INTERVIEW WITH BARBER & MODEL PAULL FORREST

INTERVIEW WITH BARBER & MODEL PAULL FORREST

“SPIDER MAN OR IRON MAN."


DESIRE, DEDICATION, PASSION! THESE ARE JUST A FEW WORDS TO DESCRIBE PAULL FORREST. OH AND A WHOLE LOTTA PAIN. GET AN INSIGHT INTO WHAT IT TAKES TO LOOK AS BADASS AS THIS.

So who is Paull Forrest and what do you do? 

I was born in the UK in a city called Leicester, best known for finding a dead king in a car park and our football team winning the Premier League at 5000/1. Pug dog dad, tattoo enthusiast and day to day i am the manager at a hair salon. Ex party boy who used to be quite wild. I’ve gone from sneaking out of the house to go to parties to sneaking out of par- ties to go home. I love my creature comforts.

Your ink has grown even more since we last met, what space other than your face do you have left? Have you plans for completely covering your face? 

Yeah I've been incredibly focused over the past couple of years getting my body to where i want it to be in regards to Ink. I defi- nitely spend way to long thinking about it - It's definitely an obsession somewhat. Im working at getting my legs finished at the moment. in fact, as I write this I have my legs up resting as i had my kneecap blacked out a few days ago. so currently i have a massive swollen knee causing all kinds of difficulties with everyday tasks we take for granted such as walking and getting changed! They tend not to show you this part of the tattooing process on social media! I'm flying to Germany for a two day sitting in October and hopefully that will complete my legs. Following that ive got a few little bits on my back to finish then my arm- pits and then i guess in theory you would say i am complete but in reality you're never complete. Im sure many people can relate to this. There is always something to do and i plan on starting a big new project next year. Thing is over the years ive had a combination of colourwork, realism, dotwork and blackwork and my end goal is to be able to maintain all these different styles of tattooing but make them work together as one seam- less bodysuit incorporating them all. I’m hoping next years project will achieve this. As for the rest of my face... In short im not sure. As you have mentioned, since we last met my facial ink has grown. Its slowllllly creeping inwards and i do have some sketches for the next step of my face tattoo that does bring it in slightly more, but when it comes to face tattoos i am very patient and cautious. Its your face so you gotta be sure! Not an area you can hide very well! If i come up with an idea to evolve part of it, i will get a biro out and roughly draw it on and spend the evening with it on glancing in the mirror every now and then, getting the feel of it like a tattoo test drive. Following that i will get it drawn on at the studio properly, take some photos of myself with the stencil on then go home and look at the photos every now and then. If i'm still happy after that then the following session i will have it done.

You have dabbled in modelling in the past is this something you would like to do more of? 

Yeah it certainly is. I told myself this year that i would start doing more. Over the past few years I've been asked quite alot if i would be up for doing bits n bobs. In theory i've loved the idea but in reality ive never really had the confidence to do anything and the anxiety kicks in. Even though some of the photographers work etc i have really liked. Infact... Danny Woodstock was the first person whos work i liked enough that the thought of getting it done out weighed the anxiety of doing it. Thankfully he made the experience enjoyable which helped break down some of the barriers my brain was struggling with in regards to doing it in the first place and since then, the more shoots ive done the more ive enjoyed it and the more natural and confident ive felt when getting a camera pointed at me. I plan on being alot more active on social media too. Ive got loads of content to post but am one of those people who takes photos, likes them then ummms and arrrs and over thinks it and it never ends up getting uploaded at all. I am like this in many aspects of my life. Definitely a worrier, but i am coming to realise that i have nothing to worry about and just have to crack on with things. Its currently a mental battle i like to think im winning. Im at a place in my life at the moment where mentally and physically i am in a better place than i have been in a lonnnng time, if ever. My mindset is good.

When did your fascination with ink start and why? 

