Interview with Anthriller Montana

   Hello Anthriller Montana! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. It really means a lot having this opportunity. Please, start by telling us something about yourself and your beginnings. When did you start doing tattoos? What inspired you? Since my earliest memories, I have been deeply passionate about drawing and creating. My insatiable curiosity has led me to explore various art forms, including sculpting, illustrating, graffiti, photography, videography, and more. During my time in art school, I became fascinated by tattoos, a unique expression of creativity and individuality, often with intricate designs and personal stories behind them. My love for tattoos has grown stronger, and I am excited to see where this journey takes me next. My inspiration comes from the artistic principles and aesthetics of the Renaissance period, known for its symmetrical compositions and balanced lighting. Additionally, I am inspired by the Baroque era's dramatic use of solid diagonals and the contrast between light and dark tones, also known as chiaroscuro. The Baroque style's ornate decorative elements also inspire me significantly. I draw inspiration from the stories and characters of Greco-Roman mythology, which are fundamental to my creative process. My artistic vision is shaped by the blend of historical artistry and mythological narratives, which drive my creative process.

Q: Did you work as an apprentice? How long it took you to learn the basics?
A: I find your question very interesting because I started tattooing as a hobby ten years ago, just for fun. I never thought it would become my profession someday. I'm incredibly thankful to my family and friends, who have supported me from the beginning and helped me become who I am today. I am self-taught and have worked hard to perfect my craft, but looking back, I would not recommend this approach to others who are interested in pursuing tattooing professionally. The best way to learn is through an apprenticeship under a skilled mentor. I have been fortunate enough to work alongside some incredibly talented tattoo artists worldwide, which has been invaluable. Constant exposure to different styles, techniques, and perspectives has allowed me to continue to learn and grow as an artist.

Q: What part of the learning process was the most challenging and why?
A: At first, the intense labor, obsession, and sacrifice can be a struggle. The flame of passion is lit and begins to consume you, taking you deeper into your work. It’s easy to forget to enjoy the moment and not rush the process. However, as that intensity drives your life, you may eventually feel fortunate to be entirely devoted to creating tattoos.

Q: As a beginner, did you have any preferences when it comes to designs or style or you used to do all kinds of tattoos and tried your best to learn
the process?

A: As I mentioned earlier, I fell in love with the craft of tattooing from the start, and I tried my hand at almost everything until I found my niche. Starting with lettering tattoos due to my graffiti background, I created my own designs and eventually transitioned to the New School style. When I moved to London, I discovered the blackwork culture and was immediately drawn to the bold lines, dot work, and black color saturation. I spent almost a year learning and perfecting this style. Later, when I moved to Toronto, I began mixing my pieces into black-and-grey themes, which has become a significant aspect of my work. As a self-taught artist, it was crucial for me to learn the basics and continue to enjoy the process. Looking back, I still have the same passion for tattooing, and I am excited to keep exploring new styles and techniques in the future.

Q: What kept you motivated to continue learning and growing as an artist?
A: My enthusiasm for tattooing is fueled by an insatiable inquisitiveness that constantly drives me forward. This unrelenting desire to create has become my primary source of motivation, pushing me to explore new techniques and styles in pursuit of artistic excellence. I have come to realize that this passion is an intrinsic part of who I am, impossible to control but endlessly malleable, allowing me to channel my creativity in whatever direction I choose.

Q: I love your style. There's something very unique and special. Finally, not the usual gray portraits looking exactly like the reference image... so when
we see it on Instagram we are confused either it's the reference photo or the actual tattoo. Perfect but a bit boring. Haha Here we have something
different. It is not just the unique touch you add on every tattoo but your technique. I love the way every tattoo is done. The details, the shading, just perfect... Please tell me more about this technique?

A: Thank you for your kind words, they mean a lot to me. When it comes to tattooing, I believe that design is the most crucial aspect, and I prioritize it to 80% of the project. If planned correctly, it can lead to an incredible outcome while minimizing stress during the tattooing process. As for my technique, I primarily use liners throughout the whole process and create Stippling shading, which is characteristic of my work. By combining bold and fine lines with the stippling technique, I achieve visually readable results that will last for years.

