Friday 29 November 2013

Interview with tattoo artist Matt Lambdin (Troy, Michigan)

Name : Matt Lambdin
Location : Troy, Michigan
Who : Tattoo artist at Ironclad Tattoo Co

Lisa Jenson : After learning to tattoo, how much time passed  before you could said to yourself "hey, I'm good tattoo artist"?

Matt Lambdin : Well, I would say that I've only recently found my niche, if that's what you would call it. Within the past year and a half or so. For the first three and a half years that I was in this industry, I felt I progressed very slowly.

L.J. : Put a name to your tattoo style.

Matt Lambdin : That's been a question that all the guys at the shop and I have always had trouble answering. We need SOMETHING to put on the website, so I said Illustrative, or Stylized Traditional. I'm sure there are hundreds of other names to call it.

L.J. : Do you think it's possible for a person who can't draw very well to succeed in tattoo industry?

Matt Lambdin : Of course I do! It's not always about someone's ability to draw (although, it can't hurt). I'd imagine a portrait artist's first discipline is probably attention to detail. But then again, I wouldn't know! Realism is a skill on a whole different level, that I myself can't grasp, but I think someone's design ability is usually what's key. As well as experience.

L.J. : Looking through your portfolio, it seems you can draw everything from animal portraits to mandala and dotwork tattoos. Is there anything about tattooing/drawing that you find difficult or you would like to learn?

Matt Lambdin : I would like to be able to draw the human figure better, and I think that I need to spend more time on faces while tattooing. But, with every project, you tend to understand a little bit more. For instance, horses and dragons don't seem to come naturally to me, but I feel I'm slowly starting to understand them (well, horses at least!). As far as what I need to learn about tattooing; that list could just go on...

L.J. : Based on your experiences, do you find most people have some philosophy about tattoos (meaning, expressing yourself etc), or feel like it's just a picture on skin?

Matt Lambdin : For others, both situations are probably equal in frequency. For myself, I lean more towards the art of the tattoo. What I want on my own body, would be something I admire and appreciate. Not so worried about what story or meaning I can conjure up to tell everyone.

L.J. : Each of your works is a piece of art, but do you ever feel tired and blank? How do you find inspiration?

Matt Lambdin : I think everyone feels void of creativity from time to time, but I feel lucky because a lot of my clients will allow me to run with their ideas. And trust me, a lot of bad ideas come out of my head. Probably more so than any good ones. But I usually find inspiration from older, classical artists. Or from my peers, especially after period of time where I feel I've slipped a bit.

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Sunday 10 November 2013

Interview with tattoo artist Florian Santus (France)

Name : Florian Santus
Location : Paris, France / on the way (check his web page)
Who : Tattoo artist

Lisa Jenson : When was the first time you thought about to become tattoo artist?
Florian Santus : I first started to collect tattoos in 2010 from artists around the world. 
... I think it has been really important for me to realize that you can have a true exchange with people you have never known before. There is an amazing trust that you can't find  in any other job. I think it's something rare and precious nowadays.
I have always drawn as long as I can remember and I spent my childhood in my grand-father's workplace, he was a wood-crafstmen. I have always been passionate about craft and technically nothing has changed since the invention of the first tattoo machine in 1891. I consider tattooing both art and a craft : handmade work where you can put your own vision and style in each creation. Being a craftsmen is a good way to keep both our feet on the ground.
A little more than a year and a half ago I decided to learn tattooing, so I started an apprenticeship, but I left the place four months later for many reasons. Then I "started" tattooing alone at home.

L. J. : I know you've been busy with your studies, so now - congratulations to your graduation! Whats your specialization?
Florian Santus : The last two years I earned a MA in art and design.
I have taken the time to read many books on psychology, philosophy and sociology. 
It was really important for me to understand what tattooing means in society today.
My studies were a highlight for what I want to do.

L. J. : Do you think education is important in life?
Florian Santus : I think education could have several meanings. Education is important to life in society, be respectful and communicate with one another. Education as culture is important to understand what you want to do and why.
Culture in its broadest sense appears to be a need to develop a critical sense .

L. J. : Is there any problems in tattoo industry now? (for example - when people copy your designs, some "trendy" tattoos etc)
Florian Santus : Honestly "trendy" tattoos make your customer happy and your wallet as well. ahah. 
I still think that when people copy your designs it's nothing but a copy. But I haven't been in the tattoo business long enough to have a right opinion. I think the popularity of tattooing has allowed the new generation of tattoo artists to have their unique approach in the business.

