Interview. Biografika - Ruslan and Antonina Abusevy
Ruslan and Antonina Abusevy - tattoo artists from Perm (Russia). United by common ideas and career, they founded their The Abusev family's tattoo studio, where they create their author's projects. Today we bring you a little conversation with Ruslan and Antonina, in which the artists will tell us about their attitude and approach to the creation of tattoos, as well as talk about their author's project - Biografika.
Let's start with the traditional entry: Tell us a little about yourself. How it all began and how you came to the art of tattoos? Do you have a design or art education?
A tattoo artist, by all means is quiete a faceless creature, or on the other side as it happens in the moddern comercial society a new-fashioned «tattoo artist» happens to be like a printer machine with a very well advertised life - almost a show like. For those around us we prefer to stay as Tattoo creators – that is our position in life.
Lets not use the word ART. For every teen its happened to draw on himself or on friend's skin, in school or summer camp. The foundation has been laid by a rebellious behaviour of a teen, and it fixed with the growing abilities of drawing and the wish to save it on skin. I built my first tattoo machine long before adulthood and started practicing – first on my self, later on my mates and so it went on. I didn’t get taught by anyone, learnt everything by myself. Tattoo brought me and Tonya together in 2013, she came to me asking for a cover up of an old tattoo that she’s hand-poked on herself a while ago. From then it all happened.
We both learnt our artistic abilities through our life in different places at different time.
Not much point to go deep into detail, otherwise there won’t be any space for the rest of the interview.
Then we continue. When came the idea of creating a family tattoo-studio? What are the problems you may have encountered in implementing this project?
It didnt just happen at once. It's not a concept or a business idea! How can you imagine create something separately, when you are together with that person? Problems? We can't call those a problems… It's a path… a path with different ways of obstacles. Apart from us not many duets happen to know how to create something together. As a pair we have a lot in common….and a little secret.
Tell us a little about the way that preceded the formation of your author style. In what styles you liked work in past?
We don't call it a style, it’s like an author’s mark. It can be traced everywhere – it includes all the process from the birth of the Tattoo, its creation to the final presentation of it. We never tried to keep hold of a specific way, we researched, experimented with the techniques of applying ink, colour and composition – because Tattoo is not a souvenir, it takes an individual approach because all carriers of our Tattoos live different lives and even anatomically they are different from each other. As we see it - a style is is only a limit of creators in vain – and the place for it may be on canvas, on a wall or any other surface apart from skin.
Let's talk a little bit about your Biografika. Is this tattoo interpretation of the classic understanding of the term relating to the biography? Or a new vision, a combination of elements of nature with ornamental graphics? Biografika - the product of a collaborative effort, or the creator is one person? Whence came this idea?
The idea of it hasn't come out of sudden! To this day we are in search of interesting and unique realizations with the use of acquired skills and ways of interpreting new subjects into Tattoo. As strange as it may seem, the name Biografika partly comes from the word biography - [biografia] in Russian language. In our interpretation Tattoo is a reflection on the body of the one on whom it LIVES! Any Tattoo being on the skin of a human directly or indirectly changes the attitude of others to him as well as his own attitude to himself – partly changing his life and sometimes even turning it all the way around. You ether use your Tattoo in your life or Tattoo will use you – but Tattoo will never be indifferent – that is what lays in the foundation of Biografika. From the other side its visual and story line aspect are a harmonious combination of biological forms – often fantasy based and always built regarding the holders anatomic differences.
How often do you work together on a project?
We always participate-think through together while creating a project. Unfortunately what comes to the actual process of tattooing we don’t get to do it in a duet every time – simply because there are parts of human body that are too small for both of us to fit in.
You have a very interesting and qualitative approach to what you are doing. This is true not only in tattoos, also design your published photos. Can you tell us about your tattoo philosophy?
It is searching for that ideal formula that lays in between the creation and the creator – it’s the perfectionism on every lever. That is why we are always more interested in the freshness of the idea rather then just a work through of the same technical skills.
Are you taking part in tattoo conventions? Could you tell us about your plans for the nearest future? Which events are you going to attend? Are you working on some special projects now?
Until not long ago we didnt even think of taking part in any tattoo conventions. After recent transformations of a Tattoo into social industry, as well as some other tattooers we simply must take some of its integral conditions. Its all in plans.
In a future, we are collecting a team for an interesting project, which for now should not be spoken about. A powerful start up is planned in about 2 years from now.
Ideas are being given birth to and undertake metamorphoses daily, they go through different stages of sketching and so on. You must understand that its hard to describe in words – if only there was enough skin for it all.