this month and support a great cause along with some emerging artists to boot. The show is open to the public on the opening night from 6pm and will be open until December 8.

To view Simon’s work visit:


1) How did you get into the tattoo game? Did you have to do any formal training or did you learn on the job? Did you always want to be a tattoo artist?

Right place, right time really. That’s the measure for most of life I suspect.

I’m not aware of any formal schooling, it’s all done on the job, and there is so much to learn… it takes time and building experiences to draw from over that time. Each tattooist has had his or her own journey.

Becoming a tattooist wasn’t an option when I was younger, it was a very closed industry, very different to now. Luckily, as mentioned – right place, right time. I thought I was going to be a vet, photographer, or a truck driver (when I was under 10 y.o)

2) How many tattoos have you got yourself?

I’d consider my tattoos one big one… so one.

3) Who have been some of your greatest creative influences whilst learning your trade? Do you feel your creative style has changed/grown over the years? What are the key elements of a good tattoo?

All of the people I’ve worked with have helped shape where I’m at; Geordie Cole, Owen Williams, William Yoneyama and Sean Jackson have made me push myself by keeping the standard high…

Currently overseas, I’m really influenced by James Tex, Grime, Steve Moore, Jeff Gogue, Filip Leu, Terry Ribera, Logan @ Barracuda and on and on and on…

My creativity and style have both improved. It’s been a long time so it had had better improved. As a tattooist – styles change, subject matter trends differently, culture and fashion dictate different taste, so requests change and you adapt accordingly.

A good tattoo stays in your skin & looks solid, not scratchy or faded looking lines – that’s the basics. But it is very different for each artist and client… so many styles to choose from and so many that artists are trying to achieve, but for basics – words need to be spelt correctly and eyes in portraits need not to be crossed or cocked! The rest is open to interpretation.

4) You would have had some pretty interesting clients (famous and otherwise) come through your studio over the years… Who has been the most famous client/celebrity that you’ve ever tattooed and what did they get? Did they bring in the artwork themselves, or did you work on it with them beforehand? Were you extra nervous about doing the work?

Every client has been interesting in their own way. Some of the celeb/sporting people have been cool to work with; they normally have had a fair idea of what they wanted, like most clients. I really can’t say who would have been the ‘most’ famous, that’s relative to the viewer. Some might not care for the athletes or vice versa but I’d love to tattoo Jennifer Anniston if she wanted one… I’d certainly be a little nervous!

But having worked with people like Michael Klim, Nathan Jones, Lynden Dunn, Koen De Kort, a few Olympic gold medalists, models – Helen and Chrissy Cauchi, Tom Pelley, Chris Davidson, Lindsay ‘The Dr from Triple J’ and plenty of other musos – certainly exposes me to an extended audience.

5) Tattoos have definitely become a bit of a trend and fashion accessory over the last few years. How have you seen your clientele change over the years and has this changed the nature of the industry as a whole through making it more mainstream?

More girls… not that I tattoo that many. Most of my work is greyscale and girls tend to lean more to color work – but definitely more women are being tattooed which doubles your audience. The taboo attached to tattooing has definitely dropped away. They are no longer just for bikies, crims and sailors anymore.

6) What do you love most about your work? / What have been the biggest challenges for you in your career so far, if any?

I can sleep in… I can work shorter hours and still make enough money to survive. The most rewarding part is the feedback. It’s immediate and everyone leaves with a result better than what they expected. (Which is weird because they’ve seen my work and I would think they should expect the same results, but I guess people just can’t ‘see it’ until it’s right in front of them)

The challenges are gaining exposure. This industry is a word-of-mouth one where you need to work hard and make sure you keep producing the best result because your business card is walking around on someone’s skin. Popularity also. Tattooing is becoming more competitive, with more artists and at higher and higher standards – it’s lucky there has been such an influx of people wanting to be tattooed.

7) Do you have an all time fave tattoo that you’ve ever done on a client? What is your fave tattoo on your own body? Tell us a bit about both.

Too many to consider… Getting a portrait ‘right’ is very rewarding and also very personal to the owner, so probably some of them would be my faves… but then there are some pieces, which are my original illustrations and are rewarding as well.

My favorite tattoo on me would most probably be my Kirin back piece – it’s so big, epically impressive. I can’t believe I’ve got it sometimes! Thanks to Geordie! (Tattoo Magic)

8) Have you ever had the situation occur where you got to the end of a tattoo and the client changed their mind/regretted getting it?! Do you ever try and talk a client out of getting a bad tattoo (ie. if you feel the artwork or idea is a bit lame), or do you have to respect their creative brief?

No. By the time their booking comes around they’ve had time to think about it. Most people are already considering the next one whilst I’m doing their tattoo.

I’m forever talking people out of positions, “not there, maybe consider this, or try it there”… There is always plenty of bad artwork, which you need to delicately work around, but if they insist and I’m not convinced, I’ll recommend someone else to tattoo it.

9) As a creative person – who and what inspires you / what are you passionate about?

So many people inspire me, that’s an interview in itself! Passionate – that’s odd, when I was at University they drilled into us to be passionate – and at the time I wasn’t – but now things are different. I’ve got so many interests that I love, but basically I’m into technical execution, no matter what media or style. I’m into efficiency and logic in process, in relationships, in society, in technology. This is also its own interview!!!

10) What’s next for you? Any other interesting projects on the horizon/collaborations or future goals you are yet to achieve?

Long list – there are plenty of goals and projects in the pipeline, but in the near future there’s Ink Dots Black Spots – an exhibition which I’ve curated and worked closely with Megan and Chris from Dangerfork to showcase Tattooist Artworks. We wanted to level the playing field and help the viewer see that most tattooists are illustrators, artists, and creatives in their own right. So this exhibition is an opportunity for those who may never have a tattoo to own tattoo artwork (of course people who have tattoos can buy them as well). Each artists print is screen printed in one color at 18′x24′ in a limited edition of 25. The results are so great. Last year was the first year for this exhibition and it was a great success for all involved, and we are hoping this year will be bigger and better. Last year we worked towards and reached a donation goal of $5,000, which we gave to The Cancer Council Victoria. This year we are aiming for more to give to the RSPCA. The theme for this year is ‘animals’, decided by each artist and what their initials are… So my ‘Ss’ is a swan and seahorse. You’ll have to come to the show to see it… See you there!

For more info on the upcoming exhibition, please visit http://inkdotsblackspots

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