Sean Zeek has been around the business of tattooing all his life, some of his earliest memories are of seeing his father (Jack Zeek) working. He started being tea boy/cleaner in his fathers studio aged 7, by the time he was 10 he was pricing work for his fathers customers.It was a foregone conclusion that this was going to be his path in life.
He did his first tattoo and started his apprenticeship properly when he was 14. The first tattoo he did was colouring on a butterfly that his father outlined on “Big” Bill Cherry. The die was cast from that day on.
He started tattooing full time when he left school at 16 (and became the youngest health registered tattooist in the UK), his father outlined the tattoos and he coloured initially until he progressed to doing the whole job on his own. Tattooing was a very different business then, the designs were a lot more basic (panthers, eagles, peacocks), his apprenticeship was very traditional as his fathers roots in the business hailed from days of old. He caught the first wave of the artistic revolution in tattooing that was spearheaded by the likes of Ed Hardy, Gregg Irons, George Bone, Pete Tracey and many more who were exploring “Real” art in tattooing, In those days there were no computers or magazines, it was before the information age had started so to get designs and ideas for better work was a hit and miss affair.
George Bone of London (he’s still working 50 years on and still putting out top quality work) was doing incredible Japanese style tattooing and any opportunity he had he would photograph his work when he saw it so he could study and try to emulate what he was doing. He worked with his father for 18 years until he sadly passed away in 1999. He kept the studio going for 18 months after, but closed the place down to lay his father to rest, there were just too many memories there.
Since then he has moved about the UK and worked at a succession of studios finally ending up at Exclusive tattoos.
Sean tries to make every tattoo he does unique for each customer, a high percentage of his work is freehand. Sean works in other mediums here and there, when time allows and would like to spend more time painting but rarely gets the opportunity as tattooing takes up the majority of his time.