L. J. : Do you participate in tattoo conventions?
Florian Santus : Yeah! I did my first one three weeks ago, the Montreuil Tattoo convention near Paris, I was really busy, it was a great experience. Next week I will work at the Eindhoven convention ! I also have many conventions and guestspots scheduled for 2014! It will be a great year!

L. J. : What you think about walk-in tattoos?
Florian Santus : I think it's a good think for both customers and tattooers
As a tattooer you draw designs you would love to do.
And the customers choose the ones they like. 
 I think it's cool because most of the time customers don't have a precise idea of what they want and sometimes their idea is not "tattooable". Walk-ins and pre-drawn designs are really helpful for them. Moreover if you travel, walk-ins are the best way to bring back a souvenir.
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Thursday 31 October 2013

Instagram tradtattoos

Hi people! Soon I will update blog with more fresh interviews with artists
And now don't forget to follow our instagram page tradtattoos

All interviews done by me, feel free to msg me if you have some ideas for this blog!
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in case I get asked : leggins and sweatshirt are from choies

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Maruha / Интервью с Алексеем и Ольгой Марущенко, владельцами сети тату-студий Маруха

- Расскажите о себе – кто вы, откуда вы, как вы пришли в мир татуированных людей?

 Мы - Алексей и Ольга Марущенко, хозяева пяти тату-студий в Санкт-Петербурге, объединенных целью и смыслом. Именно страсть к татуировкам привела нас к открытию первой студии почти пять лет назад,...

- Что было в начале – татуировка на себе или решение об открытии студий татуировки?

Сделав пару татуировок на своем теле, Алексей твердо решил открыть свою студию!

- История создания первой студии – как принималось решение о выборе именно такого бизнеса и почему? Какие-то интересные или забавные моменты при открытии первой студии?

Решение о начале тату-бизнеса принималось в течении пяти-шести минут. Был мастер, деньги, огромное желание и вуаля – студия Маруха-1 распахнула свои двери.

- Откуда взялось название «Маруха»?

Изначально - производная от фамилии, в древнеславянской мифологии - богиня Маруха олицетворяет смерть чужим, процветание своим, «Вот ОНО!» - подумали мы и назвали свою первую студию именно так

- Как подбирали мастеров для первой студии?

 Первый  мастер, под которого изначально и открывалась студия, был давно с нами знаком, вторую мастерицу (талантливую девушку), пришлось уговаривать…

- Что представляет сеть студий татуировки «Маруха» сегодня? Какие планы и перспективы развития?

Сегодня, сеть студий «Маруха» - это мощный кулак, состоящий из пяти студий (двадцать один мастер, десять администраторов и, конечно же,  мы, хозяева студии – всё это люди,  по-настоящему влюбленные в свое дело). Грандиозные планы на будущее безусловно есть, но...пока- это наша маленькая тайна

- У вас большая сеть в Санкт-Петербурге, где еще планируете открыть тату студии? В других городах России, за границей?

Да, мы планируем расширять свою сеть, в том числе и в других городах России, и за границей)

- В «Марухе» работает много разных мастеров, у каждого свой стиль, какими качествами должен обладать мастер, чтобы его взяли работать в вашу тату студию?

Мастер, должен быть ЧЕЛОВЕКОМ, в первую очередь. Нас не интересует звездность, мы, как правило, пытаемся растить свои кадры, а вот порядочность и желание расти и развиваться - для нас очень важны!

- Какие подводные камни законодательства и жизненных реалий следует учитывать людям, решившим открыть свою студию?

Подводные камни и жизненные реалии поджидают нас на каждом шагу!!!! О них лучше рассказывать при личной встрече, основываясь на конкретных вопросах.

- Участвуют ли мастера сети студий «Маруха» в тату конвенциях (российских и зарубежных)? Какие достижения и призы получали ваши  мастера?

В российских тату-конвенциях наша студия принимает участие постоянно - на фестивалях татуировки в Санкт-Петербурге, взяли огромное количество призовых мест (традиционная,  религиозная, миниатюрная и других стилях), в Казани - несколько призовых мест (реализм и традиционная). Наших мастеров приглашают на зарубежные фестивали (например, Александру Табунс очень ждали в Англии, но получить визу,  оказалось, не так просто, одна из реалий нашей жизни)))) В 2015 году собираемся принять участие в Краковской тату-конвенции.

