Welcome to an exclusive interview with one of the most innovative and talented tattoo artists, Edi Сontreras. Hailing from Venezuela, Edi's journey into the world of tattooing is nothing short of inspiring. From his humble beginnings in the vibrant streets of Venezuela to becoming a renowned figure in the global tattoo community, Edi's story is a testament to passion, dedication, and artistic vision. In this interview, we delve deep into Edi's creative process, his thoughts on the intersection of art and technology, his most cherished achievements, and his ambitious plans for the future. Join us as we uncover the fascinating world of tattoo artistry through the eyes of Edi Сontreras.

Let's start with introductions and some traditional questions. Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, and where do you work now? What led you to tattooing? Who was your mentor? Tell us about that journey.

- Hello everyone. When I started in Venezuela in 2012, I was strongly influenced by the world of art thanks to getting involved with graffiti, where I was able to meet some colleagues who were of great inspiration. Later, I began my studies in plastic arts, where I met some classmates who were already tattoo artists, and in some way, that encouraged me to try it.

Surreal space portrait tattoo by Edi Contreras

From the first moment I was able to obtain my tattoo equipment, I became obsessed to the point that most of my time was dedicated to practicing and studying, which led me to quickly become known in my hometown. Currently, I move around different cities in Germany such as Frankfurt, Munich, and Berlin.

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

- I could say that it is everything; it is an art, a job, and it is also part of my life since I spend so many hours in the studio that I already believe it is part of who I am.

Black and grey realistic portrait of Meduse by Edi Contreras

Your designs are very complex and multifaceted. Tell us how they are created? Do you use AI in your work? And how do you generally feel about this trend of artificial intelligence in recent years?

- I try to make my designs have a visual language. Through the composition and use of different elements, I aim to express a message. I consider that my work is realistic or surreal, and for this, it is always best to use photographic references. The problem with this is that just as I use a photo to make a design, someone else can also do it, and this creates a big problem with the identity of the tattoo. That's why I believe the AI tool is a great advance since it allows us to create realistic tattoos with unique references.

Surreal color space portrait tattoo by Edi Contreras

What themes do you like the most?

- In tattooing, I love the spiritual or surreal dream theme. It's something that doesn't leave you indifferent; it provokes a reaction, whether good or bad.

pigeons and stairs realistic tattoo by Edi Contreras

Do you have favorite projects? Or works that you're truly proud of?

- I do have some projects that I'm really proud of, but I know I haven't achieved my maximum potential yet.

color realistic portrait of a girl tattoo by Edi Contreras

What is the most attractive aspect of your work?

- I think the most attractive thing is when I manage to give texture and light reflections. It adds a touch of superior quality that I love.

Black and grey realistic Buddha leg sleeve tattoo by Edi Contreras

We've seen you repeatedly among the participants and winners of tattoo conventions. How many awards do you have in total? And which ones are the most valuable to you?

- I have approximately 15 awards in different countries such as Spain, and some others in Latin America, including Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. Undoubtedly, my most important awards could be the best of the convention in Alicante or the best tattoo of the day in Valencia.

Have you had collaborations with other artists?

- I have collaborated a couple of times with great friends, and it is incredible to be able to share a different perspective and vision.

Color surreal realistic portrait of a girl by Edi Contreras

You are a member of the Pro Team of several major brands. What does this sponsorship mean to you? Are you able to influence the tattoo industry through this collaboration?

- Among tattoo artists in Latin America and Spain, I am quite well known. I believe what led me to this is turning the everyday into extraordinary. For example, transforming what is a typical and boring lion tattoo into something unique and breaking the classic concept.

Black realistic tiger tattoo by Edi Contreras

Do you have any work goals and plans for the near future that you want to achieve?

- My next goal would be to start participating in conventions and collaborating with studios in the USA. It's a great challenge since it is a very competitive industry, and I will have to give my best to stand out.

Where can people find you in the next year? How can they book appointments with you?

- To contact me, you can reach out through my IG @Edicontreras_ or email me at Edicontrerastattoo.ec@gmail.com.