We continue our acquaintance with the Korean tattoo industry, which over the past few years has shown the world hundreds of incredibly talented tattooers, designers and painters!

Tattoo artist Daldam from Seoul, whom we will meet in this interview, creates miniature tattoos in traditional Korean style, which accurately reflects the sensual and poetic view of this people on everything that surrounds them: landscapes, flowers and objects.

If you're as fascinated as we are by the tiny but vibrant and detailed Korean style tattoos, be sure to check out Daldam's portfolio.

Korean style tattoo Daldam

- What is a traditional Korean tattoo style? What unique features of this style can you highlight?

- For example, I make use of Korea’s traditional objects or draw oriental landscapes in my design. The unique colors that come from these traditional designs is what I believe to be the characteristics as well as the charm of my work. 

Korean tattoo artist Daldam from Seoul

- Why did you start working in this particular style?

- I thought about how my designs could make a difference from other tattoo artists. Then I noticed that there were not that many tattooists who work with oriental designs, especially in color. I was also interested in oriental painting at the time, which led me to take related courses. Starting with a small thought, to a brief experience in oriental painting, I ended up working in this particular style.

Korean tattoo style by Daldam

- Tell us how you started tattooing? Why do you like this job so much?

- I started off from a recommendation of a friend who was a tattoo artist. What I like about this job is the fact that I can leave an artwork which can be left on someone else’s body for the rest of their life. But of course, I am aware that responsibility comes with it. Also, communicating with clients for every piece of work, and expressing them through my design is what I also believe to be the charm of this job.

Elongated tattoo from Seoul Korea

- Tell us about your tattoo studio in Seoul.

- Soda Shop is a very bright and cheerful place with a lot of sunlight. I purposely chose a place with a large window because I like to watch the sunset. 

Tattooists who work in the Soda Shop were all my students, so we have a strong bond. We all have a great time working here. 

- You mentioned that your studio is training tattooists. Tell me how it goes. What information and practice do you give to artists? How many students have you trained in this art?

- Usually, students who major in art come to my studio so there is not much need for me to teach them how to draw. Instead, I mostly focus on teaching them how to express their drawings on tattoos, and other related skills. We practice until we get used to the techniques before performing them on actual tattoo models. It has been more than three years since I started teaching classes, so I guess I can say that I have trained a lot of new tattoo artists. There were at least 50 students, who are now all working as tattooists. 

Turtle tattoo korean style Daldam

- People from which countries often become our clients?

- A lot of clients from different nationalities visit my studio. They are mostly from the U.S., but I also get a lot of clients from Australia, Canada, England, Europe, Japan, etc. 

- Tell us about the most popular tattoo designs that clients come to you for?

- I receive a lot of designs on oriental or flower paintings, which are drawn into a thin band-like shape. I think they prefer this design because it has a good composition with a lot of details within a small space, and it can also fill up any empty space in your body by placing it on the side of your arms and legs. 

Waves tattoo in korean style from Seoul

- We wanted to know more about you: what inspires you? What other types of art are you interested in?

- Most of my inspiration comes from things related to my country, but I also get inspired when I see beautiful scenery, or even when I am listening to music. I do not particularly separate my work life from my daily life, so I often think of tattoo designs even when I am not working. 

I have a lot of interest in movies. I like looking into works from other genres, and discussing the meaning and expressions that are contained in them. 

Miniature asian tattoo

- What are your career plans for the next couple of years? What heights would you like to achieve?

- Since I have been focusing on building my career in Korea for the past several years, I now want to spend more time overseas. I try to do my best every time, but sometimes I just think that’s not enough. I want my work to be perfect without any flaws. I also want my shop to be more widely known than it is now. 

Korean tattoo by Daldam from Soda Shop

- Tell us, how is the tattoo industry in Korea? How popular are tattoos in South Korea?

- I think a lot of young people get tattoos in Korea. They prefer small artwork with a lot of details, and also value the feeling of color importantly. There used to be a negative view on tattoos in our parents' generation, but nowadays the views have changed a lot. It’s gotten a lot better these days. Thanks to the change, there are efforts being made to make tattoos legal. I am also part of a union called Tattoo Union, working as a delegate and contributing my efforts to make a change.

Korean tattoo artist Daldam