Exclusive Interview with Ivana Tattoo - "Narcissistic Rockstar"
Hello Ivana! Talking with you is always a great pleasure! Creative, open-friendly person is something that I would say about you. You're well know as a tattoo artist from Slovakia and your art style is something that represent you, your life-style, your art journey. You say that you're a self-taught artist, funny think to believe, looking at your tattoo masterpieces. (laugh)
Since the first interview we've made, I constantly keep hearing great stuffs about you. People share and love your work! I bet being a tattoo artist must be a blast, since you've got the power to speak through your art.
Nowadays, you can be proud with your very first book "Narcissistic Rockstar" which includes 120 full color pages with some of your best works and some text as description and a perfect guide through the book.
When I first saw your book, I felt like I already knew a lot about you and your personality. Perfect! I guess, the book's main goal is more like a self-introduction, instead of promoting the art.
I must say it's both! My main goal was to promote my art, not the other way round ... but I felt like people should also know about me a bit... so, they could better understand Ivana Tattoo Art :)
Q: What made you to start the book?
A: I wanted to do something for my customers & people who like my work... They kept asking me whether I sold my art... and except tattoos I really didn't have anything else to offer. To sell. Or to show... So I decided to do a mix of my artwork. I had had this idea in my head for a longer period of time; then I met the right person who could help me with the graphic design and that was it! I really had fun with this first book, although it's kinda mixed up. As time went, ideas were popping up in my head and every day I felt like I wanted to change something or add something... but then it was done! 120 pages and no more adding!
Overall, there are some pictures of my old work... tattoos which I liked at the time of making them... some of them may be around 4 years old... You can find there lots of my tattoos you have never seen before as I never posted them anywhere! There are tattoos close to my heart... There are some blurbs- those are my thoughts ... there's so much truth especially in this one particular double page 'A look into a typical day in the amazing life of Ivana'. There's also 'nothing'. Literally. And some disco. ;) The book is basically a summary of my work... thoughts... and lifestyle...
Q: Why "Narcissistic Rockstar"? What is the main idea?
A: Lots of people think that I am a 'show-off' when they see photos of me or my work in magazines... but all I mean to do is to present my work... I want to share it and spread some more art out there... I talk to the world through my art... so I thought I would name my book 'Narcissistic Rockstar'... just for fun. And to be a little bit cheeky. The title of the book was basically meant as a joke.
Q: To me, the book is like a beautiful life story. There are so many feelings through the art in that book. Everyone who will buy the book, will surely feel like they know you. Did you want a self introduction to the people?
A: My main goal was to promote my art... but yes I would say so... I wanted to introduce myself through this book a bit too. I felt like people should know some basics about me.
Q: Nowadays, there are lots of tattoo books coming out. When It comes to your book, I was really touched by the stories of your clients. Really cool, I think that I've never even seen something like that. How did you come up with that idea?
- Would you say that letting people tell their stories in your book could be an eye-opening experience to the rest of the people wanting to get a tattoo? Something that people should relate as life story, instead of going to a tattoo shop and pick a random tattoo design?
A: Thank you for saying all this... I wanted other people to see and better understand why my clients got the particular tattoos... what it meant to them. I felt like it would give more character to the book as well.
I like when a tattoo has a meaning for an individual instead of putting whatever on one's body just because it's in right now or because David Beckham wears it. I hope I could give something to other people via this book.. there's a lot of hidden messages and they can find and take from it whatever they want.
There's not much text in there; but what I wrote has a meaning. I usually don´t say much, only the necessary stuff / I get straight to the point. People nowadays have such a wonderful choice of artists of any style and it's a pity they are still getting bad meaningless tattoos.
Q: Do you feel like you're (somehow) part of their story,
while doing the tattoo?
A: I am just a provider/medium. The story is theirs. It's their life and what they've gone through. I am only the one who engraves it into their skin forever. I can become part of their story - when we end up friends or more.
I feel very privileged doing that though!
Q: I was really having fun reading your "to-do" list. Wow. Why not a boob job, but hiring a monkey assistant? (LOL) You really made me laugh! Looking at your tattoo works, probably the most eye-catching designs are the animals. Are you an animal lover? Do you have pets?
A: I am definitely an animal lover although I don't have any pets. I do travel a lot so I can't afford to have a pet. I would like to have a monkey though. It wouldn't even have to be my assistant. :) I love animals especially in nature! Recently I have been to Kenya for safari. I believe/think animals shouldn't be captured. They should just live in nature as they are. Unless they are sick or dying; then yes, it's right to take care of them. Or some special breeds. So I don't have to 'own a pet' necessarily; yet, I need it in my life... in another sense.
Q: Funny unusual birds, small animals and floral designs are something that really keeps your style unique, instead of the amazing textures you like to play with while creating the design. Can you give me a little description of that connection?
A: I love nature. I love everything living, including plants. I feel very connected to nature (in general) as it takes a special place in my world and I cannot imagine my everyday life without it! When I tattoo birds or flowers it just goes by itself... those things are already extraordinary and beautiful - it's easy! :) They are nice and colorful... cute... glorious and lush... and I am just trying to highlight their beauty by adding special effects or texture.
