interview with Chris Hagil Tofteng | iron & ink | denmark 30/05/2017

Hello Chris Hagil Tofteng! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our magazine.

Q: How long have you been tattooing?
A: I have been tattooing for like 3 years this summer. 12th of June is the precise date of when I did my first day at a tattoo shop, before that I tattooed half a year at home.

Q: Many say that talent, great drawing skills are crucial for becoming a great tattoo artist, what are your thoughts? What was the most challenging part of becoming a tattoo artist?
A: I don't believe you have to be good at drawing to be a good tattoo artist. Especially if you do realism, like I do. But of course It's a bonus if you can! I always thought I was good at drawing, but I became smarter when I started in the tattoo industry. The hardest part to be a tattoo artist is to be original. It's harder than you think. When you have tattooed for like 7-9 hours in one set, you have to go home and answer customers, check bookings and get a design ready for the next day, you don't really have time for your life.

Q: You do many tattoo styles, do you have any favorite?
A: I love doing black and gray, realism is definitely my favorite.



 Q: Seems like all of your tattoo designs are custom made, tell me about the tattoo process.
A: All of my designs are custom, yet I don't draw them myself all the way. As a realism artist I use from Photoshop and ProCreate. Typically for a design, I find 2-4 images, I edit contrasts, add light and then I draw the rest on my iPad and that's really it.

Q: What are some of your best recommendations when it comes to tattoo aftercare products? Anything that people should be aware before getting tattooed?
A: I definitely recommend a Danish brand called Sorry Mom for after care. My customers should have some loose clothes on, have some good breakfast and have some sugar throughout the day and have good night sleep before the tattoo session.

Q: I bet beautiful Denmark is so inspiring for many artists! Surrounded by stunning architecture and breathtaking landscapes... so much history and glory! Nowadays, we have new forms of art, of course, it evolves in many ways, how is the Danish approach to tattoo art?
A: Denmark is inspiring in many ways both with nature and the Danish passion for tattoos. We are one of the countries with the highest percentage of tattoos. And also proud of our past as Vikings.

Q: You're happy to be part of the awesome Danish tattoo studios "Iron&Ink". Tell me about your experience working there.
A: I would've never been where I'm today if I have not been at Iron & Ink. That team lifts me every day and I believe that if you want to be a good tattoo artist, you'll have to learn from the best. Iron & Ink differs greatly from other studios in Denmark. We always get the best materials and aids. Our boss push us to go the extra mile both for our customers, our tattoos and for ourselves and our own development.

Q: You meet lots of people every day, you hear their stories, maybe that could be helpful to learn something about life, make new friends... What is your favorite part?
A: It's super hard not to get close with your customer, in my case, when I'm spending so much time with them. I hear their stories, hear their mistakes... Many of my customers have become my friends and helped me when I needed it. So clearly, when you meet as many amazing people as I do every day, it results with working even harder.

Q: Anything you look forward in your career?
A: I'm looking forward to travel and see the world. It is fantastic that I can do it with job opportunities.

Q: Any motivational words for the beginners?
A: For those who just started, my advice is to contact a local tattoo shop and get a lot of inspiration. Then YouTube is a great way to learn! In "ancient" times, it was as though the tattoo artists held all the secrets to themselves, but that behavior has changed radically. People help each other more and educate each other and at least that's how I got where I'm today.

Thanks for the interview Chris,
Greetings to all at Iron & Ink,
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