Born in 1991, many visible tattoos and a lot to tell: Christopher Dan Geraldino an artist I had the pleasure of meeting at the Essence Academy in Monza, with whom he recently began cooperation... The interview was a real pleasure and also brought a lot of interesting ideas about how to become a tattoo artist, the benefits gained from the Essence Academy courses, hottest styles and many other aspects that may go unnoticed for those who are not yet involved in this profession. That's what I asked him about!
Christopher, you call yourself a "new generation" tattoo artist. What does it mean?
My policy is completely different from that of the "old generation" tattoo artists who still have a very traditional stylistic and methodological imprint. A new generation of tattoo artists are using new styles, techniques and technologies, but alsothe approach to the client has completely changed... They are no longer tattoo artists who respond to the imagery that many have about the "biker and a bit gruff tattoo artist."
And the clients who were also "updated"?
Yes, once only someone was tattooed, but today it is available to everyone. In particular, my clientele is mostly women. I have also noticed many young people who no longer tattoo themselves in order to convey a certain meaning to the skin, but for pure aesthetic taste or follow the trend. Which, in my opinion, is wrong.
What about the points on the body that need to be tattooed? Have customer preferences changed?
Yes, once tattoos were done "for themselves", so it was decided to first tattoo the hidden parts of the body, and then, perhaps, the most noticeable ones, such as the neck, arms and face. However, today many clients, especially young ones, they get tattoos for others to see... They then choose points of view, such as the arms and neck, for the first tattoo of their lives. This is insanity in my opinion.
Speaking of fashion, have you noticed any items that are required with particular persistence and are very popular?
Of course, stylized roses, minimalist lettering or nealomé are in vogue now. Perhaps a lot of the girls who tattoo it don't know what a dickhead is, but they tattoo it anyway because it's aesthetically pleasing. This, however, should not be despised, the tattoo is so personal that no one can judge it... So if you like it, that's enough.
I totally agree! How long have you been tattooing? Was it always your dream job?
I have been tattooing professionally for 4 years. I started studying to be a tattoo artist when I was 18, and at 22 I opened my VAT number to start working in the studio.
But I knew the world of tattoos much earlier: I got my first tattoo at the age of 12, and already at 18 I had several, perhaps too much for the mentality that existed almost 10 years ago. From this age, I began to think that this could be my way, and therefore I was surprised what i had to do to become a tattoo artist... One of my strengths was undoubtedly a talent for drawing, even if I believe that this technique is more important than talent: someone who studies a lot can do what someone with a talent for drawing does. It is clear that those who have talent in addition to technology have an advantage!
Do you think the opportunity to attend courses like the Essence Academy course would help you in your learning?
I always thought that there was no school that taught this business 100%. Even now that I have been tattooing for a long time, I continue to take courses and participate in workshops for tattoo artists who have much more experience than me. The course can teach you fundamental things, such as the correct way to assemble a car, transfer design from paper to leather without damaging it, but many of the practical aspects of this profession, even if explained, go unaddressed. definitely tried and learned with experience.
Il Essence Academy course is the key to success to approach this profession, and this is the most avant-garde approach there is at the moment. Before even learning how to get a tattoo, it is important to observe cleanliness, hygiene, know the tools, know how to follow the rules that serve to avoid problems. The course for this.
And what should I do after the course?
A tattoo artist is a combination of elements. You must be able to tattoo, you must continue to learn, practice and train, you must cultivate good character and a personality that attracts customers.
Even today, I myself do not feel that I have arrived: even if I was invited as a guest In many of the most famous Italian tattoo studios, I compare myself to other tattoo artists, perhaps even younger ones, but from different points of view.
Another thing to learn is being able to promote yourself like being a self-employed entrepreneur.
As for promoting yourself, we can say that social networks play a very important role. Is that correct?
Let's see if it depended on me, I would have kissed Zuckerberg right away (laughs)! For the first 3 years of my business, Facebook was my main source of clients.
Social media is a simple and free tool that is great for promoting yourself. Since August last year, I have also been using Instagram and in less than a year I had about 14 thousand followers, but not only for the tattoos I do... In addition to tattoos, the client also likes to see what I do in my personal life, they want to get to know me better, to know how I speak and what my character is.
I believe it is it is important for the client to choose me for a commercial tattoo and not someone else.
Compared to what it was a few years ago, the profession of a tattoo artist has become more accessible and acceptable. This has led to a huge increase in the number of tattoo artists and market saturation. In your opinion, is this good or bad?
In fact, this situation only makes me work harder. I'll explain why. When the market is saturated, quality falls and prices fall. AND a cheap tattoo is never good quality... 50% of my job is to "fix" someone else's tattoos with cover-ups or adjustments.
You mentioned earlier that you do commercial tattoos, that is, tattoos that are in high demand because they are trendy at the time. Doesn't that tire you creatively?
I have clients who rely on me for customization, and even very trendy designs such as a tattoo or Unalome lettering can be changed. In general, I am not bored of doing commercial tattoos, because even the most simple and minimal letter, which is perhaps trivial in someone's eyes, if done well and brought to the level of perfection, ceases to be trivial.
In conclusion, a training course like the one offered by Essence Academy is essential to become a good, capable and professional tattoo artist! Find out everything you need about the courses on the official website of the Academy.