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An Interview With the Tattoo Artist Ilya Mityakin

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Илья Митякин / Photo: iNKPPL Tattoo Magazine

Ilya Mityakin is a master of artistic tattoo from Penza (Russia). He specializes in creating black-and-white and colour realistic tattoos.

We met Ilya on a much-talked-of Kazan Tattoo Fest. He was one of the guest tattoo artists on the event. The viewers found his works amazing and impressive as there was some special charm in his tattoos. Now we would like to share a small part of our conversation with our readers as well as to present Ilya to those who were not yet lucky enough to make the personal acquaintance of him.

тату мастер Илья Митякин

«To start with, you can hardly ever meet a child who says that when he grows up, he wants to be a tattoo artist. It’s always interesting to learn about a person’s fortune, life-changing factors and events. Who did you want to be when you were a child? What did you do before you took up tattooing and how did this experience influence you and your creative work?»

Ilya: «(Laughing). When I was a child I wanted to be a superhero just like every other boy! I never thought too much over the choice of profession, but it just happened so that initially I was occupied in a completely different sphere – I was a sushi chef in a restaurant. Oh yes, I can cook well and not only sushi. The tattoo industry was appealing to me as an image I saw on other people, in movies and magazines.»

«Very interesting! But how did you eventually start your career as a tattoo artist? Who were your first clients? Which styles did you work in? What were your first impressions?» 

Ilya:  «I enjoyed drawing since my early childhood. I even tried to attend an art school. But I didn’t finish it as the tutors wanted us to think and paint in a stereotyped way. They didn’t allow us to work according to our own impulses and inner world and I could never agree with that. When a salon in Penza offered an opportunity to study to be a tattoo artist – I took it. This was one of the most significant days in my life, a turning point. My first clients were my friends who entrusted their skin to me and said: “Create!”. I worried during my first sessions as a tattoo artist, since I felt high responsibility.»

«So curious! When did you realize that it’s your path? Which distinctive features of your works can you single out yourself? What mood do you try to render through your works?»

Ilya: «The acknowledgement of my path was step-by-step: appreciation of the clients, sensible assessment of my success, even when it’s something small. In the end, when your hobby turns into a well-paid work, and you like it, what can be better?»

«I can’t agree more! Almost all tattoo artists are in a constant search of a personal style and a unique technique. Can you say that you’ve already achieved harmony or you are still seeking it?»

Ilya: «I think a real expert in his sphere can never be completely satisfied with his works. There’s always a space for self-perfection and further creative growth.»

«I can see what you mean. Tattoo today is leaving the Underground and becomes more of a mass culture. Russia is in the process of the tattoo culture popularization. Conventions are held almost in every big city. It’s a very favourable time for a productive activity in this direction. Can you please share with us some of your plans for the future?»

Ilya: «Development and education – these are my major plans! I have a strong desire to bring to the people that tattoo is a real fine art and by no means a stamp on a human body or a mark of belonging to some dangerous criminal groups.»

тату мастер Илья Митякин | Tattoo artist Ilya Mityakin

тату мастер Илья Митякин | Tattoo artist Ilya Mityakin

тату мастер Илья Митякин | Tattoo artist Ilya Mityakin

тату мастер Илья Митякин | Tattoo artist Ilya Mityakin

тату мастер Илья Митякин | Tattoo artist Ilya Mityakin

тату мастер Илья Митякин | Tattoo artist Ilya Mityakin

тату мастер Илья Митякин | Tattoo artist Ilya Mityakin

 (Translated by Nina Smoliyakova)
Text Alexander Ledovskih