interview with lassi | House Of Ravi Tattooo - Oulu,  Finland 11/03/2015

Hello Lassi! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some of our questions for our web magazine. It's a great pleasure having the chance to share some of my thoughts with you...

You work on many tattoo styles, your works are a great inspiration for many out there... I guess your art journey has lots to talk about... Let's start with some basic info about you.

Q: What made you to become a tattoo artist? How it all started?
A: I started tattooing in 2011. I used to work in a bar and after one long and rough night I just decided it was time to move on with my life and do something else. During my bartending years I was also doing some freelance graphic design for bands and such. I’ve always been very interested in art. I had been thinking about a career in tattooing for a while and in fact it was my wife who convinced me to give it a try. Thanks to her I now have the best job I could imagine.

- Did you apprentice?
I didn’t really apprentice. I started practicing at home on myself and on practice skin at first. Then I just moved on to tattooing my friends, simple scripts and black work. Then at some point I just realized that I was a full time tattoo artist. I then applied for a chair in a local shop and got it. I worked there for a couple of years and did a six month guest spot in Helsinki after that. After we bought our new house I realized I could build my own studio at home. This way I could spend as much time with my family as possible while still working long days.

Q: You enjoy doing all kinds of tattoo styles, do you have any favorite? If so, which one?
A: I’ve done almost all kinds of styles, but nowadays I tend to focus on realism, both in color and black & grey. Realism is what I am most comfortable with. I still do other stuff too sometimes for a change and to stay sharp.

Q: Let's just say, tattooing is not an easy job, it takes a lot to be a successful artist, working all day and being creative is even harder. What is your biggest inspiration? How do you usually develop your basic ideas to the final one, do you draw a lot?
A: I do draw a lot in my spare time and in tattooing I work a lot with photo references. I constantly want to learn more about colors, lights, compositions and new techniques. I usually have a basic idea what I want in the tattoo, then I look online for some photo references and use Photoshop to combine a rough sketch of the tattoo. To me inspiration is everywhere and most times I just get an image in my head that I want to tattoo.

Q: Can you name some of the artists you look up to, or the only person you compete is yourself? ;)
A: I think I look up to all those amazing artists that raise the bar of tattooing all the time. That makes me want to be better. Some of my favorite artists are Jeff Gogue, Alex De Pase, Nikko Hurtado, Oleg Turyanskiy and Jari Kajaste.

Q: Seems like there was a huge renaissance in the past few years, or maybe the past decade. We've got so many tv shows, conventions, even some of the styles evolve to a perfection, when I'm talking this, I think of the new realism tattoo style. It's really cool we can see a portrait of someone looking so real... Just amazing. How do you see the tattoo industry in maybe five or ten years from now? Would you say that there is even more to improve?
A: I haven’t been in the industry for long enough so that I could really imagine what the future holds but I think it will definitely continue to expand and to improve. I think there’s always room for improvement.

Q: As a tattoo artist, what are some of the responsibilities when it comes to moral, ethical aspects of professional tattooing? Is there anything you will suggest to the newbies to be aware of?
A: I think as a tattoo artist I have the responsibility to create something beautiful for my customers that they can be proud of. Also I think that if I find something too offensive, I have the right to respectfully decline from doing that tattoo.

I think keeping things simple in the beginning is important and trying to avoid projects that are too much for you. The urge to improve your work and to get better as a tattoo artist is also very important.

Q: Talking of the professional tattooing, tell me more about the shop you're working in.
A: I currently work at my home studio called House Of Ravi. It’s a small ”one man operation” and it is appointment only. My wife works as my assistant and she handles the bookings and travel arrangements. I do quite a lot of guest spots and conventions. Earlier mostly in the U.K. but in the future I plan on touring the whole world.

Ravi-Lassi Tattoo Artist
House Of Ravi Tattoo
+358 (0) 45 196 5667
Saalistajantie 2 G 19
90540 Oulu

- How long it takes to get an appointment? What's the procedure?
Currently I’m booked for about a year. Booking happens by emailing

Q: What would you say about your work, do you feel accomplished, or there is something that you look up to?
A: I have been very fortunate that I’ve had the opportunity to work side by side with some of the best tattoo artists in the world. My goal is to someday be one of the greats and be respected as a peer by the people I look up to now.

Q: The best and the "worst" parts of being a tattoo artist?
A: The best thing about being a tattoo artist is that I get to do what I love. The worst thing is that being successful means you have to sacrifice a lot.

Q: What are some of the motivational words to the beginners?
A: Nothing comes for free and working hard pays off. Keep drawing and painting and respect the industry.

Thanks so much for the interview.
All my best,
Iva Kancheska

Check out: Todirica Dumitru | Roberto Pena | Erik Adamik | Stanimir Stoychev | Shamus Mahannah | Marek Pawlik