Probably about 15 or 16 i think I started to take notice of them more. It was the thought of there being billions of people in the world and being able to have something on your body that nobody else in the entire world has on them! This thought to me was mind blowing. I spent 3 or 4 years religiously buying tattoo magazines at a time before tattooists had social me- dia and the only way of discovering new artists was word of mouth and magazines. I remember being excited on a Satur- day morning and getting the bus into town to head down to WHSmiths when i knew the latest edition of 'Tattoo' magazine had been released. I have two massive suitcases upstairs full of them. One particular issue of the magazine there was a middle page spread of a French tattoo artist who is known as 'Bugs'. He owned a studio in Camden known as Evil From The Needle and I was literally blown away by his work and i knew i had to get my work done by him. This was my green light into the world of tattooing. A young lad who had never been to London before was nervous, but i picked my balls up off the floor and made my way there for the first time. My full Japanese cubic style sleeve began as did my obsession with the tattoo community. Tattoos have also been one of the factors in my life that helped me get through the low point in my life... After getting re- ligiously tattooed for a good few years i had a break from getting tattoed for about 5 or 6 years as i found myself trapped in a world of border line addiction. It was a bad time for me and one that has definitely played a factor in any lack of confidence and anxiety i may have. in my early twenties i was a proper party boy. I thrived in busy scenarios. The busier the club the better. I knew everyone and everyone knew me, and i was living my best life... Well at the time i thought i was. Then i got introduced to cocaine. Start- ed off as bit of a laugh which it always does but little did i know how much of an addictive personality i had and i started making my way down the rabbit hole. Probably around 8 years of my life i lost. There are literally years i don't remember at all. I quite frankly became a prick. Hurting people i cared about and being more concerned over where i was getting my next line. It was the creation of a constant cocktail of Cocaine, pills and Mephedrone. Think my record of staying awake was 5 days without sleep. Any money i had went on drugs. I remember the point were i realised i needed to sort myself out. I was in my flat sitting infront of a glass table with lines of Mephedrone lined up. I was gaunt, must of weighed about 9 stone from lack of appetite and not eating. One side of me i had a mountain of letters of unpaid bills and rent and the other was a pile of stinky bin bags that i simply couldn't be arsed to take outside. Sniffing lines and flicking through tesco vouchers to see if i could get any food with them because i had no money. I stood up and looked in the mirror and was disgusted in what i saw.

The most meaningful & most painful tattoo? 

