Interview with Rinat Tattoo | Realism Style | Russia 06/04/2023

  Hello Rinat Tattoo! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. Please start by telling us something about yourself and what made you start tattooing? Hello everyone. In the distant year 2000, I watched the movie "From Dusk Till Dawn" and at the end of the movie, I saw George Clooney's tattoo. From that moment on, I became interested in tattoos and started looking for any information I could find. At that time, there wasn't much information available. I didn't have money for professional equipment, so I had to build a tattoo machine out of makeshift materials. I used a cassette player motor and guitar strings instead of needles. It was an interesting experience. The cool thing is that I went through this process from the very beginning. Many people have no idea how it all started, but I was in the front row.

Q: Do you have any favorite artists you look up to?
A: Yes, of course, there are many cool tattoo artists nowadays who impress with their ideas and skills. The industry is definitely not standing still. Everything is developing very quickly. I really like it when tattoo artists experiment with styles and add something new. I especially love it when they incorporate elements from graffiti into their tattoos. In this regard, I really like the style of Igor (@im_tattoo) and Pavel (@rochone1). I also love realism, and I can't help it, it's been my love since I first became interested in tattoos. Here, it's worth highlighting Dmitry Samohin, who is an amazing artist. There is also a very cool artist, in my opinion, named Mikhail. He works with silver and it looks magical (@mihail_kogut). Actually, I could remember different artists from different countries for a very long time. The main thing is that I constantly discover new tattoo artists who capture my attention in some way, and I enjoy their work. If we are talking about the very beginning, then there were such masters as Paul Booth, Pavel Angel, Guy Aitchison, and Aaron Cain.

Q: What type of tattoos you use to do as a beginner?
A: Since I didn't study in an art school, I had to learn everything from scratch. I started with simple images, gradually making them more complex. I became a professional tattoo artist after attending a tattoo convention in 2008, and even at my first convention, I was fortunate enough to win two awards.

Q: How has your style developed over the time?
A: Over time, I tried to make my work more complex, while also developing my skills in the visual arts by attending master classes with artists. Gradually, I started increasing the sizes of tattoos, which in the beginning were very small, and making them more intricate. However, my desire was to achieve realism, which as I mentioned earlier, appealed to me from the very beginning. And at some point, I achieved this goal. The desire to continue developing my skills has not left me to this day. To stop would mean to die, not physically of course, but as an artist.

Q: I strongly believe that an artist must be confident enough in the style he specialises but also ready and willing to experiment at least a little bit. I must say, I love the portraits, the cool cartoonish designs (That super Mario tattoo) ah, favorite... there are also some Japanese style tattoos. Which designs you like the most?
A: Yes, undoubtedly one should develop their own style, but what do you do if you like different styles? I really love the look of neojapan, neotrad, biomechanics/organic. I want to develop in different directions. I think more about how the image will look on the body, about the dynamics and placement, about the composition of the tattoo. Perhaps it is not important to me in what style it will be executed, as long as it looks harmonious on the body and is interesting to both the client and the tattoo artist. If I like the idea, then the style in which the tattoo will be executed is probably not so important. The main thing is to enjoy the process and the end result.

Q: The variety is key here... I guess, every client can expect a unique tattoo, because you're showing us that you are willing to do many types of tattoos not just strictly one. Great, way to grow as an artist, right?
A: That's right, the only thing that matters is that only two people should be satisfied in this process - the tattoo artist and the client. If both are happy, then you are on the right path.

- That being said, what are the weirdest requests you had? Are there any crazy stories with the clients?
Of course, there have been many interesting stories. The problem is that over time, these cases become common. There were clients who left after only 5 minutes into the tattoo session because of pain, for example. There were people who requested crazy things, such as getting a tattoo while skydiving or using squid ink instead of pigment. Tattoos on sphinxes, one guy asked to cover up a light spot on his bulldog's nose. An separate story involves calls from drunk people, one guy asked for a tattoo of a Chupa Chups candy wrapper on his penis, another wanted the words "smoked sausage" on his member. In general, everyone has their own ideas that sometimes cross all boundaries. But I think there would be artists who would happily fulfill the desires of my interlocutors.

Q: I believe it's very important to keep an open mind, be friendly and helpful when dealing with people, especially as a tattoo artist. People expect perfection, because you're giving them a gift of a lifetime. So... yea, this dynamic can be very rewarding but it can create pressure too.
A: I am a very friendly and positive person by nature, and I find it easy to communicate with people. Usually, we get along with clients right from the first meeting. Of course, there are snobs, but what can you do, everyone is different. Over the years in the industry, I have learned how to approach people. I have learned how to convey my thoughts to clients properly and guide them on the right path when choosing a tattoo. Without pressure or negative emotions, it's not difficult if you try to empathize with the client and not look down on them. Masters spend many years honing their skills in this industry, and clients may be considering a tattoo for the first time, so it's important to communicate with them. And the clients who have been in the industry for more than a year know what to expect, so it's easier to work with them.

