tattoo | interview with Michele Sganzerla by iva kancheska 03/04/2015

Hello Michele Sganzerla! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our web magazine. To be honest, It's always a great pleasure to talk with an artist from Italy, you guys have always been so inspiring with new ideas for tattoos, always put the maximum when it comes to dedication... I'm honored for having you here...

Let's start with some basic info about you,

Q: When you got interested in art? What kind of art is your major creative source?
A: When I was 12, I saw a beautiful picture in our local church and I tried to draw it at home. My drawing wasn't good at first, so I decided to learn more how to draw images and I tried to copy a lot of images. I love so much ancient art, holy art and japanese-edo art. In add, after many requests of my customers, I've been drawing a lot of actor's faces too.

Q: Getting in the tattoo business, nowadays it's not so easy, talent is not something that can bring you up in the top, since tattoo art is not something about getting an image from a catalog and then tattoo on someone's skin, but more. Nowadays being a tattoo artist requires not just great skills, but dedication and love for your work.

What was the hardest part for you getting into this business?
A: I totally agree with this. In fact, for me hardest part is to try, always and every day, to improve my skills and try to inspiere myself from the biggest artists of this great world. If I make a tattoo, I want to be sure that it will be better than the same tattoo (on the same skin) made six or ten months ago. It will be much better in something...otherwise I haven't learn nothing during my past works. I can improve my abilities day after day. I'll never go on the top, because the top of today isn't good than the top of tomorrow. If I see the others artists, I search the best artists for me and I try to understand why (and if) this tattoo that he done, is better than my past tattoo.


Q: Did you have any mentors? Did you apprentice?
A: Yes, I was very lucky to have met two big Italian (and international for sure) artists, that I can considering my biggest mentors and also friends: Alex De Pase (about portrait and color realistic) and Matteo Pasqualin (about black and grey realistic). They, after a lot of meetings and tattoos have taugh me not only the secrets about awesome tattoos, but also about the love and humility to make this job, how manage a shop (planning the appointments etc.). I do only realistic tattoos since 2014...but I believe there are many things I need to learn! Other international artists that I consider almost as Gods and in the future, and it would be nice to meet are: Dmitry Samohin, Bob Tyrrel, Den Yakovlev, Nikko Hurtado, Ralf Nonnweiler, Robert Hernandez and Niki Norberg and many more.

Q: You love to do lost of tattoo styles, but portraits are something you most enjoy? Tell me more about your tattoo designs.
A: Yes, portrait style is my favorite style, because isn't only image copy, but it's about finding the soul behind the eyes... It makes the feeling that the person portrayed on the picture (angry, sadness, passion...) and it isn't easy...every time is a challenge, even after 50 years of works, I believe!

Q: Do you always draw custom pieces for each client or you don't hesitate to tattoo ready-made design from internet?
A: It depends. If the customer wants for example a son's portrait or a father's portrait, for sure I work on this. It happen to search on internet, not for the particular design tattoo but for example, a photo of something (if a customer ask me a realistic photo of a parents, and behind a specific type of flower, I search on internet some flower images). If the customers leave me the choice to do the background of the portrait, I avoid to search on internet because for me it is a big opportunity to improve my imagination and realize what I prefer. Also to show the others what I can do!




Q: People are coming up with many creative ideas for tattoos these days, which makes the day at the shop not boring ;) What are some of the strangest requests you've got for a tattoo design?
A: Yes, I've done a lot of strange tattoos in the past (symbols of food or drink, strange animals etc) but now, it rarely happens. If a customer enter into my shop to make a "sentence" on arm, or a "tribal tattoo" for example, I show them what I do, how I work and what's my style. Since 2014 I accept only portrait/realistic tattoos, nothing else because I want to make only the tattoos that can improve me.

- Do you have any crazy clients wanting to get a tattoo, but not sure what design they want? What happens in that situation? :) How do you inspire/motivate your clients?
I try every time to inspire my clients, but sometimes they want something totally different so I can't make any tattoo on them.

Q: Are you always available for your potential clients? Do you have any online profiles where they can contact you? If so, please share some links here.
A: Yes, we are always available for our potential clients. For example on phone, but very often on facebook: Tattoo Studio Under the Skin VR. My studio is in Italy, on street called Traversa Capitello in Concamarise, inside the Verona district. Or e-mail: Or twitter: Elisa Sganzerla and Michele Sganzerla.

Q: You live near Verona (Lucky you, I love to live there)heh.
What's the opinion about tattoo art in your area? Are there any super popular designs or?

A: Oh thanks! Yes Verona it's a very lovely city! We are situated near (30 minutes by car) from Verona centre, but near me, there are a lot of good tattoo artists available but for other type of works.

Q: Italy has the best food and parties for sure! ;) You guys also do great tattoo conventions. Do you go on tattoo conventions?
A: fact I added many kilos on my body in this last months...thanks to the good food!! I start this year with the convention in Florence and maybe Cagliari (in Sardinia) but it's our first time. Matteo and Alex have suggested to me to go only if you have something of very good to show...otherwise wait to avoid bad figures!!! Now we're ready to go...I hope to see you there!

Q: Being a tattoo artist is a fun profession, you meet lots of people every day, even some of them share their (most) personal stories while getting a tattoo. Sad, happy memories, life goals, achievements... Did you learn something (special) from your clients?
A: Yes, in the past I haven't hear a lot of stories because I've been doing small tattoos and the time to speak with the client was short. Now, with the portrait designs, I have a lot of time to share personal stories, there is always an intense story. There's always something to find out. The appearance deceives (as in Italy we say).

Q: Do you have any motivational words for the beginners?
A: Start with the small, easy tattoos, not something that's too hard, work every day to improve your skills and search a good artist who is better than you to learn from. The collaboration between artists is better than covering bad tattoos!!!

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