interview with Waler Montero

   Hello Waler Montero! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. It really means a lot having you here. Please start by telling us something about yourself, how it all started? I'm a tattoo artist for 17 years. I started when I was 13, because my brother was doing some kind of tattoos. Since then I never stopped. I grew up in a small town of Buenos Aires, Moreno. At the time, the tattoos were really basic. Paul Booth, Robert Hernandez and Guy Aitchison were my biggest influence.

Q: Was it hard to learn? What do you think about apprenticeship?
A: It was hard, of course. Because at the time the information about tattoos was very limited, it was difficult to find good equipment. Today it is still hard but in another way. Now it is more to grow in a form of quality and creative design. It is important to learn art in general, because in the end you take your reference from sources that aren't tattoo art. The easiest part, if we could say „easy“ is how to use the machine. The most difficult part is to know how to treat the skin right and create something esthetic. So I think apprenticeship is good if you have someone who really knows what he is doing and willl teach you.

Q: The last decade artists can pride themselves for being able to create realistic tattoos, this took the tattooing to a whole new level. Color tattooing especially, many say that color tattoos are more challenging to do. What do you think?
A: Color tattoos are different than black and grey tattoos. The difference is to what we call black and grey. I use for example the same technique that I use for color tattoos, this means no “greywash”. Anyways, color tattooing is more difficult because it’s important to know how the colors work with each other, the light and the contrasts. In both you should care about the quality.

Q: What do you prefer color or black & white tattooing?
A: I like both. It depends on the design and the skin which one I prefer in the moment. There is always something nice to do.

Q: Nowadays, we live in a so-called digital world, with constant pressure for progress and a lot of competition. Do you have any artists you look up to?
A: Right. I don’t feel any pressure about competition just to be better everyday as an artist. Actually I'm really motivated to grow more when I see a new artist or a new epic piece of a famous artist. Yes I have! Some of my favorite artists at the moment are Timur Lyzenko, Alex Pancho, Tofi, and Dmitriy Samohin.

Q: Have you ever thought doing something completely different?
A: I feel like I'm changing my style every 6 months.I'm an artist in constant evolution, that means that I try all I can, of course always around realism, but I can do for example mandalas, dot work or water color mixing all in one design.

Q: Any advice for the new artists?
A: I would say don’t copy any tattoo artist. The important thing is to learn about all kinds of art. Tattoo artists most of the time copy, so better create your original version.