- Honestly, how do you handle busy schedule? And oh well, the pressure to be creative every day?
After so many years in this industry, some tattoos no longer require careful preparation, especially when we're talking about sketches with realistic animal images, for example. Before the session, we choose a photo together with the client, and it doesn't take much time. Of course, if it's a large project, it needs to be prepared in advance, but again, when you have been in the industry for many years, everything becomes much faster and easier. With time, it becomes easier to be creative, and it no longer takes as much time for the master as it did in the early stages.

Q: What about didgital art or painting to get inspired?
A: Inspiration can come from anything: music, movies, travels, people. You just need to learn how to enjoy life, and then inspiration will come naturally. Lately, I haven't been drawing on paper very often; Procreate has replaced everything. And if I feel like drawing, it's usually on canvas with oil or acrylic paint.

Q: To tattoo someone is to be able to (hopefully) do your best and give the client a nice tattoo and in return to be honored with their trust. What a rewarding dynamic, right? What do you like the most about being a tattoo artist?
A: That's right, trust needs to be earned. Since I have been in the tattoo industry for a long time, people who come to me already know what to expect and have a general idea of what type tattoo they will have. It's harder for newcomers in this regard. In this profession, I like that I can leave my mark in person's life, I like working with people (if they are reasonable), I like working with the human body, and most importantly, I can draw, and I tried to draw even when I was one year old. This means that I am in the right place. This profession is probably my best choice.

Q: As a traveling artist, where is the best to go? Any favorite places, collaborations?
A: Well, it's all pretty subjective. Everyone has their own preferences. For me, the coolest thing about this profession is that when you reach a good level, you get the opportunity to travel around the world and discover new places, make interesting acquaintances, and everywhere find the opportunity to earn money for your needs. Collaboration is an interesting experience, and it's always cool to work with a great tattoo artist and create something new and awesome.

Q: If I can have any say in this, I LOVE the collaboration with green.vesper, bravo for both. Those back tattoos! Omg! How long you worked on those tattoos? How you both worked on the design idea, was it yours, the client's?
A: Yes, she's cool. Several years ago, she came to my studio and said she wanted to learn how to tattoo. I asked her to show me her drawings and I liked them. I realized she had a great potential. Over the years, she has grown a lot, and I am thrilled that I was able to help her realize her potential as a tattoo artist. She learned to tattoo quickly because she had a good drawing foundation. Now I enjoy looking at her work. At some point, I realized that I would be interested in doing a collaboration tattoo with her. Tanya supported the idea. We found a client for the collaboration very quickly. The only thing he said was, "I want a predator on my entire back." Together we made a sketch, and we did the tattoo over two days. The client turned out to be very patient, for which he deserves special respect.

- Was it a challenge to reconcile any possible creative (artistic) differences?
Green.vesper and I don't have any disagreements. We've been working together for quite a long time, and besides that, we've become very good friends, so everything related to all our collaborations (and there have been several already) has gone smoothly and without any problems. I don't remember us ever having any issues.

Q: What have you learned about yourself during your travels? Do you feel like those experiences helped you develop even more as an artist and even just as a person?
A: Of course, the more a person travels, the more they develop. It was only because I started traveling that I learned English. Before, I couldn't even string two words together and had to communicate with clients using gestures. I realized that I am an open-minded person and can adapt to everything that changes around me (except for what is happening in Russia right now. I don't want to get used to it, so I left Russia and am trying to start my life in a new place, I'm sure everything will work out for me.

Q: Award winning artist, congratulations Rinat! Any favorite award? Come on now, don't be modest! Heh Congrats, you totally deserved!
A: Ooo)) thank you. Yes, I love participating in tattoo conventions and, of course, winning awards. Who doesn't love that?)) At the moment, I have around 50 awards from tattoo conventions and I think that's not the limit. The most beloved ones are probably the first ones because they gave me confidence in myself and showed me that I can compete with great tattoo artists. And the ones I value the most at the moment are from the tattoo convention in Zwickau (Germany) because they only invite the best tattoo artists there, and winning an award there means that you are one of the best.

Q: What would you say to anyone reading this and is thinking of trying to get into tattooing? What is the best way to start tattooing in 2023?
A: Well, first of all, you need to learn how to draw. Nowadays, the competition is so strong that the entry threshold into the industry is very high, and if you start at ground zero, there's a chance you'll go unnoticed. Secondly, you need to find a mentor, a good one who will teach you, promote you, and help you in the early stages.
And thirdly, set yourself big goals, don't be lazy, and go above and beyond to achieve them. Thank you! And a special respect if you read this article to the end.