Interview with Carolina Caos | Unique Tattoo Style | Italy 03/03/2021


Hello Carolina Caos! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. Please start by telling us something about yourself and your background. What inspired you to start tattooing? Was it hard?
I am Italian and I live in Voghera, near Milan and I am 31 years old. I studied psychology in high school and later attended the European Institute of Design (IED) in Milan.

Q: Did you have any help from someone or you're a self taught artist? How much time took you to gain confidence in your work?
I worked as a book illustrator and for some cartoon design studios for a short time. Eight years ago I met my partner Stefano Galati with whom I have been managing a tattoo studio for about seven years. We started this journey together, he was already passionate about this world and he influenced me. At the beginning and for the first few years, we concentrated (more than anything else) to drawing and graphics. We followed the conventions, we "stole" with our eyes the other tattoo artists work at the conventions and we started as self-taught. We tried on synthetic leather and then many friends. Starting as self-taught was not easy at all and it was a long journey. We were always careful and tried to inform ourselves a lot but when we started it was not like now, videos were not found and this world was still very closed. It takes a lot of determination and passion and a lot of humility. We still have a lot to learn and it never stops.

Q: I bet you remember your first tattoos! Would you correct them if given chance? Hah What type of tattoos you use to do as a beginner?
A: For the first few years I tried to deepen, learn many different styles, draw a lot and study the various tattoo styles from Japanese to cartoon, from realistic to old school at times. From color to black and white, trying to learn as much as possible from the various styles and techniques. I started with small tattoos, simple things, very low voltage of the machine and a lot of patience, it took me 3-4 hours to make a very small tattoo. The first tattoo I did on my partner Stefano Galati, an anchor with two hands that tighten and a parchment with the words "carol" inside. Evidently, thanks to the low voltage and the delicacy in doing it for fear, today it is still well defined, it has not widened and it has satisfying lines to be my first tattoo.

- What's your opinion on getting an apprenticeship? Do you think is a necessarily part of becoming a pro artist?
Not having done an apprenticeship, I don't know what to answer. Surely, if I could have done an apprenticeship I would have learned much faster, but maybe I would have been influenced by the person who would teach me. I am happy with the path I took and if I went back I would not change it because it allowed me to create MY path, personal, free, and without influences.

Q: Today your work looks awesome! The color tattoos are just unbelievable! Seriously I couldn't stop looking at them and pick a favorite! Then the paintings caught my eye, but later on that. How much tattoo realism as a style is a challenge to master even if the artist has good * drawing skills? How much this style is difficult but also freeing when it comes to creative expression?
A: Thank you so much!!!! In my opinion, in order to create a good realistic tattoo it is essential to know how to draw, know the anatomy, the use of lights and shadows, know the colors and know how to mix colors, and this is possible through study and practice and have drawn a lot in the past. I have been drawing since I was very young, but above all I had the obsession to copy anything, I opened a newspaper and I copied the model, I copied the comics and then I tried to do it without looking, I invented stories and I tried to learn how to use all the tools, pencils, brushes, markers, watercolors, paint etc. I have been doing this throughout my childhood. My current style is a collection of everything I have learned, and I am trying to continually improve, sometimes it takes me a few hours or 12, 15 hours to create the project. Today I call my style REALISME AVANTGARDE and it is the result of my studies and my approach to the different techniques. I mix illustration, realism, graphics and painting trying to unite everything in a harmonious way.


Q: Again, I'm having hard time to pick a favorite... Let's just say, I like (the most) your ability to bring some imagination into reality. The details! It's like every tattoo has its own special detail that is unique from the other ones and yet it's still has that "signature" style... *your* style! Ah you're wonderful! I also like the comics/cartoonish vibe in them all. Tell me more about these combinations. Please.
A: I love children's illustration. This love was transmitted to me by my mother who, when my brothers and I were children, told us many fairy tales and often drew for us. Usually, to design my work, I ask the client to tell his story, to explain to me what he would like to express with his tattoo, a particular moment of his life, of his experiences, his passions and his moods. With all this information I create the project. Sometimes it takes a few hours, sometimes much longer. When I meet the client we analyze the project, my interpretation of his story creates a very deep empathic connection... they trust me, they open up and I become a narrator and illustrator of their life, on their skin. Sometimes getting a tattoo is almost therapeutic, because people have the opportunity to tell someone outside of their daily lives about a difficult or painful moments that have marked them in a particular way but that are part of who they are.