Q: "Everything in my life is like a chapter"; "Am I looking
for perfection" are a few of your quotations that really made my
thinking. Perfection? What would be perfection, when It comes
A: Imperfection would make perfection perfect. :) There's no such thing as perfection in tattoo art. Or art in general. Art is ungraspable, it's limitless. It's perfect for that very second in which it is created and then the moment is gone. In the moment of creation, when the work is finished and I look at it I think it's perfect and there's no need to add anything to it, or modify it; I feel that it's just perfect. But this I think only for that very fragment of time. And that is as close as we can get to perfection. It's only in our minds, when we think it's good right now - only in this very second. At the end of the day, perfection is only a subjective point of view... everyone has different taste and different views...
Q: Do you feel accomplished? What would be the next step?
A: Absolutely not! I feel like I am just at the beginning of everything what I want to achieve and where I want to be. My next step is to start making prints of my tattoos mixed with graphic design, illustrations etc. I am looking forward to starting designing my own t-shirts... I am excited about attending European tattoo conventions in near future... about seeing more places and meeting other amazing artists... There's a lot I am thrilled about, really!
Q: You seem to be very open-minded. Some would say that you
look and live like a rockstar! What are your feelings about this?
A: I might sometimes look like a rockstar - with my boots, tattered t-shirts... my chains and leather jackets... but inside I definitely don't feel like a rockstar. Many people see me like that and they think I live my life like one; but it's the right opposite... I get very shy when I am around people, especially people I don' know and then I keep quiet... but people interpret it differently - they think I am 'too cool' or self-opinionated. I don't like to go out to party and drink/I am not a party chick... I like to be focused and I like to have/keep my mind fresh. I might make exception sometimes, of course, but in general I like to be aware.
As I already said lots of people think I am a show off when they see photos of me or my work in magazines.. and all I mean to do is to present my work... I want to share it and spread some more art out there.. I talk to world through my art...
People usually take me for what I really am not. They think I am 'weird', but in fact, I am quite shy and what people see outside is not always reflection of my inside world. But then again, I change a lot and all depends on how I feel at the moment, on circumstances and the situation in general. People also feel intimidated by me.
Q: Are there any funny random stories that you would love to share, after publishing the book?
A: Yes. I get a lot more chocolates and wines from my customers 'cos they know now how much I like it! Next time I will think of something better to put in my book now I know how it works :)
Q: Would you say that writing books could be your second
passion, instead of keeping busy at the shop and doing tattoo
A: Haha, no I don't think so. I did this book for fun and in my spare time. Doing tattoos was and is my priority! I have already started to collect material for my second book but when it comes to writing - there's going to be a lot more for sure.
Q: What was the most challenging part in doing the book?
A: The graphic design. I was driving my designer crazy as I kept changing pages the way I wanted to have them. I am very particular/meticulous.
Q: Have you ever thought to collaborate with some artists on a book? If, so with who?
A: Yes, I did, sure! Not on my first book Narcissistic Rockstar though, as this was and will be purely only my project, but I have more ideas for the future which I want to get out there! I don't have specific artists yet as I would like to collaborate with few different ones. I can name one so far and that is Traci Durfee from Long Beach, California.
Q: Art could be a great influence on someone's personality.
What is the best lesson that you've learned from your art journey?
A: I have learned to give my best. I have learned to work hard to achieve what I want. To stay focused and be patient... there's constantly something I am learning on this 'art' journey! Also, I have learned a lot about other people, too.
Q: What keeps you creative? What is coming on your mind every morning while you go to work?
A: I think what keeps me creative is my life in general... I appreciate things I have in my life... Every day I want to be a better person... more loving and more understanding. Less selfish and more giving. An extremely important part of my creativity are my travels! There are too many beautiful things around me that I see... all this is 'fuel' for my brain and my soul.
When I wake up in the morning and it's my work day I remain quiet for at least 1 hour... while having my coffees I am still searching for better reference for my design and I am thinking about it. It can sound funny but I really think about my design intensely. I think about all those possible options ... I want to 'picture it' better.
This comes from inside because I really want to do the best I can. I want to give my client good experience and good artwork. I want them to be happy and proud of their tattoo. Then I just put on Tina Turner's song 'Simply the Best' on my ipod and I listen to it over and over again until I come to the studio! hahaha
Q: Is there any trick that people should know in order to
A: I am not sure if I know the trick of becoming successful. Eat well, sleep well and drink a lot of water ;)
Please feel free to share your feature plans and some of the links where we can buy the book etc.
You can buy and see the preview of my book on http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/3355709
The book can be shipped worldwide! There's a hard copy and also an e-version for ipads or iphones (this one is brilliant) available.
Throughout December till 11th of January I will be tattooing in Slovakia in Tattoo Rascal and from 15th of January till 2nd of February 2013 I am doing a guest spot in Modern Body Art in Birmingham, UK.
As for 2013, I am planning to get married, have a baby, but till then, to attend few tattoo conventions all over the place, but my main focus will be Europe.
People can always keep track on me on facebook: (IVANA TATTOO ART Page)
At the moment, I am putting together my own website too. And as I mentioned before, I started to collect material for my second book, which is definitely going to be better in terms of the layout, artwork and more 'funny' stuff! :)
My nearest tattoo convention is Tattoo Freeze in Telford, UK on 13th of January 2013 and then Milan Tattoo Convention in Italy on 8-10th February.
Ms.Ivana It was such an HONOR to talk with you!
I'm so happy that I've got this chance.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
All the best and keep rocking.