Interview with Max Sirikov | Tattoo Realism | Russia 14/12/2021


Hello Max Sirikov! Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. Please start by telling us something about yourself and what inspired you to start tattooing? Did anyone help you? Was it difficult to lean the process of tattooing?
A: Hi! My name is Max and I live in cold Russia. Severodvinsk city. In my youth, I was very fond of rock and metal music and rock stars were my idols, certainly they had tattoos. This inspired me. I started tattooing and at that time I realized that I wasn't very good at drawing:) So I found a teacher and spent about a year drawing with the teacher.

Q: What type of tattoos you use to do as a beginner? How has your style changed over the time?
A: I started out with old school, traditional tattoos, as this is a fairly simple style and this is how I learned to draw lines correctly and tattoo the skin. But my favorite style has always been color realism. Over time, I came to it.

Q: Do you have any favorite artists you look up to?
A: Yes, my favorite artist is Vasily Suvorov @tattoo_suvorov. I was fortunate enough to work in his studio, side by side with him. I admire the way his head works. He comes up with incredible tattoo designs.
I'll name some of my favorite tattoo artists, but of course there are many more:
Vasiliy Suvorov (@tattoo_suvorov)
Dmitry Gorbunov (@dmitrygorbunov)
Sasha O'Kharin (@o'kharin)
Fabricio Galdino (@fabriciogaldino89)
Dmitry Samohin (@dmitriysamohin)
Nikolay Dzhangirov (@dntattoo89)

Q: I really like your color tattoos. Really nice color balance and contrasts, it really gives the end result a nice and vibrant look. I really like your technique. How much time took you to figure out color tattooing and to get an overall confidence in your work?
A: Thanks a lot. Yes, the contrast matters even more than a well-formed composition. A lot of tattoo artists don't pay much attention to contrasts and this is one of the reasons why their works look weaker. I think I've always understood this, but at first I needed time to master the technique. It seemed to me that I used dark inks way too much. Working with Vasily Suvorov gave me a lot of experience, I'm very grateful. I can call Vasily my teacher.

Q: I believe color tattooing is definitely more popular than black and white tattooing. It's more challenging to master the style but once it's learned, the results are outstanding. I think color tattooing gives the artist an opportunity to explore more and show off their skills. Do you agree?
A: Yes a color tattoo is more complex than black and white, applying it requires good artistic skills. You need to understand how colors compliment each other, how to mix them. There is a very good school of color tattooing in Russia, maybe because our skin is white and our tattoos look brighter than on people from warm countries.

Q: Which part of doing a color portrait tattoo is most challenging? Do you have any favorite piece you did lately?
A: It's difficult to highlight something important in a portrait, but perhaps the most important thing is the eyes and lips. For me, the most difficult thing has always been the hair.

Q: Tattooing is very precise work. It requires maximum attention to details and patience. Do you remember the longest session with a client? How did you guys cheer up each other?
A: Yes, I remember my longest session. This was a client from another city and he came for one day. It was a big thigh tattoo. We did it. He tolerated the pain it perfectly. The session began at 11 am and ended at 1 am. But when I work I'm so into it that I loose the track of time. I even forget about food.

Q: I really like your paintings. I see sensuality, beauty and expression. So nice. How long have you been painting? Is that only a hobby or you also sell some of them?
A: I paint constantly. The main theme of my paintings is naked girls. I can be called as an artist of erotic painting. It seems to me that nothing conveys beauty like a woman's body. This is already a work of art. And when the female body is also drawn, it is no doubly beautiful. I recently opened a separate Instagram account (@eroart_by_max) where I post my paintings. I'm happy to sell both canvases and prints.

Q: The last year was really rough for many, especially you the artists... So many studios were/are still closed off. How are you doing? How much the pandemic affects your work and your mental health? Are you available for bookings?
A: Yes, for the first two months, we were closed, like everyone in Russia. It was a difficult time. But now everything is gradually opening up and we are working in the same mode with all sanitary standards and booking. But there is also a bright side, during the time without work I began to draw more, the task was to understand the color better and I feel the growth. Oil painting is probably the most powerful practice for those who are into color realism.

Q: What would be the first thing you wanna do after we are finally over with covid? Would you visit some tattoo conventions?
A: As soon as the pandemic is over and the borders of Russia open up, I would very much like to work at conventions and as a guest artist in other countries. So I will be very glad if someone finds out about me through your magazine and invites me to his studio. I want to travel more and get acquainted with different studios and tattoo artists, share my experience and learn from the experience of other artist.

Q: What would you recommend to the young people who want to try getting into this business?
A: I would advise young people to start with drawing. It's the most important. Always analyze your work. Ask yourself the question: what could I do better in this job? Be honest. It is important.

Please write down your contact info.
Instagram: @max_sirikov
Viber, whatsApp: 89116878443
Mr.Max Sirikov Thank you so much for the interview.
Kind regards,
The team