Welcome to an engaging interview with Ducky, a virtuoso tattoo artist whose life story resembles an exhilarating journey through the realms of art and passion. Originally embarking on his career as a professional soccer player, Ducky unexpectedly encountered an injury that prompted him to reassess his priorities. As a result of this pivotal moment, he discovered the world of tattooing, where his talent and creative approach flourished. In this interview, Ducky will share his journey through these diverse spheres of life, discussing his sources of inspiration and his future plans in the world of tattooing.

Ducky, when and why did you decide to become a tattoo artist?

- I was originally a professional soccer player, but I had to retire after getting injured in 2018. While considering my options after retirement, my brother Dino, who is a tattoo artist, suggested I consider tattooing as a profession. Intrigued by the idea, I explored the world of tattooing. The art of decorating and expressing oneself in a unique way through tattoos fascinated me, leading me to pursue a career as a tattoo artist.

Tattoo artist Ducky

Is tattooing art, a job, or something else for you?

- It's a personal idea, but I think tattoos are an art and a profession for me. They are also a way of expressing yourself for everyone who gets tattoos. I think it's art from the standpoint of drawing and portraying the meaning of the family I love, and I think it's a professional job because there are customers, artists, and technical skills. Also, I think it's similar to fashion when it comes to decorating and expressing yourself in a unique way.

Tattoo artist Ducky

How, when, and what drew you to traditional tattooing?

- I started studying tattoos in 2019 and found out that there are different genres, and Dino showed me that you think traditional would look good on you, and I think I fell in love with the genre called traditional because those tattoos are so cool and attractive.

Tattoo artist Ducky

What themes do you enjoy working with the most?

- Personally, I think I like animals. I find their dynamic and free expressions, as well as their body shapes, very interesting. Additionally, I've been interested in Oriental and Korean folk paintings lately.

Your work often reflects influences from Asian culture, which looks really cool! Could you tell us about other unique aspects you incorporate into your work?

- As a Korean, I have always been interested in Oriental art. Recently, I encountered American Traditional painting for the first time in a piece called Korean folk painting, and I found its charm captivating. This inspired me to explore the fusion of these two styles. Therefore, my current goal is to create a unique blend of Eastern and Western art, forming my own interpretation of an Oriental school.

Tattoo artist Ducky

Do you have favorite projects or pieces that you're particularly proud of?

- All the other works were great, but the most memorable experience was when I worked on the entire upper body of a single guest. Being in the traditional genre, I believe that the more diverse the collection of pictures, the cooler they appear, showcasing the tattoo style I pursue. With these tattoos, I participated in the 2023 Inspire Korean Tattoo Convention. It was a great opportunity to showcase my work, and I was thrilled to win first place in the Traditional Contest. Although it was my first time participating, I'm confident that I'll be attending more conventions in the future.

Who are your top 3 favorite tattoo artists? Who do you admire?

- There are so many individuals I admire, but if I had to pick one, I think Dino, King Kong, and Samuel Briganti are my favorites. I respect my brother Dino, who recommended tattoos for me and always was a guide in life, and King Kong, who taught me tattoos. King Kong is a teacher who taught me life as a tattooist. Lastly, I respect Samuel Briganti, a worker in Italy. He is an artist who inspired me a lot when I first studied tattooing.

Tattoo artist Ducky

How popular is old school and traditional tattooing in Korea?

- Korea is a country where tattoo styles such as traditional and old school are more popular among enthusiasts than many might assume. These trends are absorbed faster than in other countries.

The tattoo artist Ducky conducts a masterclass on traditional tattooing

Do you travel a lot for work? Where have you been? Who have you had the opportunity to work with? Can you share a particularly significant experience?

- In my opinion, I would like to travel to many countries, but unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to visit many yet. So far, I have been to Singapore and Hong Kong twice in total. Both are wonderful destinations. The unique interiors and atmospheres of various shops and locales were truly amazing, and I found both countries to be very welcoming and comfortable for both shoppers and customers. It was an incredibly interesting journey.

The tattoo artist Ducky at his solo exhibition

The tattoo artist Ducky at his solo exhibition

What do you find most appealing about being a tattoo artist?

- The greatest appeal lies in the freedom it offers. While the uncertainty of work can be challenging, I appreciate the flexibility to tailor my schedule and live on my own terms, unlike many other professions. Additionally, being a tattoo artist allows me to explore various countries. I aspire to travel extensively in the future, finding inspiration in diverse cultures and experiences.

Tattoo artist Ducky

What is the main goal of your journey? Share your plans for the future.

- My ultimate goal is to become a renowned tattoo artist on a global scale. I envision my work being universally recognized for its quality and creativity. Achieving this requires continuous growth and dedication. I aim to participate in conventions, immerse myself in different cultures, and apply the knowledge gained to enhance my craft. Furthermore, I seek to collaborate with various companies on innovative projects. Ultimately, I aspire to establish my own tattoo studio abroad, culminating from my accumulated experiences and expertise.