Moni Marino



What is your artistic process? I always drew and painted with my father when I was a little girl. He was an extraordinary artist. I was 14 when I discovered that you can draw on the skin permanently, and it has become the biggest love of my life.

When did you start tattooing? Twenty years ago. I was fascinated by the Chicano style in black-and-gray. Over time I experimented with new techniques and new machines. Now I’m tattooing realism in full color.

What’s the most difficult part of a photorealistic tattoo? When I’m working on a photo-realistic tattoo I try to relay
emotions with my art. I put soul into every tattoo I do. I believe that you may feel emotions better through the eyes of a woman or a child; that’s also the reason I love doing tattoo portraits of women and children.

Would you consider tattooing a portrait of yourself, for the right client? If the client wants a portrait of me because he admires my art, of course.

Ah, and you assumed it would be a man. Do you think your appearance has helped or hindered the way people view you? If you are a good-looking tattoo artist but you cannot do good tattoos, you have no chance to be well- known and accepted as an artist.

You seem to be in high demand as an artist all over the globe. And from your social media accounts, it seems you are always painting as well. I take the plane every two weeks and I paint always when I travel. It is a great passion of mine.

How do painting and tattooing coexist? For me, painting and tattooing inter- act completely. When I paint I study the shadows and light reflections, and then I try to apply my studies of painting while I’m tattooing. Obviously the two are completely different techniques, but I think I tattoo as I paint.

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