The most meaningful and what im most proud of is my head and face 'helmet' piece done by my sister from another mister Deryn Twelve tattoo. I am soooo proud of what we have achieved thus far with it. Ive lost count of how many hours we have put into it with adding, layering and creeping forward. Must be 70/80 hours and its still evolving. I can be a pain in the ass when it comes to adding bits to it and im certain Deryn will second that statement! She's so amazingly patient and understanding with my OCD towards it. Its important when having potentially life altering tattoo work that you choose not only an artist who's work you love and fits with what vision you want to achieve but also somebody who you get along with and have a similar vision and understanding with and i feel lucky to have that mutual respect towards one another with Deryn. I named us 'team patience' and i have been known to shout it out at the end of a tattoo session as a celebration war cry of victory. Because im very into keeping my head and face tattoo work symmetrical like a helmet rather than lots of random tattoos, adding to it can takes ages. We have literally spent entire days freehanding just a few lines to tattoo on my face to achieve the symmetry! I have a folder with close to 100 printouts of my face and head with doodles on showing the evo- lution from start to now that i have accumulated since the project began. Its really cool going through it actually. Maybe i will do something with it in future when we are done. Would probably make quite a cool look book or something. Most painful tattoo, thats easy... My c*ck and side of balls. Haha. Actually maybe around the asshole... Neither are for the faint hearted and feature a similar amount of violation. Both of them areas have been tattooed by the German blackwork beast known as 3kreuze. I remember during a session once he just randomly came out with 'paull, how come whenever you see me you always have fucked up shit?! ' i didn't really have an answer. On my first two sessions with him i spent two days in a row in do**y style position with my ass in his face while he was spreading my cheeks open telling me to relax so i didn't clench my ass cheeks together and he could get right in there. Then after that on a later date spent a good chunk of time with my cock in his face so can understand his train of thought. Couple of funny stories about the day when i had my cock done... Firstly during it, i was in London at a studio that had an open plan setup on a pretty busy day. Next to me getting tattooed was this sweet young girl having her arm tattooed. We had exchanged a few words with one another throughout the morning while i was getting my upper thighs done so was just your everyday environment of a tattoo studio. Then the afternoon came and was c*ck tattoo time. Didn't start off tooooo badly but then started getting difficult. I had a towel on my face trying to keep my yelps at a minimum as not to disturb the other artists tattooing. But then when i felt like tapping out, somebody took hold of my sweaty hand... It was the young girl who was next to me getting her arm done. She saw i was struggling and got her artist to stop so she could come and hold my hand and give me words of encouragement. Kept telling me it was going to be ok like some kind of birthing partner. It was the cutest. I never did get the girls name but if she ever read this i'd like to thank her as it really did help. I actually have a video of this scenario but unfortunately isnt very social media friendly! Second story occurred straight after the first when my tattoo session had ended. My c*ck was pretty much inverted like it was trying to hide inside my body and secondly was a very interesting shade of purple in colour. Point being, i was sore as fuck. I had travelled to London on the day to get it done. A trip that only takes about an hour and half on the train. So after the session on a day where i had the top of thighs and cock done, we had wrapped my legs as best we could in clingfilm for the journey home. Sore penis and clingfilmed legs was causing me to walk like a penguin down the road. Something that was impossible to style out. I made it to the train station with good time to spare before my train was due to leave so I figured i had time to pee... Get into the urinals in the public toilets at St Pancras International, pull down my joggers and forget that the clingfilm is wrapped around me, trapping my cock behind transparent wall! I try my best to pierce a hole in it to make a little wee hole which was only half successful. Basicallyyyy i pissed down my own legs. So here i am walking back down St Pancras platform to get the train, head down, walking like a penguin and covered in piss. Now i don't know if anyone has witnessed what it's like to sit on a train with a freshly tattooed cock and pissy legs, but it's quite a unique experience. Finally get home and my girlfriend picked me up from the station. I get in the car and she asks me if im ok. I just turn to her and have a little cry. It wasn't from the pain of the day it was just i was mentally and emotionally gone! Was a testing day indeed! I said im so glad its over and would never do that again... but now ive kind of forgot about what it felt like i think down the line i will add to it a little more. We shall see. Sucker for punishment i guess.    

How do people perceive you in everyday life? do you think the tattoos hinder you in anyway? 
 
