tattoo | Interview with Jhon Gutti by Iva Kancheska 29/05/2012
Q: How did you get started tattooing?
A: I was interested in art since I was a child. I was watching movies of martial arts, and then I saw a tattoo on a fighter for the first time. I immediately started to work on some drawings and cartoons then I get my first tattoo done at age of 15. Until I got 21, I bought my first machine and start practice.
Q: How long have you been tattooing?
A: I've been tattooing for about 5 years, but in full time I've been doing this for around 3 years.
Q: Did you have a formal apprenticeship? If so, with who?
A: Well I don't know if that was a formal apprenticeship, a friend of mine thought me how to set up my machine, how a tattoo machine works, how to apply colors, and how to be clean, after that a lot of artist has gave some tips. But, I think that the most of the skills that I have in this moment was discovered by my full time research in pictures from other artist that I really admire, and figuring out what they did on their work, and how it serves me to find my own style.
Q: There are lots of tattoo styles that you do. How you get inspired?
A: Well in Colombia, you must be versatile, you can be good in some styles but you have to know the most of the tattoo styles. I like to use references, not copy, that's not honest to clients and un respectful with other artists' work. I like to keep an eye on other great artists working on their style that I don't know completely, but I really like to put my point of view and my signature in every tattoo I do.
Q: Portraits are maybe the most remarkable designs in your portfolio. Do you remember when the impression for this kind of work first began?
A: I think my interest in realistic tattoos, started when I saw for the first time a tattoo by Mike DeVries, and Nikko Hurtado. They are awesome artists and probably the two of the most representative for this kind of work.
Q: What is most challenging in doing some photo-realistic piece?
A: I think the most challenging portrait that I've ever done was my first one lol, but after that one, two portraits that I recently did, one of Geronimo an apache chief and the other one from George Crook an army general that caught Geronimo, the client brought me a grey scale references and he wanted me to do it in color, it was a big challenge to make the interpretation.
Q: The explosive use of color in your pieces really sets you apart. How did you develop this style?
A: Thanks You! I think that at the beginning of my career I was always concerned about the color application and how it heals, during this years of practice and hard work I've learned a lot, and I really like to do and get color tattoos. In every piece I do, I try to learn new things, you will never end to learn things about this wonderful art.
Talking about your tattoo art is a real pleasure.
Q: Three are a lot of custom tattoos in your portfolio, in which designs you find most creative freedom?
A: I think that is the new school tattoo style, because you can do a lot with a single idea without carrying about proportions, objects scales and a pre-established structure.
Q: What kind of tattoos people like the most?
A: Talking about that seem to be vey serious. A single client its a single world and idea. There are a lot of people that likes Japanese and traditional tattoos, while others likes realistic tattoos, and we are not talking about people that likes old and new school, scripts, black and grey, so its hard do say what style is the most popular.
Q: Seeing The Circo back piece makes me wanna get a tattoo. (laugh) The tattoo awesome! Are you always "the main" creator in someone's tattoo idea? Are you always supportive to your client's idea?
A: Haha... Well I'll be expecting you in my shop, about that piece, it was a good one. The client told me that he want a circus tent, I told him about my idea, and I did it in collaboration with a friend of mine that make Photoshop looks so easy. hahah We did a sketch of the idea, the client ask me to do some changes, so I did it. I always count on my clients ideas.
Q: So many customers, drawings in your life, what keeps you permanently creative?
A: Well its my work to be creative, so in every tattoo that a client wants I propose to do it better or different having in count what they want, in other aspects I like to draw a lot and paint in oil when I have some free time.
Q: They said "The real artist is never fully satisfied" There is always something new to accomplish, discover, something new to try etc... What are your goals, or things that you might want to accomplish in the next few years?
A: The main goal is to grown as an artist and as a person. I would like to travel and do some guest spots, get more into other cultures and artists, there are a lot of things to discover in this world.
Please feel free to share your contact info/mail, website etc.
I live in Medellin, Colombia, my shop is Studio 13 in El Poblado sector, web page is www.tattoostudio13.com my email is email@example.com.