Exclusive interview with Matt Griffith by Iva Kancheska 26/05/2010
Q: What made you to become a tattoo artist?
A: I was always into art though high school, but I never really thought that I have a talent, until I realized that I really love to draw. I used to draw in my free time. In the mean time I really got into tattoos and piercing. I realize that tattooing and piercing are my passion but not just to pay the bills. I needed to do something in life that I loved, so it all became clear.
Q: How long have you been tattooing?
A: I started in August 2001. I remember because 911 happen a week or 2 after i started my apprenticeship.
Q: When you did your first tattoo?
A: I was 20 I believe my first one was on my own leg.
Q: You're extremely talented and creative person. Do you have any influences?
A: My wife, my daughter and my family are my life... They drive me everyday. My wife is a fine artist that i pull a lot of my creative juices from. My painting style is influenced by the whole surreal thing like Mark Ryden, Lori Earley, Sas Christian, John Jesse and Jason Goad.
Q: How has your work developed over the years?
A: My style is changing all the time... I started with black and gray- Paul Booth`s style, then moved into color bomb new school, but now I'm finding my self, leaning towards traditional styles.
Q: How much time was necessary to develop your skills?
A: I'm not one of those artist that have a huge gift and was just born with skills I really have to push my self. I have talent but I do have to stay sharp. There are always younger and more talented people out there. You have to keep moving to stay on the top of the game.
Q: Tattooing is an art. What's your biggest inspiration?
A: You just have to take there ideas, and mix them with things that works. Sometimes, people don't realize that there are ideas that don't make good tattoos. I have to explain to them in a professional manner that if they trust me and believe me that I know what I'm doing they will end up with something to be proud of.
Q: Is there any tattoo style you find as your favorite?
A: Color! I love doing color tattoos. I really enjoy! Dark to light, dark to light, that is the simple way of color.
Q: Would you say that your style speaks about your personality?
A: Yes! I think you can tell a lot about an artist by looking at the work he likes to do. I enjoy making people think.. even if its as simple as making them ask "why" I think if art provokes thought it had done its job.
Q: Do you also work on custom orders?
A: Most of my works are custom. I would guess about 95% of what I do I redraw. I think its part of my job to give people something personal. Something that is going to make them proud to wear for the rest of their lives.
Q: Most memorable moment you've had while doing someone's tattoo?
A: People pass out, puke, even pee there self's.. but I think the first time you see an old women drop her pants and say i want it on my hip and know that she really meant she wanted it beside her women bits. That was the day I realized this job is nuts!
Q: Is there any favorite tattoo or painting you've been doing lately?
A: I enjoy to painting a lot. People pay me to do tattoos everyday and I love it.. But when I paint, I paint things I want to do.. I don't take commissions I just paint anything that I want however I want.. no guide lines. Just my thoughts on canvas...
Q: So many customers, drawings ... in your life, what keeps you permanently creative?
A: Life in general keeps me moving, my peers, my family they keep me pumped up to do the next piece. I feed off other people.
Q: Where did you see yourself in 10 years as a painter or a professional tattoo artist?
A: I hope as a wiser man.. I think I learn every day... I hope to say I'm old and fat and making other people take care of me!!! lol
Thank you for the interview Iva.
You are welcome!