1-11-18 B02 B03
Torikai Hachibou Settsu-shi
FRESHLY INKED: What year did you start tattooing?
NAOKI: In 1997. opened my shop in 1998.
How did you get into tattooing?
I gave myself a tattoo when I was 17 years old. this was my start of how I got into tattooing. After that I made a trip to the U.S. to see what the tattoos in America were really like. I was impressed by the tattoos that I saw over there in the U.S. and made up my mind to become a tattoo artist.
Where did you apprentice?
Never apprenticed. I studied on my own. at that time it was impossible to obtain tattoo equipment in Japan, so I ordered some catalogs of American tattoo supplies, then bought some equipment and practiced tattooing using my own body.
Do you have any special training?
Not really. I just draw every single day and try to see other artists’ works as much as I can.
What conventions have you worked at?
I have worked at the King of tattoo in Tokyo, Bakuto in Osaka, Ink-N-lron Tattoo Festival in L.A., and some more conventions in Japan.
Have you won any awards? What are some of your best convention memories?
I received the “Best Color Award” at King of Tattoo in 2008, the “Best of Show” award at Bakuto, and the “Best Large Color” award at Dublin Tattoo Convention. One of my best convention memories is Ink-N-lron.
How do you describe your style?
What inspires you as an artist?
Things that I have never seen before. Traveling in America—just walking down the streets, going to the supermarket. Anything and everything inspires me.
What sets you apart from other artists?
That’s a hard question. Well, I try not to get stuck with the rules and genre of tattoo so that I can design freely.
What other mediums do you work in?
I used to use watercolor inks a lot, but these days I prefer color pencils. I’m going to study oil paintings, which I’ve been interested in for a long time.
How have you branched out from tattooing?
I’m selling my paintings. I’ve been involved in design of some fliers, wedding boards, CD jackets and tour goods for Japanese artists, covers for books, logos for companies, and so on. I have also been a part of some exhibitions and group shows actively.
What tattoo artists do you admire most?
The person I admire the most is [painter] Mark Ryden. As far as tattoo artists, Jime Litwalk, Gunnar, and Grime.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
Any kind of tattoos if they would leave everything to me.
Before someone gets a tattoo what advice do you give them?
Once people get a tattoo, most of them wanna get more and more. So I would say: You should think about balance and arrangement for the next tattoo. If they have no idea where to get it, I’m happy to offer suggestions.
Is there a tattoo that you haven’t done yet that you are dying to do?
A piece of work that is composed of several people’s bodies along one theme.