The hero of today's interview is the Italian tattoo artist - Lupo HoriOkami, who continues the tradition of oriental tattoo in a renewed, attractive appearance. His black-and-white large-scale works find a response in the hearts of lovers of oriental tattoos around the world. We decided to learn a little more about Lupo himself and about his creative path.
Hello, Lupo! Let’s start from our traditional questions: how it all began for you? How and when did you come into tattooing? what did you do before?
- I started doing graffiti art in 1993 and then I became interested in the tattoo world and in 1999 I officially started my tattooing career. My passion for tattooing started because I always showed interest in tattoos that I saw on people during hardcore concerts and I started to draw the subjects I saw around, and I started to draw my first flashes of tattoos.
What possible career did you leave for tattoo?
- I think I would have chosen a work in the artistic field or design, but at the same time I know that I could only become a tattoo artist given my great passion.
Do you have any special training?
- My only training is to study traditional Japanese prints, ukiyo-e and draw a lot to develop my style and evolve into something new but traditional at the same time.
Do you remember your the first customer and your feelings as the tattoo master, when you did the first tattoo?
- I remember that the first tattoo I did on myself. my first client was an ex-girlfriend and I was quite nervous, but I was satisfied with the result and I had a good feeling.
What is the most attractive thing in the tattoo for you?
- The thing that attracts me most of the tattoo is the uniqueness of the subject and that it lives as much as the person who carries it, and dies with it.
What or who is the source of inspiration for you?
- I am inspired by the elements of nature and I like to study the movements of natural elements like water or air. I get a lot of inspiration from animals and from nature in general, it's an important aspect of my work.
Tell us about the style of your work.
- My style is constantly changing according to the aspect I want to study, and it is constantly evolving. lately I prefer to work in black and white because it gives me the opportunity to give more importance to the subjects and communicates me elegance.
What’s features makes your tattoo really yours and unique?
- I believe that the uniqueness and the work of a person are linked to the moment in which the design is created, and to the sensation and energy that you want to transmit with that subject. and therefore do not depend on an item in particular.
What does the word «tattoo» mean for you?
- For me the word tattoo means commitment.
Do you find your work attracts a specific type of clientele?
- I believe that the aesthetic sense of each person is the key to their choices.
How long does it take you to do one of those big pieces?
- It depends on the customer, normally for a back piece a year and a half or two.
How do you see your style evolving?
- Every five or seven years there should be a quite radical change in the style of a tattoo artist, the stylistic imprint remains, but the technique changes and the experimentation in the design, I think it is a fundamental aspect to always create new things.
Do you have a lot of travel as a tattoo artist? And where we can see you in nearest future?
- I travel a lot as a tattoo artist, I will be in Paris soon, I often go to Tokyo and I have several dates in Italy, I will soon organize a trip to America to work.
Thanks for this interesting conversation Lupo!