- Принимает ли «Маруха» зарубежных мастеров?  

С большим удовольствием принимаем иностранных гостей-мастеров. В настоящий момент ждем одного известного мастера из Пекина, в прошлом году, с нами работал чилийский мастер, работающий в Финляндии.

- Что означает для вас понятие «тату-тусовка»? Считаете ли вы, что подобное явление существует в Питере и в стране в целом?  

Нет, на наш взгляд, понятия «тату-тусовка», как какого-то оформленного, сформировавшегося явления  в России  не существует, а вот общение с мастерами-татуировщиками из других студий и городов - всегда приятно!

- Предпочитаете пассивно принимать участие в тату-акциях, созданных другими (тату-баттлы, пикники и т.п.) или сами создаете вокруг себя собственное движение, организуете собственные события?

Предпочитаем активно принимать участие в движениях других студий и мастеров, а создавать собственное движение - наш конек. Предстоящая выставка-семинар «Tattoo.Компот», открытие которой состоится 4 октября в Санкт-Петербурге - яркий тому пример!

- Как часто вы бываете в зарубежных тату-салонах? Есть ли разница между салонами в РФ и Европе (например, организационно, интерьерно, атмосферно)?

Мы очень много путешествуем и в каждой стране (Германия, Испания, Италия, Франция, Польша,Чехия, Финляндия, Швеция, Эстония и т.д.) заглядываем в тату-салоны.
Зарубежные студии, на наш взгляд, радикально отличаются от отечественных.  За рубежом все просто, без заморочек и проволочек, пришел, выбрал эскиз, сел к мастеру, сделал татуировку. Мы - студия «Маруха», любим и лелеем своих клиентов, пытаемся создать максимальный комфорт. Клиент всегда прав.

- Что бы вы посоветовали начинающим мастерам, работающим на дому?

Не работать на дому – ведь  общение с коллегами, здоровая  конкуренция, ориентир на более сильных, возможность наблюдать за работой других мастеров - джек пот начинающего мастера.

Большое спасибо Ольге Марущенко
Дмитрию Бухрову
Фото Лиза Дженсон INK IT UP

Monday 16 September 2013

Interview with Quyen Dinh (Parlor Tattoo Prints)


Name : Quyen Dinh (pronounced Quinn Din) 
Location : Orange County, CA
Who : artist at Parlor Tattoo Prints

Lisa Jenson : Please tell us about yourself - how old are you? Where you from?
Quyen Dinh : I'm 35 years old (turning 36 in October) and I'm from Orange County, CA. I was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the states in 1980. I grew up in the suburbs of sunny California. I was an artistic child, but was significantly discouraged in being creative. Thus, I never attended art school; rather, I graduated USC School of Cinema-TV with a degree in Film Critical Studies. Disillusioned by the film industry, I decided to go back to my true passion and seriously pursue a career in the fine arts after having graduated film school. I was 27. It took me 9 years to get to where I am today.

L. J.: When you start drawing? Is it your full time job?
Quyen Dinh :  I started drawing and painting as most kids did when they started school. I was in 2nd grade when I won a 1st place plaque and cash prize for a floral watercolor painting I had done in school. It was that moment that I realized that I may have an artistic talent.
My company, Parlor Tattoo Prints, is a full-time commitment.. often times, it's an over-time commitment. But I love what I do so it never feels like work.

L. J.: Surely everyone wants to know what do you use for your paintings
Quyen Dinh : The medium that I prefer to use to create my artwork is acrylic painting on canvas board, which is unconventional for traditional of tattoo flash work; but, it's what I am proficient with.

L. J.: Your style is easily recognizable, what do you feel when (if) someone copies you?
Quyen Dinh : When an individual copies my work because they are learning, I encourage it. A big part of why I do what I do is because I value the ability to inspire. However, when someone copies my work for profit (i.e .selling tshirts of my personal designs), needless to say, it is illegal and I don't condone it. When it comes to my work being tattooed by other artists, it doesn't bother me the least bit but naturally, I would like to be credited. And when an individual wants to use my design as a personal tattoo, I simply tell them it is a nice gesture to buy the art print because it allows me to continue to do what I do.