I get stared at an awful lot and of course stopped by random people and get your standard: 'Which tattoo hurt the most?' 'Are you tattooed all over?' 'How much did that cost? Hey, Spider Man' Not necessarily in that order and personally if i was to pick a a super hero i resembled, i would say i was more Ironman with his visor down. True story. Google it. But i guess its understandable. We are curious people as a species so when somebody sees something thats not the normal we are obviously going to take Interest. I get it. I can't really complain about attention too much as im kinda asking for it. ... Just dont try touch me. That infuriates me. Im sure many heavily tattooed people can relate to this. Ive been waiting for trains and such and had people literally walk upto me and touch my head or face. Theres curiosity and then just an inva- sion of somebodys personal space. It really bugs my partner when we are out and about sometimes as often its not just a quick look out of curiosity, its more of stop what there doing and follow me down the road with there eyes in confusion. Definitely a take a photo it will last longer kind of scenario. Im unsure if its admiration or disgust. Probably a mixture of both. The innocence of children is the best though. They seem to love me. I always figured that kids like drawing and colouring in, so to them who are unaware of what tattoos are see me as a walking drawing. I bumped into somebody i knew a while back who has young kids who i had never met. They were out for the day as it was her daughters birthday and the young girl was playing with this new Barbie she had received as a present. We spoke for abit and parted ways and i didn't really think anything of it. Later that evening get a message from the girls mum saying that when she got home she made some dinner and her daughter sat at the dinner table playing with some sort of plastic monstrosity. The young girl had ripped all of the barbies hair out, got a black biro and scribbled all over its head! Essen- tially made a cross dressing Paull action figure. Haha. Instantly offered her money for it. Oh and I've been down good ol' Mecca Bingo before as well and been asked if i could 'please take my hat off' which was one of my favourites. Funnily enough i also get a fair amount of cute innocent 60/70 year old women stop and talk to me showing curiosity. Its definitely a sign that the stigma of tattoos is changing as stereotypically people of that age dynamic would be 'scared' of somebody who looks like me. Do they hinder me in anyway... I once about 10 years ago didn't get let into a nightclub with the excuse 'sorry mate no tattoos tonight' but as a whole I would have to say personally I feel they don't. Im lucky to be in a career that welcomes tattoos with open arms. I feel lucky that i get the chance to be able to express myself in anyway i see fit in regards to how I look and it not be an issue. Anyone in a similar boat to me should also be grateful. One of them things in life i think alot of people take for granted. There are millions of people out there that would love to get visible tattoos but unfortunately because of the stigma behind them they are not able to do so. There are many folk that on the inside have a heavily tattooed mindset but society stops them acting on it forcing them to look a certain way #grateful. The days have long gone of people with tattoos being perceived as thugs and criminals and we are in an era were record- ing artists, Reality tv stars etc have made them new norm in the mainstream, but there is still a lonnnnnnnng way to go before they are accepted in all fields of work and life. Unfortunately I don't think that will ever be the case. ...id also like to visit rural Japan and from what i gather i'd be abit fucked and my option of things to do would be limited there.

What or who inspires you? 
 
Its the little things each day that give me that inspiration boner. Could be anything from a shitty joke on TV to an amazing tattoo that pops up on my insta feed. Gives you that little buzz. Anybody who talks passionately about what they love. Definitely gets me too. It's an amazing thing to see and its infectious. Behaviour breeds behaviour.

Do you think it's important to set goals? 
 
100% my life pretty much evolves around goals of all sizes. I have post-it notes all around my house with little day to day scribble goals all over them. I'm very much a planner. I enjoy structure so setting goals help this. Year goals. Like for example one of my goals for 2020 was by end of year to get my leg and feet tattoos finished. Day to day goals. Day goals are whats kept me sane during lockdown due to the covid19 pandemic. I didn't want to get to the end of lockdown and back to work and be like 'wish id done this, wish id done that' while i wasnt working. Wanted to go back knowing id made the most out of a horrific situation we were living through and come out the other side of it with an improved mental and physical wellbeing. Kinda like a life reboot. I was definitely stuck in routine i was unaware of pre lockdown and feel i now have a different perspective on life. First week lockdown goal was to decorate one of the rooms in my house. Something that i had the chance to smash through with so much free time on my hands and something that would of took 3 months living in a mess having to stop and start in between working hours. Then following that I moved my focus to health and fitness. Researched sooo much and completely changed my diet and daily workout goal routines were set. I was lucky enough to have over the years brought random items of gym equipment so i had no problem putting it all together and pretty much creating a home gym. Was a god send! Hopefully when i get back into my usual work routine i will be able to continue and maintain what i have learnt about life and changed about myself during lockdown and i'm capable of integrating them around working life. Only downside to setting day goals is im way to critical of myself. If there is something i set myself and for whatever rea- son I don't achieve it. I literally sulk and beat my self up. I'm even considering writing a shopping list mini goals. And its necessary as my brain can be like a sieve. My brain only holds four items of a shopping list. Anything other than that i will forget something.

Your last 3 web searches on your phone? and tell the truth :) 

Haha, there not very exciting im afraid. Not even a whiff of pornhub. 1. 'how many episodes of The Simpsons has there been?' 639 btw. 2. 'pewdiepie' Lockdown had me watching alot of YouTube content. 3. 'how to attach a magnetic knife rack to a wall?' There were no screw holes in it! Went with velcro tape for hanging photo frames. Worked a treat.






More images below from Danny Woodstock Photographer   











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