interview with tattoo artist Lena Diamanti

 Hello Lena Diamanti! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. How it all started? Did you feel inspired by someone? Honestly I never thought that tattooing will mean the world to me until the first time my needles touched the skin. It was a defining moment for me that helped me realize my true call. The person that inspired me and imparted me with the love for tattooing was my husband. Without him it is certain I would have never imagined myself to be a tattoo artist.

Q: How did you learn the basics?
We had a mutual friend who was an owner of a tattoo parlor. When we discussed about my intentions to start tattooing, he invited me to teach me the basics. But unfortunately I had more questions than answers... My husband noticed my frustration and he started scanning all the available sources of information and guidelines from the internet. He watched every video, every discussion on forums and basically any type of available form of information related to tattooing, inks, machines and techniques... And due to the fact that I didn't speak English at all he translated the most valuable information to me on Greek so I can understand it. So to answer your question I learned everything that I know from a person that didn't know how to tattoo. And I'm really lucky and eternally grateful for that! From the beginning, the style that attracted me the most was realism. I tried to focus only on this.

Q: What type of art outside tattooing inspire you?
A: I was really into drawing from a young age. I remember spending countless of hours drawing everything around me! So definitely drawing played a vital part.

Q: Any favorite tattoo artists?
A: There are many but Niko Hurtado and Dimitri Samohin would be the most distinctive.

Q: How long took you to get where you are today?
A: I don't believe that I have mastered the technique of realism and I don't believe that you will hear from any artist that they did. It is a continuous learning process and without 100% commitment you can't evolve as an artist. I work professionally for the last two and a half years.

Q: Do you accept reference images?
A: I always ask for photo reference because it helps me to understand in depth their vision. But I take it only as an initial base so I can create an original design.

Q: Your paintings... I can't even pick a favorite. Ok, probably the the eye! Oh, my goodness... Impressive work Lena! Do you sell your paintings or it's a fun hobby? Please plan an expo, do something more, you're amazing!
A: At this point I have only sold one and it was a custom design that I also tattooed on my customer. The truth is that we have already discussed about the possibility of an expo in the near future. But is really difficult to find the time and a place to paint more. I travel all around the world and I can't focus on that while I'm on tour. It is definitely one of my feature plans!

Q: How the foreign experience changed you as a person?
A: Being constantly on the road helped me to evolve as an artist and as a person. I have a first hand opportunity to learn about new cultures, meet with other tattoo artists and draw influences from exhibition or museum that I have the opportunity to visit in person. It also helped me expand my clientele outside of my country. And one of the most amazing facts from this, is knowing that many people in different countries around the world have a piece of your art or better, your soul forever with them.

Q: Any advice for the new artists?
A: Don't give up! Don't listen to the nay sayers! Be humble! Find your vision and as my manager says work harder than you think that you worked yesterday. Do that and everything is possible!