Interview with tattoo artist Miguel Wom

  Hello Miguel Wom! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. Please start by telling us something about yourself and your background. What made you start tattooing? Hi! My name is Miguel Wom, I’m a tattoo artist from Spain but now I’m currently traveling around the world working in the best studios and tattoo conventions to continue implementing new techniques and growing. My style is based on a contemporary realistic aesthetic, although what I like the most is surrealism as a value contribution, creating unique pieces. I started in 2014 like apprentice in a classic tattoo studio. I like to paint and draw in autodidactic format and finally, I'm part of the tattoo industry, trying to find a different way to do realism and quit with the classic projects and boring elements.

Q: What type of art outside tattooing you like the most? Do you have any favorite artists?
A: I like a lot oil paintings but in general I love all type of art , street art , contemporary art or classic painters. I think they created a big standard in the quality technique, how use the lights, Caravaggio with light to dark was amazing, love Dalí or my favorite *el Bosco* with the magic surrealism. I think now the artists are really far from that amazing vision, but we try it on the skin :) I like a lot of tattoo artists for their vision or technique: Waler Montero, Abel Miranda, animal tattooer, Oxi tattoo, thejadetiger, Kristina Taylor, Sandra Daukshta, Carolina Caos, and more!

Q: How difficult was to learn tattooing even for a talented person like you?
A: I obsessively focused on achieving my goals by working very hard, I kept that idea in mind, years ago it was more difficult to access information but today many tattoo artists offer courses or seminars. I'm self-taught artist, but I am very grateful to my colleagues who gave me their advice. I think the most important thing for progress is to share knowelagde, meet different artists and be humble, you have to go beyond your comfort zone and throw yourself into the void. That is why for the last three years I have been traveling the world working in the best tattoo studios and attending the best conventions with amazing artists.

Q: What was the biggest challenge getting into this business?
A: I think the biggest challenge is creating tattoo projects that can resist the past of the time with the maximum quality and putting focus on making different things. In realism, I think that is the most important value and how I can work to make powerful tattoo projects, perfect designs for different body parts.

Q: How long took you to figure out your creative process and direction?
A: I think it came naturally, it was every day step by step, I've always tried to do something different or put a modern vision into my realism, it's really important not to copy and make their own designs all the time, now in the industry it is more difficult to do something disruptive and artists normally use the same references, but now with artificial intelligence technology we are entering a new era in the tattoo industry.


Q: Would you stick to tattoo realism? I think you will be good at any style, honestly.
A: I like a lot realism but more the surrealism, I believe that style can open more doors to find other ways to reach other realities the idea is to create something new all time and don't work on standard projects.

Q: Talking about tattoo realism, it's one of my favorite. I believe it's the most difficult style to learn. Precision and high quality is the basic requirement here, no "undo button" maybe just a little pressure that goes away with a lot of work and experience. Do you agree?
A: In a certain way, it is complex due to the type of structure that the pieces have, both at the design level and the elements that are used, it is a style where only the edges or lines have a presence and the use of contrasts and black take on special relevance. It is the use of portrait pieces or very high levels of detail that make it really complex, where the client will see at the end whether or not that has been achieved or not. Even so, I think that all styles have their complexities and all deserve respect when they are executed by professionals.

Q: What do you like the most about tattoo realism?
A: I think what I like the most is being able to work with elements that are often common and how they can be filtered through a more contemporary vision and turn them into something very visual, like mixing portrait elements with graphic or surreal elements.

 Q: I'm glad that I didn't see any boring portrait tattoos in your portfolio. Hah! I love how you mix both black and white inks and then there's some colored part like an interesting background or some cool detail. Really makes the overall look really good.
A: Thank you so much! That is the idea to reflect a more modern vision within realism with those contributions of color or creating totally colorful pieces, the use of the reflections of the funds in the tattoos themselves or the use of lights and shadows and to be able to escape from boredom by creating very crazy pieces.

- Where do you get these ideas? Do you draw some sketches before the session or?
A: I always dedicate a lot of time for the creative process and I work on my projects days before the session. I don't like to make the design on the same day because I don't think is the best way. The creativity will not be the best by the short time for completion. It’s possible to make changes on the project that I present but the structure, the movement, what it will transmit has been thought out to the smallest detail and we achieve the best result.

Q: Nowadays people like unique tattoos. No more catalogue, ready made designs. They can be only a good base. People want something different, special. I believe it can be hard sometimes to match your own imagination (the design idea) with your client's. After all, tattooing is a service job... How do you handle this? Have you ever turned down someone?
A: Normally my type of clients look to me for the creativity of my designs and are usually open minded to new ideas. Certainly in this profession many clients look for more classic or simple things and I try to make them understand the importance of creating something exclusive, something really different. I try to make them see how something contemporary can have a higher level of impact, even so, I try to work with their ideas filtered by my vision, but in the end very good pieces are created.

Q: The funniest, best moments you remember with your clients? You don't have to be too specific, but tell us what brings you smile while going to work every day?
A: We have a lot funny moments but better don’t speak about that hahahaha:)

Q: If someone would let you choose a tattoo design for them, what would that be? Do you have any "dream piece"?
A: Luckily I have managed to make many of my dream designs and I am grateful for finding clients that trust my work. I would certainly like to move on to more surreal themes and escape from the classic. My favorite part are legs I think the level of impact is incredible and surely more projects will be coming soon.

 Q: What was the most complicated tattoo you did and how many sessions took you to complete?
A: The most complicated piece I remember was at the New York tattoo convention, my client gave me complete freedom to create a complete outer leg design with a cyber punk theme, mixing grays and some color with surreal touches, I had to finish it in three consecutive days and it was very complex in hours and due to the size of the project. Being a single tattoo artist, many times these types of pieces are done in collaboration making the process more relaxed in volume of hours, luckily I managed to finish it and I really liked working with that pressure and see how the visitors stopped to see my piece surprised by the dimensions and the futuristic design, already in case the conventions are tougher due to the number of hours but I was lucky to share a stand with my great friend ABel Miranda and it was funny, I would say that was my most difficult project .

Q: Would like to promote something on this interview?
A: I would like to thank the studios and clients that have always supported me, main sponsors for facilitating part of my work process @worldfamousink @believatattoo and more soon. I will be launching the website for more news.

Q: What would you recommend to all the young people who will read this interview and want to try getting into this business?
A: My recommendation would be that they try to train and be true professionals and not only try to receive from this wonderful profession but also to give a part of yourself in each project and respect the clients, which in the end is the means we have to express ourselves and be able to continue evolving in our work. Take courses or seminars, travel and don't be afraid to take risks because without that it will be impossible to go far, be humble to open new ways.