Today, we have the pleasure of hosting a tattoo artist who has garnered international recognition for her exceptional work in the engraving style of tattooing. The precision and finesse with which she brings each tattoo to life have propelled her to the forefront of the global tattoo community. Her dedication to preserving the spirit of medieval engraving in contemporary tattoo art has earned her worldwide acclaim and numerous awards, attesting to her substantial contributions to the art form.

At a recent exhibition of her works in Los Angeles, Lesya showcased her multifaceted talent. This event provided a unique opportunity for art enthusiasts to witness the evolution of her creativity beyond the confines of the tattoo studio. The exhibition served as a testament to Lesya Crow's artistic versatility, highlighting her mastery not only in tattooing but also in the realm of visual arts.

Tattoo artist Lesya Crow (@lescrowtattoo)

Let's start with introductions and traditional questions for us. Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, and where do you currently work? Do you have an art education? 

- My name’s Lesya in social space; I am known as lescrowtattoo. I was born in Ukraine, in the city of Kharkiv, where I studied and lived until 25 years old. For ten years, I was a student at the Art Academy of Design and Arts, spending two years as a game artist and nine years as a tattoo artist.

Lesya Crow engraving tattoo

What led you to tattooing? Who were you, and who was your mentor? Tell us how it all happened. 

- It was a very long and unexpected journey for me, but I saw and used a tattoo machine for the first time in Kharkiv.

My best friend Nora was a fan of the show "Miami Inc"; we watched it together on Tls, and there was the first female tattoo artist we saw in our life at that time - Kate Von D.l. Nora wanted to learn too and offered me. We bought our first tattoo machine, one for two, and started practicing in a beauty salon. Gena became my first teacher. But I was windy and wanted only to drink wine and write poetry. Still, I did a tattoo for about six months. I went back to school, and my first job was designing computer games.

Tattoo artist Lesya Crow (@lescrowtattoo)

Only five years later, I returned to tattooing as a serious job because all I wanted to do was draw, and tattooing suddenly became very popular. I moved to Saint Petersburg, and my other friend Sasha (@sashatattooing) taught me everything else and took me to our first studio; now there are 4 of them, 1 in Europe and three in the USA.

Lesya Crow and Sasha Masyuk at Lesya Crow's Art exhibition in Los Angeles, United States

Lesya Crow and Sasha Masyuk at Lesya Crow's Art exhibition in Los Angeles, United States
Lesya Crow engraving tattoo (@lescrowtattoo)

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

- I can absolutely say that this is all together for me: art, job, inspiration, life, and the future.

You work in a style of engraving that we find very appealing and, in our view, closely resonates with the tattooing process. Why did you choose this style, and when did it happen? 

- Because it contains everything I love. Firstly, it is graphics; secondly, it involves medieval art and is closely related to various mythologies and books. Engravings are made on wood, copper, linoleum, and I wanted to transfer it to the skin. When I started, I didn't know a single tattoo artist who does engravings in tattoos; in other words, I didn't take inspiration from anyone. Now, it is still the most popular style, but there are more masters in this genre every year.

Lesya Crow engraving tattoo (@lescrowtattoo)

Your portfolio includes many poetic works. Where do you draw inspiration from? 

- I was deeply passionate about poetry and wrote my own; I even published a collection of poems. However, the subjects of my tattoos still revolve around mythology, history, and religion.

Tell us about how your projects come to life. Is it a collaborative effort with the client? 

- It's either a specific plot or a completely invented idea by the client. The third option, which is my favorite, is when the client says, 'Here is a part of the body; do what you want'.

Tattoo artist Lesya Crow (@lescrowtattoo)

What is the most important thing for you in tattooing? 

- For me, it's meditation and union with one's living canvas. I listen to different audiobooks or podcasts while getting a tattoo, and then some tattoos and people are forever associated with one or another theme.

Tattoo artist Lesya Crow (@lescrowtattoo)

Unusual projects or collaborations often happen in every tattoo artist's career. Have you had such events in your career? 

- When I worked in Saint Petersburg, I did some tattoos for celebrities and football players. I also had an interesting collaboration with a fusion restaurant in Saint P. During my five years in Spain, I had collaborations with a clothing brand there. I recently arrived in America, and just an hour ago, I had a personal exhibition here, received many prizes at tattoo conventions, but I still have a lot of plans to conquer.

Tattoo artist Lesya Crow (@lescrowtattoo)

Why did you choose the United States? 

- Because my friends from childhood, Nora and Sasha, are here. I entered the world of tattoos with them and finally reunited.

You recently had a solo exhibition in Los Angeles. Tell us about it and how it all went. 

- I had long planned to exhibit my paintings, created in addition to tattoo projects. When I got to our studio in Los Angeles, everything came together. The studio is called “sashatattooingallery”, so future exhibitions were planned there. It was an honor to exhibit there first. Many interesting creative people came to the event; it was a wonderful evening. My paintings are still hanging in the studio until the end of 2023. In a couple of years, I plan to repeat it with new works in New York.

Lesya Crow's Art exhibition in Los Angeles, United States

Do you attend tattoo conventions? Tell us about your experience. 

- Yes, all of last year, I participated in conventions as a participant and as a judge, visiting many cities in America, including San Diego, Nashville, Denver, Phoenix, Baltimore, and of course, LA. I received 7 awards for my tattoos and drawings.

Lesya Crow member of the jury at tattoo conventions

Lesya Crow with awards from tattoo conventions

What is the most important thing in your career? What goals do you set for yourself? Can you share your creative plans for the near future? 

- It’s a secret (smiles) because I want to combine all my creative hobbies into one.