interview with Adrian Lindell | tattoo style | Sweden 25/07/2018

Q: How long have you been tattooing? What inspired you to start learning about this beautiful art form?
A: I’ve been tattooing since november 2015. So I'm pushing 3 years at the moment! What inspired me to start was probably the “Miami ink” TV shows that always aired in Sweden a couple of years back. My dad always told me when we watched the shows together that I should be tattooing because of my big interest in art. I didn’t really think of it that much until I discovered Instagram I guess, hah.

Q: Was it hard to learn? What is your opinion on tattoo apprenticeship?
A: The learning process was hard at first but I didn’t really think of it as hard. More challenging I would say. I’m still learning to this day and I think I won't ever master the craft of tattooing to a full extent. I hope I won't at least because then I think I’ll grow tired of it. Apprenticeships is the best way to get to learn about how to tattoo and how the industry works, but it’s key to find a serious teacher that really wants to see you grow and become a better artist. I actually started at home way back but I didn’t really understand anything until I started working in a studio.

Q: You have a very remarkable style. These days, seems like every single day there is a new style, many artists are coming up with new cool ideas, it is hard to create a unique "signature" style. But here you are, every tattoo you did is something special with so much depth in the design itself. At least, that is how I see it. Very nice composition, brilliant balance of black and white ink, that makes the final result impressive. How would you describe your style? Would you give it a name?
A: Well, thanks a lot for those words! Of course it’s hard to create a “Signature look”. It feels like so much has been done already so I really like seeing new unique styles showing up here and there. I feel like I haven’t found my own style yet. It’s constantly changing but lately I’ve been quite fund of the double exposure/realistic style with heavy contrast. That has been done a lot but I’m working on getting my own twist on it.

Q: Tattooing itself is not an easy skill to learn. How much the knowledge for tattoo ink and skin plays a big role? Are there any specific rules of applying a specific ink to a different skin type etc? Give me a bit of guidance here.
A: I’m only working in black and grey at the moment so my technique applies to all of my clients. But If I work with any colors, the ink and skin type plays a big role. I’d say the darker the skin tone, the more vibrant colors I put in my work. That way it just pops better as a healed result in my opinion.

Q: Realistic tattoos definitely took a big presence in the "new era" of professional tattooing. It's something that the last decade artists can take pride in being able to create a new way of doing tattoos and therefore stunning results. Taking the tattooing itself into a whole new level, I honestly see it as a big progress.

Talking about your style... Despite the nice balance between the black & white ink, are there any other ways like applying some 3D effects or a nice background to compliment the whole design and bring the "realistic note' even more, what's the secret? heh

A: My tip on getting a realistic look Is just to put a lot of time and effort into the tattoo and using heavy black in the darkest areas. The white and black in the design must complement each other to get that 3D look and really make the finished result pop. I guess that’s all I can share!


Q: How much experimenting is important for artistic progress? Have you ever tried something different than the style you're known for?
A: Experimenting is very important in finding your own style and making things interesting. I guess that’s the best way of finding your “Signature style”. When I was new as a tattoo artist I took all kinds of work from old school, neo trad, Japanese, scripts... The list goes on but I felt black&grey/realistic was for me. So yes, I have tried some different styles than the one I’m known for.

Q: Big tattoos like sleeves and backpieces can take 4-5 sessions to complete or maybe even more, depending of the complexly of the design, but when it's all done, I bet it's a pleasure for both, you and your client. Are this types of tattoos a big challenge (not just time & energy consuming) but at the same time a great way to really show off your skills even more?
A: It’s always a challenge. But I always have fun with it. It’s also a great opportunity to show off some nice art especially if I get to create whatever I want! Then I can show people my own art and not just some plain pinterest reference. I'm not saying that’s wrong but It’s been done so many times.

Q: Tattooing is a job that requires love and complete dedication. The journey of self development as an artist and maybe as a person outside tattooing can lead you to many interesting experiences and teach you some valuable lessons. There are ups and downs, lots of competition and pressure to become better on daily basis. Anything you can say that you cherish about being a tattoo artist?
A: The things that I cherish the most is all the friends I’ve got through tattooing both clients and artists. I’ve learnt a lot about myself aswell. It’s also awesome I get to travel this much and still get paid for it! I don’t really put any energy in the competition and negativity that is flying around. I know there is a lot of it but I’d rather lift people up than to talk shit and drag them down. In the end it just comes down to me so I guess I'm my own competition.

Q: While doing a tattoo, customers usually reveal the story behind the design and the whole experience changes for both. Suddenly you learn about life struggles, coping strategies, love, compassion, victories of veterans etc etc. So many emotions that we humans have and express so differently. How much the good connection with the clients is important for one artist? Do you help your clients with some ideas for their design?
A: For some of the tattoos I’m creating there is a story behind it. The tattoo can also represent a feeling and sometimes if not more often nowadays, it’s just supposed to look nice. But yes, whenever I create a design I try to make it my own. If my customer tells me a story they want to turn into a tattoo I try to put their concept into a metaphor. In that way I can use my imagination more and create something unique.

Q: Winter is probably the best time to get a tattoo, but seems like people are in a rush to get tattooed this time of the year. What are some of your best recommendations for getting a tattoo during summer and its aftercare treatment?
A: My recommendations is not to dwell in the sunlight with your new tattoo. If it’s unavoidable I would recommend to put on SPF50 and at least try to hide in the shadow. Even healed tattoos should be moisturized with SPF50 to protect them from the sun and keeping them look good. During the tattoo session you should be well hydrated too, it’s important during warmer seasons!

Q: What would you say to someone who plans to start tattooing? What's the best approach?
A: Go to an art school and learn. Get that solid base to start from. You wouldn’t trust anybody with the tattoo machine who doesn’t have any artistic background, right? Even if you have artistic talent it’s still a good idea to go to art classes. After that you should be out looking for a studio you think you’re going to learn from. Go to the shop and introduce yourself personally, It’s a way more efficient way of maybe getting a spot than just shooting an email.