The awesome art of Andy Ardaseer
Andy Ardaseer’s tribal inspired tattoo designs defy fashion and tap into the deep ancestry of the art form. He swears by Yayo’s products and always recommends them to his customers and the results speak for themselves. We packed writer Matt Haddon-Reichardt on a plane bound for the Netherlands to interview this jewel in the crown of the Yayo family.
Back when I first started getting deep into the tattoo scene there was the phenomenon of artists who were great tattooists but struggled to draw; this lead to them employing apprentices or third parties to design the tattoo. You don’t see it very often these days but drawing for other artists was how Andy Ardaseer got into tattooing.
“I own Endless Art in The Hague , Netherlands. I’ve owned the studio since 1st of March 1999. That’s also the time I’ve been tattooing, I’m self-taught and before I made designs for artist that didn’t really draw. Mercedesz pushed me into becoming an artist myself.”
What hasn’t changed is that good tattoo apprenticeships are hard to come by. This pushes many hungry new tattooists to learn the ropes themselves. In the modern era of Facebook tutorials and YouTube how too videos this has become a lot easier, but back in the late 90’s when Andy started training things were very different.
“Since I had no one to teach me or apprentice under at I started on people with simple designs and lots of cover ups. Let me remind you this is almost 21 years ago when tattoo artists were very old school and almost bound to fixed images where I was full of fantasy and thinking I could do more than just blackout your ex’s name. So after a while I started following my roots and specialized in traditional Polynesian/Indonesian inspired designs, but my love for all different styles is right there in second place.”
"I’m self-taught and before I made designs for artist that didn’t really draw."
This is my third time in Holland and it really is a beautiful country. I ask Andy why people should take a plane to the Nerherlands to get tattooed.
“Early on me and Mercedesz did our homework since I didn’t wanna do like portraits or styles I didn’t yet dare to take on so yes we had some favourites. Now the Netherlands are filled with awesome specialized people in every style. In my style I have only a few favourites like Hina Tetauupu whon is a French Polynesia living here. We also have Rob Deut, Jeroen Franken, Duncan Sandt and Ade Itameda working in Holland. So i’d recommend anyone to come for holiday here and get a tattoo.”
Yayo products are proudly on display in Andy’s studio and I ask him why he uses the brand.
“We use all products except the piercing, stencil & laser products! We are all about nature products and Yayo has it all and no chemicals. It’s just pure nature which is very important to me and so many of my customers. We got to know Yayo through Richard Batey and Andy Murphy and we just clicked with Kirk and the rest of the team. In our industry having real connection is rare so I guess that what makes them an awesome company. They give that personal touch with a lot of kindness.”
It’s true that Yayo is more like a family than a business and Kirk tries his upmost to give his customers and employees that little bit extra when it comes to tattoo after care. Our conversation turns to Andy’s tattoos, He really does have some cool pieces, in particular his face tattoo which holds particular significance.
“Well my mom found out at 16 that I had been hiding a small eagle on my upper arm for a couple of years, it cost me 50 Gilders and I choose it cause it was the biggest for what I could afford, and even though I covered it about 10 years after I can still feel the whooping from my mom thinking about it. My forehead is indeed not just art it tells the story of my different ancestors on my mother and fathers side and finished in the middle with Indonesian cause that was how I was brought up.”
"Now the Netherlands are filled with awesome specialized people in every style."
During Andy’s career he has seen tattooing emerge, bleary eyed, from the underground and take over the world. While some feel tattooing has peaked, Andy feels it will never return to the shadows.
“I don’t think it will be buried again, I do hope ethnic design will keep continue to become more known as also for people to choose not just a copy but demand a custom design to be unique as all living beings are.”
“I don’t think it will be buried again."
One part of my job working for Yayo that I love the most is the opportunity to travel and meet so many talented and interesting artists. Yayo really is a global family. Andy also enjoys the travel opportunities tattooing provides.
“Yes I’ve always been more connected to people abroad and visit our art families all over the globe as do they visit me as often as they can. I will visit the UK In April; we will be spreading out Polynesian inspired designs at Stephen Airey’s The Chaos Gallery and hope to visit our main man Richard Batey of the Killerbeemachine in Carlisle. The whole year will be full of travel and I wanna do some awesome collaborations, take time to enjoy art, family and life. I feel very blessed in what I do and I plan to stay blessed.”
A final thought from the author: "I love working for Yayo. I love the company, I love the people and I love the products. Its such a privilege to travel the world meeting so many great artists. Over the past few months I've seen so many great tattoos in so many different style. It doesn't matter what style of tattoo you have you should always follow sound after care advice to heal that tattoo. If you want the best results when healing a tattoo then use the best; use Yayo!"
Yayo... its a family thing.