Artists: Katerina Mikky
What year did you start tattooing?
I started in autumn of 2005.
How did you get into tattooing?
Somehow it happened by itself. There was a tattoo studio that opened next to the college where I studied. I decided to go and find out whether they would take me for the training. So I went to study at the tattoo studio where I worked for about six years.
What was your first shop experience like?
I’ve worked only in one tattoo studio, then I decided to work for myself, as a private tattoo artist. For me, as a student and a novice artist, it was very useful. Working in the studio for six years I received not only training but also the practice, portfolio and base of customers. Now I have my own office in a beauty shop.
What is the tattoo scene like in Russia?
Russia has a lot of good artists. Many people come into this profession with an art education. We have a demand for tattoos in all styles, but I think that the most popular is realism.
Do you have any special training?
If you are referring to education, I graduated from college and the institute of graphic design.
What conventions have you done recently or are planning to do this year?
I am a very lazy person and I like to work in a comfortable environment, so participation in conventions is hard for me. This year I participated in tattoo conventions in Moscow and Berlin and I am not going anywhere else this year.
How do you describe your style?
I think that I can relate all my works to the one style: realism.
What led you to work primarily in color?
I can’t say that I work only in color, about a third of all my works are black and grey. I really love to work with black and grey; it’s much faster, easier and more enjoyable than working in color. Also such works are easier to heal. Due to the fact that in the beginning of my tattoo career I laid out on the website many of my works with colored flora there are a lot of clients who appeal to me for the same color works. It is as follows: the client sees the color work on the site, the client applies for color work. It also works with the theme of tattoos.
Do you find one style more difficult than the other?
Each style has its subtleties and complexities. Anyway you must be able to draw well, to copy, to compose and to stylize. But in my opinion, realistic portraiture work is one of the most difficult and hardest parts in tattoo work as it requires a very good art education or natural talent.
What are some of the major subject matters you like to tattoo?
I like to make any realistic object with a good, beautiful source, such as a photo. I don’t care whether it is an animal, person, object, flower or anything else. The basic idea of realism is moving a photo or picture onto the body. Every time I see a beautiful image that captures my attention, I want to get a tattoo on the basis of it. I come across so many images often enough so I can’t single out one.
What inspires you as an artist?
The work of other artists as well as photos on the basis of which I could make a good tattoo inspire me.
What other media do you work in?
My main profession takes almost all of my time. Of course, there are some hobbies for which I can spend free time, but I am not engaged in anything seriously. If I have free time, I sometimes paint with oil.
What has been one of your favorite pieces to tattoo?
I do not have any one most beloved work. Yes, some of the work I like more, some less.