L. J.: I know there're some projects with your art (hair pomada, t-shirts), what plans for future? Are you gonna be tattoo artist?
Quyen Dinh : Although, I was offered a tattoo apprenticeship when I was younger, an option that was open to me since then, I never took it because my childhood dream was to be a full-time fine artist. Therefore, my goals for the future is to continue to develop and expand my shop and business as a freelance illustrator/designer with a focus on commercial logo design. But ultimately, my goal in seeking professional success is to have the opportunity to give back charity-wise, which I've started to do on my 1 year anniversary of Parlor Tattoo Prints in Aug of 2013. Without that, my work would be hugely purposeless. 

L. J.: What was the most memorable and exciting thing that happen to you this year?
Quyen Dinh : I can't really tell you what is the one most memorable thing that happened this year because so many memorable and amazing things happened. It is the accumulation of these things that have made the best year of my life. I often expect to wake up from it all!

L. J.: What tattoo style you prefer for yourself and why?
Quyen Dinh : I prefer the Americana Traditional tattoo style because it's simple yet powerful in it's aesthetics. But more importantly, it conjures a certain kind of nostalgia that takes me to a place that feels like home.

Thanx for awesome interview!
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Wednesday 11 September 2013

Autumn & new projects

Hey everyone! Thanx for reading my blog and subscribing :)
Autumn is here and I have some new projects, you can follow updates on instagram tradtattoos and shotakoe (personal)
new blog design coming soon and I can't wait to show it to you, guys!

Всем привет)) спасибо, что читаете мой блог. Кто подписался - молодец, а кто еще не подписался, тот соленый огурец
Лето закончилось и на носу новые проекты и интервью. Следите за обновления в инстаграме tradtattoos и shotakoe (личный, секретный, девчачий и все такое)

Meeting at Maruha Tattoo Studio with Dmitry Bukhrov
New project about russian tattooed people and artists
Тату студия Маруха (Спб) все подробности совсем скоро

Also I have my personal blog
It should be about fashion, style and how cool I am, but I'm too busy to updated.. So I'm gonna show you list of my autumn favorites here

Thanx for lurking! Write me comments so I can now not only silent zombies reading my blog. Okay? I'm up to new opportunities, projects and suggestions, so don't be shy
Yours truly, xx

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Monday 26 August 2013

Interview with tattoo artist Joao Bosco (UK)

Little pre-story : We've met about 5 years ago on myspace (when myspace was cool, you know), sometimes talk on facebook, then in 2012 ago I have luck to meet Joao in personal at the Moscow Tattoo Convention. I can tell you - he's not only great artist but also a true gentleman and great person. If you have any chance to get some work by Joao or just say hi - do it! By the way that's not that hard, he's travelling a lot (find more info

Summing up : thanx to social networks we can find friends and soulmates from another country!

Name : Joao Bosco
Location : London, UK
Who : Brazilian born tattoo artist based in London since 2006, works at The Family Business Tattoo London
Links :

Lisa Jenson : How long you've been tattooing?
Joao Bosco : I'vee been tattoing for 9 years.

L. J. : Who help/teach you with your first steps in tattooing?

Joao Bosco : I never thought of been a tattoo artist neither to have a living out of it . Until others tattoo artists see my drawings and sketches and say :" hey man, you got good stuff here, give it a go and do soem tattoos " , they got me curious , so i lined up some friends, got hold of some tattoo gear and started to learn and practice on them.

L. J. : We've met on myspace, 5 years ago it was really good place to promote yourself and find friends, nowdays everyone using instagram and facebook. Do you think social networks are really important for tattoo artists?
Joao Bosco : social network is the most amazing tool ever, but also can be a trap. its a free advertisement , youc an show all you have been doing for zero cost . but at the same time , it can get one lazy , till the point that makes you take it for granted all that facility of self promotion , so you think that you dont need an extra push as things will flow smoothly and easy and people will chase you . not like that anymore, theres hundred of thounds of new artists coming to the scene every week, you gotta keep on push like on the same days, like before social network , if you want to reach the top. thats what say to people and that is what i say to myself everyday .
L. J. : What needles and ink you use
Joao Bosco : I use several different kind of inks, i dont have a particular brand that i stick up with . about needles i use a small set of big magnums and chunky liners. 15,19 and 25 mag. and 9-14 and 18 liners. I try to keep a small and simple set.

Thank you for the interview
Art speaks itself, check & follow Joao Bosco &


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