Interview with Alessio Cuoreink | Realism Style | Spain | 02/05/2020


 Hello Alessio, Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. I hope your story will inspire our audience as well as your amazing tattoo work.

Q: How and when the tattoo journey started? Did you have any help from somebody? Was it hard to learn how to tattoo?
A: My career started just 4 years ago. I draw since I was a child and I always loved the tattoo world. I used to study graphic design on my own too. I started tattooing just like a hobby, while I was studying Psychology in the University. Finally, when I ended my studies I realized how much I love this art and I decided to do it as my lifestyle. It was way hard to start. I remember I received help from my two uncles (one was tattoo artist years ago, the other one still tattooing in Argentina) and my parents, encouraging me, but basically I had to learn on my own. I started traveling and learning from other artists, improving my work, drawing and drawing and drawing and building my own style. It is really hard to become a good tattoo artist. You have to learn about how needles work on the skin, how to treat different skins... Most of people think is easy, but it isn’t. Sacrifice, work, hours and hours thinking about a design or what are you doing wrong. And you’re always learning, this road has no end. If you want to keep improving, you have to keep working and learning from those who know more than you.

Q: What type of art inspires you the most?
A: For example, music is really important for me. I can’t work without music. It gives me inspiration and good vibes during work. Talking about tattoo world, I have many artists that I love their work. I love the creativity, the mix between color and greywash, grey tones... there are really good artists around the world. I usually watch other types of art to inspire my work. For example, Marco Mazzoni’s art is amazing. Hyper realistic art from Mike Dargas. Stunning. The graphic design from Irakli Nadar. I like to watch many kinds of art to inspire my work. As I told you, I studied graphic design on my own so I love to experiment in the computer and iPad to find new compositions for my tattoos. And of course, the traditional way to draw, the begin of everything: just paper and pencil. I try to draw every day, it keeps my mind clean and creative.

Q: You do tattoo realism style in your own way. Very creative I must say... I'm such a fan of your black and white ink usage... it gives a very cool depth to the whole design. You're also very good at mixing color inks too. What type of work do you enjoy more?
First of all thank you for appreciate my work! Mmh, as I told you this road has no end. I started doing just black and grey realism because all my life I drawed with pencil and I love b&g art. But I always loved colors too, so I started mixing color with black and grey, just adding little places with color in some arts. Then I thought about adding more action in my pieces with more color. The idea was add color as a "enhancer" for the smooth b&g piece. Balance between both. And I started adding more color, playing with lights and shadows to do neon effects, add grey tones to the grey wash to get better healed tattoos... so yeah, I think I enjoy more creative b&g pieces with some color on it. But I enjoy only b&g pieces too, of course. Depends the project and the design.

Q: Would you say color tattooing takes a bit more time?
A: Sure, at least for me. Color packing is harder in my opinion. It takes time to do color solid and smooth at the same time, for me. I always spend more time when I add color in my tattoos.

Q: I see many different types of tattoos and techniques, which makes me think that there's a room for anybody in your studio. How much is important to experiment in this job? Not just to be more available for many clients but as a form of self exploration in a way as an artist?
A: That’s a very good question. Normally artists focus their work in one style or technique. But is very important (in my opinion) to experiment with many styles during your career to find your style and improve as an artist. I did newschool, blackwork, neotraditional, sketch... (at least I tried haha) before I found my way to work. And that gives you experience, makes you grow as an artist. Know how to do (at least the basics) in not only one style makes you better as an artist. Solid lines, color packing, good shading, draw some designs... everything. Same thing for drawing. I love to do portraits, realistic stuff. But I also draw other things, just to keep your creativity up and learn new things.

Q: So far, do you have any favourite piece done?
A: Mmmmmmh hard question haha. So difficult to choose just one... but if I have to choose one... maybe the one I did during a guest spot in Bamboo Studio (Canada) which is a girl with a green shinning triangle holding a bird on the top part and a lion in the bottom part. I love the way it flows and the shinning effect. Is one of my favourites.

Q: Tattooing is a technique that must be learned it's not like if you're good at drawing you gonna be good at tattooing, even though it's still important to know how to draw. Especially if a person wants to get on a pro level and be creative. How long took you to gain some confidence in your work? Since there is no like an "edit" option in tattooing.
A: Of course. Being good at drawing is very important under my point of view. Study the shadows, the lights, the lines, first in paper, then on the skin. In my opinion any pro tattoo artist must know how to draw. But that’s true, know how to draw doesn’t mean you’re good at tattooing. You must learn about needles, the deepness in the skin, the way to heal a tattoo properly, how to treat the different types of skin, when to use colors and when to avoid, the hygienics rules... Definitely know how to draw is important, but not determinant, to know how to tattoo. Is just one important ingredient in a very complex recipe. It takes time to gain confidence. Long time. You have to think that we are doing something in your skin for the rest of your life. Imagine the responsability. So first times is hard, really hard. But if you have ambition, you have the talent, and you put love in your work, you will find the way. Just analyze your mistakes and evolve your work. You will feel better and better, slowly.  We can say that my tattoo career is still short, so imagine, I still learning things everyday. But I know tattoo artists with more than 15 years in the business and they are still learning things about inks, healing process, etc. When you think your work is good, there are always new things to learn. Humility above all. Mainly, I think the most important thing is how your tattoos looks healed. We all must work on that.

Q: What are of the most challenging aspects of being a full time tattoo artist? What is the best approach people should have while they are starting in this business?
A: First thing is the stress, in my point of view. You have to take control of your time, because if not, this business kills you. Each day new customers, new designs, new tattoos, trips... You have to take control of it. This work takes most of your time. When you are not tattooing, you must design. If not, think about why the tattoo healed in that way or how to do “X” experiment in the next tattoo. Do you know what I mean? It never stops. If you want to be a pro tattooer, this never stops. I remember nights without sleep because of a convention, or because a very difficult piece for next day. Is not an easy way. Second thing is creativity. You must be creative, always. If you want to be a pro, you must keep evolving your work. And it is not easy. Sometimes you feel stuck, you see all your work the same or without improving, and if you want to be a pro, you have to resolve that. Try new designs, change or add things...

So if you are starting in this business and you love this, keep focused in three things: be always ready to evolve your work, manage your times, and remember, humility above all.

Q: Nowadays we have got so many ways to learn from other artists and creative mediums. With the power of social media, we can share and learn a lot. Do you have any favourite artists you look up to?
A: Sure, I always watch my favourite artists searching for inspiration or just enjoying their work. Nowadays is easy with Instagram and all the social media.
It is impossible to name them all, but some of them: Anrijs Straume, Boris Tattoo, Black Sanchez, Alex Sorsa, Animal tattooer, Rember tattoos, Jak Connolly, Dombrown, Victor Portugal... and many more of course. And as I told you in the first question, not only tattoo artists, I admire other artists in other types of art.

Q: How many often do you visit tattoo events like conventions or seminars etc?
A: I went 3/4 times to seminars, with Victor Portugal, Maximo Lutz, Adry Sanchez... I try to go 1 or 2 per year if I can. There are always new things to learn. About conventions, I started last year to go serious in conventions. I was in two small conventions, I feel that I need to improve some things before go to big ones.

Q: Any plans for the next few years?
A: Travel and travel and travel. Keep learning, keep improving. Go to some big conventions and know some big big artists. Make my work more known worldwide.

You can find Alessio Cuoreink on Instagram @alessio_cuoreink

Mr.Alessio Cuoreink Thank you so much for the interview,
Take care and keep up the great work.