Artists: Antonio Todisco
Macko Tattoo Shop
Via Vecchia Ospedale 57/59
70043 Monopoli, Bari
080 23 75949
FRESHLY INKED: What year did you start tattooing?
ANTONIO TODISCO: I started eight years ago. As a professional, maybe six.
How did you get into tattooing?
When I was young I grew up with watching my grandpa—he was a big painter. Then I finished the school of art in Florence. I was a writer as well, deeply involved in street art, and a tattoo addict. So tattooing came out naturally.
Where did you apprentice?
I never had a real apprenticeship. I tried to get inspiration from the big names in the biz or watching other artists tattooing during the expos!
Do you have any special training?
The first big step up for my game happened thanks to my mentor and now big friend Jose Lopez. He gave me a lot of help and has totally vibed me. I started watching him tattooing—now I follow him during the European expos, and this year I’m going to guest spot at Lowrider. A real blessing for my art.
What conventions have you worked at? Have you won any awards? What are some of your best convention memories?
I think I have worked in all of the big expos all over Europe. I won some international awards during these expos, especially for black-and-gray, and this year a best of show in Rome. I’ve always had good times and memories, but maybe the bigger emotion for me was the first time in Milan and London. I love those conventions!
How do you describe your style?
I learned drawing from classic art and got inspiration from underground culture. Street art and religious themes have intrigued me all my life. I was born and live in south Italy, so I’m attached to our Latin culture, and the Chicano style is what interprets this best.
What inspires you as an artist?
All I have around me could be an inspiration. Sometimes I’m looking into the past; I really love the European Renaissance. Sometimes I look into the big interpreters of the classic cholo art. For my charra girls theme or clown lady I always get reference from the big Estevan Oriol woman photo. It’s so sick!
What sets you apart from other artists?
I think every artist has his own style, so I think nothing sets me apart from the other artists.
What forms of media do you use for promotion?
Usually I use my own website and blog. Facebook and Instagram give me the opportunity to share my works with all my followers and have a direct response. I wanna continue doing conventions around the world—it’s the best way to meet and know the artists and ink addicts. Soon I’ll be part of a TV program talking about the Italian tattoo scene.
How have you branched out from tattooing?
I started selling my flash sets and took part in some Chicano-style book. I even sold some drawings for clothing brands.
What tattoo artists do you admire most?
I admire all those on the black-and-gray scene, especially from the L.A. area. Some very badass artists come from there!
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
Nothing so special. I really like doing back pieces, because you have the opportunity to make a big subject full of details and 3-D effects.
Before someone gets a tattoo what advice do you give them?