tattoo Interview with Matty McTatty by Iva Kanceska 08/02/2010  

Q: How long have you been tattooing?
A: I have been tattooing for 12 years. I started in October of 1997 and haven't looked back since.

Q: Do you remember your first experience with tattoos?
A: My first experience with tattooing was at 15 years old. My cousin and I tattooed each other with a homemade machine. Neither of us knew what we were doing, but we both knew we wanted marks on our skin.

Q: Is there any tattoo style you find as your favorite or your specialty?
A: I really love to do portraits and anything realistic. But I also love to do all styles of tattooing. It just makes you a stronger artist to work with the many styles there are to this art.

Q: What ink do you use?
A: I used to use a lot of different colors, however, since Alla Prima has hit the market, that seems to be my staple brand, but I still have a few other brands in stock that I just haven't been able to let go of, namely Starbrite, Intense, and Dynamic.


Q: Which colors are the best to make a good photo realistic portrait?
A: I get asked all the time what colors I use for my flesh tone...but I don't use just one color straight out of the bottle. I figure out what skin tones the tattoo is going to have and sometimes have to adjust that for the skin tones that I'm tattooing on. So, I always mix my own flesh tones.

Q: Where do you find your inspiration? Do you work by certain themes?
A: I find my inspiration in everything. I could be hiking a trail and see the way the light might shine through the trees or the way it strikes a leaf. I also look at other artists to see what they're doing either stylistically or their color theory. But the best inspiration is life.


Q: How long do you work with Josh and Robbie?
A: My team has been with me pretty much since the beginning. I didn't really try to get this particular team together. It just kinda landed on me. I couldn't be more pleased with the talent and the quality that my studio is able to give to each client. I am truly grateful for my team and their great attitudes. Our newest artist, Justin, has only been with us a short time, but he's got great clientele and the best attitude in general. I've worked with a lot of crews over the years and I can TRULY say that I have NEVER worked with a more talented and fun crew... Period!

Q: Does the team work help you to develop your own art, style?
A: We are always up each others butts to see what the other one is doing. Not just tattooing, but in other mediums as well. I do a lot of painting and art shows which has inspired others on my crew to want to paint and expand styles. Our newest member, Justin, does these really awesome wood burnings which has made me really want to try this medium.

Q: Nowadays there are so many new tattoo styles. Is there any traditional style of tattooing in your area?
A: There's a lot of shops in my area, but I wouldn't say they are all known for one particular style. As far as "traditional style" tattooing, theirs only one place that cannot be outdone, and that is Designs by Dana in Cincinnati. Hands down the best "old school" shop around because he's from the old school, and a wonderful group of people also!

Q: Do you have any favorite?
A: As I said before, anything that's photo realistic. Portraits, flowers, animals... I also have a soft spot for neo-traditional and horror art!

Q: What sets you apart from the other tattoo artists?
A: I think what sets me apart from other artists (at least in my area) is my attitude. I've met a lot of super great artists who were the humblest mofo's you ever met, then I've met less-than marginal artists who would talk like they invented this shit. So, I try to keep an even keel when it comes to who I am and what I can do because there's always someone who's badder-ass than you!

Q: What is your message to those preparing to get a tattoo?
A: I would tell anyone looking to get a tattoo is....DO YOUR HOMEWORK! It's funny how anyone can tell you what a piece of shit car looks like, but not a bad tattoo! Ask questions! Don't assume because the front window says "TATTOO" that the guy on the other side knows what he or she is doing. Also, tattoos are LIFETIME INVESTMENTS...why would you only want to spend $20 for a crappy tattoo and $100 for a pair of shoes that may last a year! Spend good money on a good artist and you'll never go wrong....Don't shop around for tattoo's! It's an insult to a decent artist that you wanna haggle for $20 less because the guy at the flea market said he'd do if for less!