If you’re looking for bold, dynamic and out-of-the-box tattoos, then you’ve come to the right place. London’s Volkan Demirci is paving the way for the surrealism genre, constantly pumping out bulletproof and mind-bending designs that pack a serious punch. We sat down with Demirci to learn how he found his way into the tattoo industry and where he finds inspiration for his unconventional designs.
How did you get into tattooing?
I was trapped by my friends. Actually, it’s true, I had no idea what I was getting into. I thought I could earn some pocket money and could leave it whenever I wanted, which is not possible. It was too late, I was already poisoned with the best poison ever made, ink.
What was your first shop experience like?
I was an apprentice in my first shop and the first thing I learned there was how to build my own machine with an aluminum frame. True story, my master was a machine builder in Turkey and everybody was showing me huge respect because of my master. He’s a great man and I still have contact with him.
What was the first tattoo you did?
I did my very first tattoo on my own leg to try my aluminum framed coil machine, which I learned from my master. It was a terrible experience to tattoo my own leg.
What are some of the major subject matters you like to tattoo?
I like to do compositions which have a story or an emotion. This is why I like to use portraits in my designs. I do consultations with my clients to understand their main idea, it is the best way I know to create something different for each client. During the last couple of months, I started using geometric shapes in my designs and I’ve enjoyed it.
What inspires you as an artist?
Usually, I try to break myself. My father taught me that, I have to break my chains to improve my personality. I believe our brain is the only cage for us. Of course, I was inspired by many amazing artists, but first, I accepted who I am at that moment. Then I start to think about what should I do to improve my skills. The universe is the biggest inspiration, which I always appreciate.
Where do you find references for your designs?
Oh references, that’s a huge topic. I believe one of the most important parts of the design is finding a good reference. We have many common sources on the web, such as Pinterest, deviantart, Google, but I try to find photographer pages, which are great for portraits and surrealistic compositions.
Which tattoo artists do you admire most?
To be honest with you, most of them. I admire unique designs, so if someone has some unique details in their designs, that’s the moment when I go mad.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
I’m trying to focus on abstract-realism, which I really enjoy. Creating something abstract is really fun and I like to add some emotions into it with faces or surrealist objects. I hope one day to have my own design style, which people will know is done by Volkan.
Is there a tattoo that you haven't done yet that you are dying to do?
Actually, I really want to find my own unique style to do which is the hardest thing ever. If I had to say something I’m dying for, it is improving my skills.