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We are excited to feature John Freary who is located in West Auckland (like us) for this month’s artist of the month. He’s just released a new podcast called New Zealand Tattoo and we wanted to find out more while also exploring his tattoo style and what got him into the industry.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Virgo, beer lover, blue eyes.

What studio are you working out of/where are you based?

New Lines in Titirangi, West Auckland.

What got you into it?

My best mate decided we should be tattooists, so we got a kit, he was shit, I was ok, so I carried on!

Tattoo inspiration?

Thomas Hooper and Jeff Gogue were my initial inspirations, And both because they were so individual in their styles, I’m trying to find mine through everyday application.

What’s your tattoo style?

Still finding it, it’s my mission everyday to find my own way ay of applying anything I do so it’s recognisable as mine.

Has your style developed over time?

I think so, once I started to get to know what my hands and eyes could do, I then tried to design to that skill set, now I’m trying to push my limits.

What style of tattoo would you like to tattoo more of?

Large scale geometric, torsos or full body.

What was the first tattoo you ever did or got on yourself?

An anchor.

We are pretty excited about your new podcast! For those who don’t know much about it, would you mind explaining more about it?

My favourite tattooists these days are kiwis, and I wanted to learn more about their roots in Aotearoa and their journey to where they are now, so I just thought why don’t I see if they’d be happy to chat? I wanted it to be a bit of a go to, for anyone interested in these artists, so before their appointment, or even if they just like their art, anyone could hear their story from them, and maybe even learn from it.

Has this always been something you’ve wanted to do?

No way! But these days if I think I want to do something I’m scared of, I just say fuck it and try. I’m only limited by my own will. But I quietly do hope it grows into something bigger, I’d love for the world to hear about these artists’ journeys.

Do you have any artist who hasn’t been featured yet you’d love to have on the show?


  • Dan Smith
  • Rose hardy
  • Mayo
  • Coen
  • Dean and Dan Sacred

Just to name a couple, and my list is super limited, so need some help

What has the industry reception been for the podcast and what are your plans for the future of the show?

So far I think it’s ok, they’re generally 50min so relatively palatable, but does take some time, so i think it might take a bit for peeps to really watch a few of them, and for the future, id love to see it grow and include tattood kiwis, we’ve such a rich heritage of tattooing here, that it’s doesn’t just have to be the artists stories.

How have you found the pandemic as an artist and with the lockdowns within New Zealand?

As a dad, epic, as a shop owner, tough. More time with the kids I wouldn’t have given myself, is a blessing!

What have been the biggest challenges to overcome?

I can’t fucking stand masks.

Who are you in your private life?

I’m the same in shop and at home man, just love to chill, be a good person, and quietly build a future for my wife and kids.

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