When did you first pursue a career in tattooing and which artists were influential in your decision to become a tattooer?
I started tattooing in 2014, after graduating from art school. I began to take a deep interest in the work of Dmitriy Samohin, from whom I still take inspiration today.
How would you describe your signature style and how have you developed it over time?
I’ve had a passion for the realistic style since I started tattooing, but at the beginning, I never did realistic work because of my inexperience. Slowly, I became familiar with the equipment, the techniques of saturating and shading color, mixing color, etc. Even today, I’m working to understand the best techniques for me and I think there is always something new to learn.
How would you describe the tattoo scene in Italy and what has been your favorite city to travel to for work?
In Italy, the tattoo scene is becoming increasingly important. The clientele had started searching for more competent tattoo artists and a lot of young, promising artists are emerging. Right now, Milan is my favorite city — both for the beauty of the city and for the people I’ve dealt with.
When you hear the phrase, ‘The future of tattooing,’ what comes to mind and how do you see yourself fitting into it?
As I’ve said before, I am young in the tattoo world, but in these few years, I’ve seen many changes and the panorama evolve in a short time. Tattoo quality has improved greatly in all styles and I try to keep up with the times. Even the evolution of the equipment is very important; for example, these new pen machines are helping me to work more hours, and considering a realistic session lasts 8 to 10 hours, this is very helpful.
What has been your favorite tattoo to work on and why?
My favorite tattoo that I’ve done is Venom from the 2018 Marvel film. I like it because I’m a fan of superheroes, especially the bad ones.
The Hedi Xandt tattoo you’ve done has gained a lot of attention on social media. What was your process for creating the metallic gold color in your design?
I’ve received a lot of messages asking about the colors I use to make gold. I promise that gold color doesn't exist, but you can get this effect by making a fusion of colors, including ochre, military green or brown (depending on the light reflected on it, warm or cold), orange, yellow, and white. If you make a "color capture" on the image, it will result in all these colors, but never gold.
Color theory plays a pivotal role in your tattooing. If you could create your own ink line, what kind of shades would it include?
One thing I have to do often is mix gray with different shades, to create hot or cold tones. So I would create a color set with different shades of gray.
What’s the key to executing a portrait tattoo and where do many artists go wrong when attempting them?
In my opinion, the most difficult part of portraits is the eyes. They determine the expression and have to transmit something. If you’re tattooing a portrait and even a small detail of the eyes is off, you might lose the resemblance to the reference photo.