Alena Lang – a talented tattoo artist whose name has become known not only in Russia but worldwide, thanks to her unique style and skill. Over her 11-year career, she has earned the recognition and love of numerous clients. Inspired by Japanese culture and neotraditional style, Alena creates truly unique and expressive works. In this interview, she shares her thoughts on the role of art education for a tattoo artist, talks about her favorite subjects and styles, and shares her inspiration and future plans. Dive into the world of tattoos with Alena Lang and learn more about her creative journey and life philosophy.

How long have you been in the tattoo industry? And how did you come to be a tattoo artist?

- I have been working in the tattoo industry for 11 years. Since I was 6 years old, I loved to draw and always knew that my profession would be related to art. From early childhood, I constantly improved my drawing skills. Throughout my creative journey, I tried my hand at various fields: interior design, airbrushing on cars, and airbrushing in interiors. However, it was tattoos that truly captured my heart. In tattoo art, I found a way to combine my love for drawing and the desire to create something unique and meaningful for each person.

Tattoo Artist Alena Lang

Do you have an art education? And in your opinion, how necessary is this foundation for a modern tattoo artist?

- Yes, I have an art education. I studied at an art lyceum for 10 years to become an artist, then went to university to study architecture, but graduated as an interior designer with a full higher education.

I believe that having a university diploma is not essential for a tattoo artist, but basic knowledge in academic drawing and painting is extremely important. This foundation helps to better understand composition, color, anatomy, and other key aspects of drawing, which directly affects the quality of a tattoo artist's work. If someone can study these basics independently and achieve a high level of mastery, that's also a great path.

Tattoo Artist Alena Lang

For you, is tattooing art, work, or something else?

- For me, tattooing has become a way of life. It's not just a job or art; it's my favorite thing to do, which brings a good income and fills my life with joy, inspiration, and satisfaction for the second decade. I get immense pleasure from each new project and the opportunity to create something unique.

Tattoo Artist Alena Lang

How, when, and why did neotraditional style attract you?

- Even in school, I was always drawn to painting, but simple realism seemed too boring and monotonous to me. I wanted to create sketches and something more expressive and original. The neotraditional tattoo style attracted me with its brightness and the ability to use outlines that make the work more striking and long-lasting. This style perfectly matched my creative demands and allowed me to realize my ideas most fully.

Tattoo Artist Alena Lang

What subjects do you like the most?

- In recent years, I have fallen irrevocably in love with Japanese culture, and recently I even visited this beautiful country. So, I choose appropriate subjects. I like tattoos depicting anime characters, koi fish, geishas, dragons, maneki-neko cats, daruma, and many others. I especially enjoy dressing animals in kimonos and anthropomorphizing them. I also love creating tattoos with female faces in different variations. These subjects allow me to express my love for Japanese culture.

Tattoo Artist Alena Lang

Name the most characteristic features of your portfolio.

- The most characteristic features of my portfolio are the brightness and restraint of the palette at the same time. My works often feature Japanese motifs and cute animals. I love using Japanese ornaments and always consider body anatomy to make the tattoos look harmonious and natural.

You often combine neotraditional and neo-Japanese styles in your work. Tell us what attracts you to this combination and where you find inspiration.

- I draw inspiration from Japanese myths, legends, and religious characters. Having been to Japan and visited their temples, I fell in love with this culture. So, I chose the neo-Japanese style, which allows me to use these elements in my works. The neotraditional style stays with me in case I want to go in another direction, such as female portraits, to which I still add touches of Japan.

Tattoo Artist Alena Lang

Do you work more often with clients' ideas or your own? Tell us how your projects are born.

- I work both with clients' ideas and my own projects, roughly in equal proportions. Often clients come to me with specific requests, for example, they want a fox in a kimono and with a katana. I take their idea and draw it, considering the anatomy of the tattoo placement so that it looks harmonious. At the same time, I have creative impulses when I create my own designs. I implement these ideas on a tablet and post them as available designs, which later find their owners. This balance allows me to meet clients' requests and simultaneously realize my creative ideas.

Do you have any special or favorite projects? Or maybe some funny stories from your career?

- Most of my favorite projects are those that I created based on my own inspiration, and then clients found these designs and asked to implement them. These works are especially close to me because they reflect my personal creativity and vision.

As for funny stories, they are left in the past, at the very beginning of my career, when I did tattoos almost for free, and the client base was appropriate. Now, thanks to a high price tag, my clients are super responsible and adequate people, which makes my work as pleasant as possible.

Tattoo Artist Alena Lang

How do you evaluate your popularity? And why do you think clients choose you?

- I am significantly more popular than most tattoo artists, but of course, there are many legendary masters who have soared to the stratosphere in terms of media presence, and it is very difficult to catch up with them. Clients choose me for many reasons. Some are drawn to my style of work, others are attracted by my personality, and some trust me with their entire body because our views on art align. I also know that I am interesting to talk to, and I am always ready to tell or advise something useful. This set of factors makes me attractive to many clients.

Tattoo Artist Alena Lang

Have you had any collaborations with other artists or even outside the tattoo industry?

- Yes, I have had several collaborations with other tattoo artists, and it was a wonderful and inspiring exchange of experience that I will definitely repeat. In the future, I plan to collaborate outside the tattoo industry as well. One of these projects is already in progress, but it is still a secret.

Collaborative projects of Tattoo Artist Alena Lang

Do you travel a lot? Where have you been? And do you have a favorite place on the planet?

- I travel a lot and have visited 27 countries, and this is just the beginning. I especially like exploring European and Asian countries, but I have also been to Africa. Japan and the Azores, located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, impressed me the most. I love exploring unpopular places, climbing volcanoes, yachting, and surfing. I dream of visiting America and Singapore, and I will soon go to Singapore to be a judge at a tattoo convention.

Tattoo Artist Alena Lang

Where are you currently taking appointments?

- I spent the first 10 years of my career in Russia, and my client base is mainly there. However, a year ago I moved to Montenegro and have already built a new base here. In the near future, I plan to move to Spain, where I will start from scratch and make a name for myself again.

Tattoo Artist Alena Lang

What motivates you to create and develop? What career goals do you set for yourself?

- I am motivated by a constant pursuit of new goals and development. I am the kind of person who can't live without a goal. It could be a new trip, a new skill, increasing media presence, or enhancing professional skills. Currently, my main career goals are building a client base in Spain, developing media presence across Europe, getting published in magazines, and participating or judging in tattoo conventions. And my ultimate dream is to become a world-renowned tattoo artist.