All it takes is one tattoo to completely change your life. For many of us, our first tattoo comes via recommendations from a friend or the shop around the block. But for Gody, he’s a different story. Gody got his first tattoo from Bran.D, one of the most renowned micro tattooers in the world. And from that day forward, he strived to become one of the masters of micro tattooing, creating incredibly realistic designs and shrinking them to suit one of tattooing’s fastest-growing styles. His body of work is unbelievable, with homages to hip-hop legends, sporting heroes and plenty of popular movie characters to go around. Then throw in the fact that this tattooer only has four years of experience under his belt and his work truly knocks you off of your chair. We caught up with Gody while he was guesting in New York City to learn how he went from a self-taught beginner to the world-renowned artist sitting before us. Along the way, we discovered the main source of his artistic inspiration, uncovered his biggest challenge when creating a micro tattoo and learned his thoughts as to how his tattoos will age over time.
What was your upbringing like in South Korea?
It’s a really convenient and good place to live. They have great health care.
When did you become interested in tattooing?
I started making art when I was 16 and I’ve been tattooing for about three or four years now.
What was your first tattoo experience like?
For me, it was really meaningful. I got my first tattoo while I was learning how to tattoo. It was also a learning experience on how to tattoo and it meant a lot to me.
How does someone become a tattooer in South Korea?
They have a tattoo academy where you can take classes. So it’s pretty easy to learn. But, I taught myself on my own.
How did you develop your tattoo style?
Because I taught myself, I kind of experimented with a lot of different things. Realism is what I had the most fun with, so I’ve been studying that.
Who are some tattoo artists that you admire?
There’s this tattooer named Bran.D, he actually did my first tattoo. He’s my main inspiration.
What are some of the most challenging parts about doing micro realism?
Working with a stencil that has so many small complicated details can be difficult. It can become blurred out as you work.
What are your favorite parts of micro realism tattooing?
Whatever it is, it’s fun for me.
What’s your tattoo process?
Normally, I use Photoshop to help me make the design. If it’s a bigger project, I’ll stencil on the design and free-hand some of the piece.
Do you prefer tattooing in color or black-and-grey?
I love them both!
How do you think that your tattoos will age over time?
I’m still learning, so we’ll have to see how they’ll age. But because I’m doing such small and detailed tattoos, over time some things will fade.