Interview with tattoo artist Tania

  Hello Tania! Thank you for taking the ime to do this interview. What inspired you to start tattooing? Do you have any formal art training? How did you learn the basics skills? Oh, it didn't take much time to chose this way. As I remember the first time when I started to think about it I was in high school, I was 16 then. At that time I just got my first tattoo and it was a new experience. It affected me a lot! Therefore I was determined to learn this skill. In the beginning, I just watched the work of different artists, asked for everything I needed. My first attempts were in university, but they failed because I had to study and I didn't have time for anything else. Then I was ready to give up everything! But parents... you know. So after graduation, I immediately start looking for a place and mentor. I already had good drawing skills, because I graduated art school and the university with my major in design. I just had to learn new tools.

Q: What was the most difficult part in becoming a professional artist?

A: The most challenging part was to find the "right" environment I think. You can be a really talented artist, but you may feel like a fish outside the water. You should feel comfortable with the people around you. It contributes to your development and motivates you. For some time I studied by myself, but later I decided it would be much better to have a mentor. I met Rinat in 2017. We are still working together in a friendly team and teach each other. While he is teaching me tattoo tricks, I'm teaching him drawing tips. I can surely say it is one of the most important partnerships of my life.

Q: What type of tattoos you used to do when you were a beginner? Would you correct some of them now? Hah

A: Of course in the beginning I didn't dare to take on big projects. It was something like small lettering, symbols, or graphics flowers. Later I tried to do my sketches. Sometimes my first clients text me and ask to get another tattoo. But nobody asked me to redo or cover my old tattoos haha! Maybe just a little touch-up. How was the feeling to tattoo someone for the first time? It was exciting and scary! I was afraid of hurting someone and I'm still afraid. I always feel empathetic for my clients, what if they get up and leave right now hah?

 Q: How long have you been tattooing?

A: I have been tattooing for four years. But usually, I don't count the first half a year, it was like an introduction. Actually, I can't call myself a pro, I see my progress, but I also see my weaknesses and shortcomings. Maybe if I was in a bigger city, there would be more interesting projects and a better chance to grow faster. But I became more confident about 1,5-2 years ago.

Q: How long took you to gain confidence in your work?

A: I can't say I'm 100% confident. I'm constantly trying new tips and tricks so I never know how it will be. I think it just has to do with professional growth. Especially when you try new equipment and stuff. I'm still learning. Not by mistake, of course, hah. But I always analyze my work.

Q: How long does it take to finish a portrait piece? What parts are the most challenging?

A: I don't like to do portraits of famous people because it's very easy to make a mistake at the beginning. And you get a completely different person. For me, the most difficult part is the specific and recognizable parts of the face: eye incision, lip shape, features. So I prefer to create fictional or fantasy characters because it doesn't matter how you depict them. The key is to make it harmonious. Usually, I spend 1 session (5-7 hours) for a regular-sized portrait.

Q: Would you consider doing a portrait of a friend or someone you love in a neo traditional style?

A: I've never thought about it, but if somebody wants it of course, I'd be ready to do it hah. Sometimes I can draw somebody as an illustration or comic character, just for fun. 

Q: I like the digital artworks a lot! I think digital art and procreate gave tattoo artists an opportunity to explore new ways. Do you sell some of your prints?

A: I've mastered Photoshop on my own at 14 and I got my first digital tablet at the same time. Now I'm 25 so I can say I work with digital art for quite a long time hah. But I've never shown a lot of my art, some of them aren't finished and others are not relevant. I would like to draw custom illustrations. I even made a poster for the big Siberian tattoo festival.

Q: Progress is very important in any profession. Your goals?

A: I won't say the "to become the best artist ever", it's stupid haha. My goal is to be constantly in demand as an artist in any corner of the world, always have reasons and opportunities to grow.

Q: Where are you located?

A: I'm currently in Russia, Tomsk. It's a small cozy city in the center of Siberia. I'm working for "Module" studio, it's one of the most prestigious studios in our city.

Q: Any advice for the new artists?

A: Start with the drawing! Drawing skills contribute to faster development, it allows you to see the image inside out and create something new and unique.