- Which parts of humans face are "nerve wracking" to work on?
The most complex part is definitely the realistic part, the faces are always complex, every face has its complexities, sometimes the nose, sometimes the lips, sometimes the eyes, sometimes the shades of the cheek, everyone is different and complex in its own way.

Q: I bet you put your heart in every tattoo you do. You're dedicated and hard working person with enthusiasm. I see that! It's so nice. Honestly that's what makes one artist a pro not just the skills! Even though it's difficult to produce every day... How you handle a busy *creative* schedule? Is it possible?
A: I am really happy that this transpires from my work. It is a great satisfaction for me. Yes, I love this job and I dedicate myself body and soul to every project. I have a lot of respect for those who come to get a tattoo from me and I always try to give my best. This is a job that occupies you all day every day both mentally and physically. I tattoo during the day and I create projects in the evening. Luckily my partner does the same job as me (even if he has a very different method from mine) because I think not everyone would accept this lifestyle and my devotion to this job.

Q: What happens if you have some creative blockages? What do you do?
A: I try to interpret the customer's story in the best possible way and it is not always easy and I am very self-critical. Often after hours of work on the project I start all over again because I know I have not done well enough. I am a very tormented person ahaha Sometimes it takes days to finish just one project. But then I show it to the customer my heart fills with joy, I have seen customers start crying with joy seeing it, and feeling perfectly represented in it.

Q: The paintings... I'm impressed! I don't have favorite, sorry I love them all! ;) You're blessed with a true talent! I'm glad that you're not lazy so you make a living from it! The clients send you reference images or? Tell me more about the paintings!
A: The last 7 years were really busy, I have always and only thought about tattooing. In 2020 when there was the first lockdown in March it was the first time I really stopped. But I can't, I took out my brushes and painted after so many years, it had become my new obsession, day, night, sometimes for 10-12 consecutive hours.
It was a great satisfaction to receive a lot of requests from people who wanted to buy them. When this pandemic ends and everything goes back to normal I would like to do an exhibition.

Q: Painting might feel lonely as you sit with yourself and do what you do - the best! ;) Tattooing gives you lots more excitement and maybe even uncertainty because you deal with people and it's more like a "service" job. What do you like more?
A: Most of my buyers are from United States, selling my paintings is always like letting go of a piece of me. This gives me a melancholy feeling on the one hand and a deep sense of contentment, knowing that somewhere in the world there is a part of me. So for my paintings and so for my tattoos.

- Do you have any favourite painting you done lately?
-“The Queen’s Gambit” is the last one i made, sold to a boy from Seattle. I will miss it ahaha

Q: We live in uncertain times... how do you handle this whole covid situation? How are you? Are you available for bookings?
A: This situation is very disheartening, I think for everyone, just over a year has passed and there is no turning point. It has been a difficult year in various ways, we have lost loved ones, we have experienced loneliness and distance, lack of affection, luckily I have a partner for 10 years and we always try to support each other, working and living together we are used to being together all day so it was not a big problem, since I was a child I have never been a very sociable person, and I have always sought my solitude and I am fine with it. So locking myself in for the lockdown was not as difficult a thing as for others. One of my greatest passions is traveling, for me it is a physical and mental need every now and then to switch off and embark on a new journey, it makes me live better and it makes me feel good, also for my life with my partner. I am putting a lot of effort and I do not deny that there are days that I feel really demoralized, I always try to remember that I am a very lucky person, and out of respect for those who are worse off, I cannot and must not get down. I try to keep in touch with my foreign clients and I hope that soon I will be able to reach them again and they will reach me.

Q: If you can change something about the tattoo industry as it is now, what would that be?
A: The best thing about this work is the possibility it gives us to make art on people's bodies, to leave an indelible mark of our passage on this world to someone else. To tell the story of people on their skin. The worst thing about this work is often the falseness and arrogance of many who are part of it, of their need to achieve their goals, often trampling on others. For some people it is more important how to appear on social media than the work they do, they have no respect for people's skin and for this wonderful work.

Q: What do you recommend to those who want to try getting into this business?
A: To have respect, humility, to draw to the point of exhaustion and to put all the passion they can into it.

Q: Any plans for the feature?
A: Right now I just hope this covid situation ends. And when that happens, I plan to travel and work as much as possible.

Ms.Carolina Caos Thank You for the interview,
Kind Regards
The Team