Artists: Dimitar Krkaliev
What year did you start tattooing?
How did you get into tattooing?
I got into tattooing after being out of work for a while. I injured my knee in my previous job delivering kitchen appliances. Graham ‘Gretch’ Seymour had been tattooing me for years and at that point had become a close friend so I was always at his shop when I wasn’t working. He eventually started to teach me to draw and the basics of tattooing.
What was your first shop experience like?
It was a massive learning curve. I was lucky to have a good group of artists around me who never held back any knowledge they had. I’m forever grateful for how much they all helped me.
Did you have a formal apprenticeship?
My apprenticeship was unorthodox because I was put onto the machines in a short amount of time, but I was definitely expected to pull my weight with shop duties just like any apprentice should. I loved it.
What inspires you as an artist?
I take a lot of inspiration out of working alongside the artists I’ve worked with. They are all so diverse and their knowledge in this trade is priceless.
You work primarily in black and grey realism, do you ever work in color?
I have worked in color for a few pieces. Black and grey is where my passion will always be though.
What appeals to you about black and grey?
Black and grey appeals to me because of the level of work that is out there. There are some artists that are doing unbelievable work in black and grey, it really pushes me to try to reach a higher level.
What other mediums do you work in?
Pencil portraiture and charcoal drawings are what I’m constantly working in on the side.
What tattoo artists do you admire most?
Artists such as Gretch, Fred Flores, Alexander Suvorov, Domantas Parvainis, Denis Sivak, Den Yakovlev and Dimitry Samohin are artists I will always look up to.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
More portraiture and dark style custom girls.
Is there a tattoo that you haven’t done yet that you are dying to do?
A portrait of Boris the Blade from the movie Snatch.
What is your artistic process for your custom work? (Like do you layer images in Photoshop, freehand the designs, draw them prior to the appointment etc.)
I do a mixture of everything I guess. A lot of work goes in first through Photoshop and I refine things with drawing and freehand work.
Do you travel for work?
I haven’t had the opportunity to travel yet. I’m hoping to do a bit of traveling through 2016 if my name gets out there a bit more.
Is there a prominent tattoo scene Australia?
There is a massive scene in Australia for tattooing. Some amazing international artists are making their way in now for local conventions.
What are the laws/ health codes on tattooing in Australia?
In my home state we are all required to have a skin penetration/infection control qualification and be licensed through the state with a Tattooist License. There are pretty strict laws now in Queensland and a couple of other states.
Who are some Australian artists we should keep an eye out for?
There are so many to name but definitely keep an eye out for Gretch, Beaudean Crawford, Sean Holdinghausen, Niko Vaa, David Nash, Ups Patterson and Josh Kuhne.