Artists: Oleg Shepelenko
What year did you start tattooing?
My tattooing began in 2005.
How did you get into tattooing?
Thanks to my friend Alexander Haishyanu—he showed me how to build a homemade machine. Since then, I’ve become caught in the wave of tattoo culture.
Where did you apprentice?
I had no teachers. I was looking for information on the Internet, searching for books, and looked at the work of famous tattoo artists and tried to [replicate their work].
Do you have any special training?
I have no special training. I spent hours redrawing portraits of people and animals. It was interesting, and every time I got better and better.
What conventions have you worked? Have you won any awards? What are some of your best convention memories?
I started to go to conventions recently. I went to a convention in the south of Russia. There I took second place. After that I went to a convention in Prague, in the Czech Republic, and took third place in the color tattoo competition. I also went to a convention in poland, in Krakow. I will continue to go to conventions—it helps me grow as an artist. In February 2013, I will be going to Milan.
How do you describe your style?
I try to work in the style of realism. But I do not like doing fine details—I like realism, without many details. I want to make long-lasting tattoos that will still look good 10 years after they are done.
What inspires you as an artist?
I try to look for inspiration in photography. I spend a lot of time on forums and websites of great photographers—they inspire me.
What sets you apart from other artists?
It’s difficult to answer this question; I like a lot of artists.
What other mediums do you work in?
I don’t. I have a very narrow specialty.
What tattoo artists do you admire most?
I like the work of what i consider to be very high-level artists. Mike DeVries, Mike Demasi, and Nikko Hurtado.