Introducing our next hero - a tattoo artist whose skill and dedication to the craft transcend the ordinary. Meet Kristos Yzellari also known as Chris Yze. In this interview, he shares his experiences and inspirations, recounting his journey into the world of tattooing, his preferences, and challenges in his work, as well as what motivates him to constantly strive for improvement. We will delve into the depths of his creative soul and learn how he blends technology with traditional craftsmanship to become one of the leading tattoo artists of our time.

How long have you been tattooing? And how did you come to become a tattoo artist?

- At the age of 13, I began my tattooing journey. I built my first tattoo gun and started practicing on fake skin. It took me 4-5 years to master black-and-gray realism, and I am now 11 years into tattooing, but I always strive to improve. My artistic talent and dedication have been essential in my journey as a tattoo artist. Additionally, my friend George has been a significant mentor who influenced my career, and I'm grateful for everything he has taught me.

Tattoo artist Chris Yze

Where are you currently working?

- Pain Game Tattoo Germany

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

- Tattooing is my hobby, passion, art, and way of life.

Tattoo artist Chris Yze

Why did you choose the black and gray tattoo style? What or who inspired you to do so?

- I like working with simple colors like black, gray, and white. With just one ink, I can create something as interesting as a colored tattoo. Highlighting details in black and gray feels like a challenge that I love in my work.

What subjects or characters are in your personal top list?

- I love working on Greek mythology or Egyptian god tattoos.

Tattoo artist Chris Yze

How do you manage to maintain creativity day by day? How do you deal with burnout?

- Creativity usually comes easily to me because this is my art, so ideas flow effortlessly. I typically don’t mix my personal emotions with my art. This helps me avoid burnout in both my personal and work life.

Tattoo artist Chris Yze

Tell us about how your projects are born. Do you use AI in your practice? And what do you think about this technology in relation to tattooing?

- Sometimes, I combine pictures using Photoshop, and I find AI helpful for finding references and overcoming creative blocks to create unique designs. I feel technology really helps tattoo artists to improve their skills and to learn techniques from other artists. Also, it's really helpful in getting your work discovered around the world for potential clients.

Tattoo artist Chris Yze

Do you participate in conventions?

- Yes, I have participated in a few conventions/competitions. I enjoy conventions/ competitions to connect with other artists and have my work noticed and appreciated. When I'm tattooing someone, different people will walk up and look at my work and ask me questions about it, which could potentially be another client. I also like how I give 100% to my tattoos, sometimes even more than that, because I like how it's a challenge to myself to increase my skills. At that moment, too, I'm not thinking of anything else but the tattoo I'm working on. It keeps me in touch with my passion for tattooing and reminds me why I enjoy it.

Tattoo artist Chris Yze

Why do you think clients choose you?

- I usually check my availability, discuss what works for them, and then request reference photos and placement details. I am also skilled at prioritizing and responding to potential clients on Instagram. I think clients choose me because I pay attention to details and shading, which is crucial for black-and-gray realism tattoos.

Tattoo artist Chris Yze

Tell us about the most challenging project in your career.

- I have many challenging projects, but the most challenging ones are the cover-ups. I did one where I covered up a very dark tattoo of an atlas, and I successfully concealed it.

Do you conduct training or masterclasses for tattoo artists?

- Not yet, but I hope to share my experience and knowledge in the future.

Tattoo artist Chris Yze

What else are you passionate about besides tattooing?

- Outside of tattooing, I like to go to the gym when I have free time. It helps to stretch my muscles after a long day of sitting in one position. I also enjoy finding healthy recipes to cook. It makes me feel relaxed, and I learn something new to make for a meal.

Tattoo artist Chris Yze

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

- My career goal is to become a very well-known tattoo artist who is considered one of the best. To achieve this goal, I like to challenge myself to become better and better over time. I’ve been challenging myself for 11 years now and plan to continue throughout the upcoming years.