Artists: Yomico Moreno
What year did you start tattooing?
I started tattooing approximately in the year 2003, 2004, in Puerto Cabello, a small city in my country, Venezuela.
How did you get into tattooing?
I remember an old friend lent me a handmade machine. Ten years ago in my country it was so difficult to find a good machine, needles, or ink; all the artists made the machines them- selves, and the needles, etc. The first tattoo I tried was on myself, on my leg. I was scared because I didn’t know anything about how to make a tattoo.
What was your first shop experience like?
It was almost one year after I started in the tattoo world; I remember my first tattoo was a butterfly, and it was the first time that I was trying to use colors. My hand shook and I was sweating, but I think it was a good first experience.
Do you have any special training?
I like drawing and painting; I think it is always good to do both because they help you understand how to develop an idea for your next tattoo.
What conventions have you done recently or are planning to do this year?
This year I was at the Liverpool Tattoo Convention, the next stop would be the Florence Tattoo Convention in Italy, and Bogotá in Colombia. Next year I’ll be in Denmark, England, Italy, and Belgium, and it’s also possible I’ll be in New York.
What is the tattoo culture like in Venezuela?
I think Venezuela has one of the biggest tattoo cultures in South America. Before, the people were so closed off about tattoos, but now it’s frequent that you find people with all of their arm tattooed, the neck, the hand. You can see a beautiful girl with a big piece. Now the people are interested in finding a good tattoo, and we have good tattoo artists working around the world. In January, the International Convention is here, and it’s incredible how every year it’s bigger and bigger. I think we are on a good tattoo path.
How do you describe your style?
Realistic. Every day I work to find the way to make better realistic work. I like playing with people’s minds, confusing the viewer. I like when people see my work and for a moment wonder if it’s real or if it’s a tattoo.
What inspires you as an artist?
Be better and better. Every day when I wake up I want to make my best piece. I want in the future for the people to remember my name as a good artist who remains so through time.
What sets you apart from other artists?
I think it’s the hyperrealistic style; I have always been very curious about the anatomy of the human body, and when I started with this new skill of tattooing I wanted to re-create everything we have inside, take that anatomy in the tattoo.
What other mediums do you work in?
Only tattooing. When I decided to be a tattoo artist I did so for the rest of my life. I don’t want to do anything different than to tattoo or do the art for it.
What tattoo artists do you admire most?
Robert Hernandez. I think he changed the way I look at tattoos, the contrast, the highlights, the realistic style; he is a great influence in the tattoo world. I had the opportunity to meet him at the Florence Tattoo Convention in 2012 and he did my hand; it was a big experience.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
Full back piece, full arms. Now I have a project to start to make the biggest tattoos and make a tribute to Miguel Ángel Buonarroti [Michelangelo] and Salvador Dalí.
Before someone gets a tattoo what advice do you give them?
It’s necessary to understand that it’s for the rest of your life, and after it. If someone wants to get a tattoo do it because you feel it’s your best decision, not because you see a reality show or look at a famous singer with tattoos; they need to be personal, and after you do it, you cannot be sorry.