Q: Precision and perfection is the bare minimum when it comes to tattoo realism. I applaud every artist who can master this style. In every way and
technique, either color or black and gray... I'm happy every time when I see an artist doing something even a little bit different than what's already out there. Great, progress! That being said, the competition, the level is really high... How do you handle the pressure that comes from the industry and/or from your clients?

A: I am incredibly grateful to each and every person who has chosen me to work on their projects. As you mentioned, there are many incredible artists worldwide with mind-blowing works, and I always strive to showcase the full potential of every project I undertake. Every design deserves to be brought to life in the best possible way, and each piece requires high creativity, attention to detail, and skill. I am fully committed to delivering exceptional results.

Q: What do you do on days when you feel overwhelmed? Do you have any hobbies?
A: I prioritize maintaining a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally. Spending quality time with my family and friends is vital to me, as those relationships serve as a foundation for my life. Additionally, I enjoy expressing my creativity through painting and designing clothes. My ambition is limitless, and I am dedicated to nurturing it.

Q: I bet to be creative and talented like you is nothing but a true blessing. Would you try something different in the feature or maybe change
something about your own style?

A: I firmly believe in staying true to my values and principles, even if it requires me to step out of my comfort zone. I constantly strive to improve my skills and knowledge, always pushing myself to reach new heights while staying true to my vision. I find that breaking down complex concepts into small, manageable steps helps me build a solid foundation and produce work that I am proud of.

Q: Even though, tattooing is a "service job" Like no other job, there is so much room for creativity and artistic (self) expression. Did some of your clients let you choose the design for their tattoo?
A: The process of getting a tattoo is not just about the end result but also about the journey of the design process. I believe every project is a collaboration between the client and myself. Finding a balance where I can understand my client’s vision and translate it into a tattoo design that reflects my style and skill is vital. Through teamwork and open communication, we can create a tattoo that meets and exceeds the client’s expectations and is a source of pride for both of us.

Q: Why tattoo realism? What do you like the most?
A: I am happy that you mentioned it. I’m not particularly eager to categorize tattoos. We live in the most creative era in the tattoo industry to keep using words to describe your work, so I don’t think including every tattoo in the same box is suitable. I have a lot of respect for “realistic tattoos”, and my work is not even close to it, I do my own representation. I have a natural passion for the craft, and I use all the tools we have to enjoy the process and keep learning every day.

Q: What was the most complicated piece you worked on? How many sessions it took to finish it?
A: Working on big tattoos can be challenging, especially when dealing with largescale projects and consecutive days of work. A significant percentage of my customers travel long distances to get tattoos from me, so my top priority is carefully planning the project to minimize pain and prevent skin damage.

Q: Black and gray realism is beautiful especially if we talk people's portraits, but it is really interesting when some parts are colored. It gives the tattoo a better, more vibrant look. I love the Poseidon tattoo! Who's idea was this, yours or your client's?
A: Thank you so much for taking the time to express your appreciation. When it comes to my creative process, sometimes, I find that incorporating just the
right amount of color can bring a new level of interest and excitement to a piece. I strive to create compositions that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also have a strong character and visual impact. I believe that the key to success is collaboration, so I work hand in hand with my clients to ensure their vision is brought to life in the most effective and beautiful way possible.

Q: Some say to be good at tattooing, one must have good drawing skills even though tattooing in itself it is a special technique, but one can't go
without the other. You agree, right?

A: Although it may not be mandatory, possessing some artistic knowledge can help anticipate and resolve any issues that might arise when transferring a design onto the skin. Tattooing is an art form in its own right, and it is important to have a thorough understanding of its principles and rules.

Q: I love the drawings I saw on Instagram. The owl... ah favorite! Please write your email and how our audience can buy some of your art or book a session.
A: Thank you for appreciating my ballpoint pen drawing. Throughout my career, I have primarily focused on designing and drawing for tattoo projects. However, I have reconnected with other ways to express myself outside of tattooing. I created this particular drawing for fun and posted a few process videos on my Instagram account. Because it’s based on a few elements representing the city, it received much support and requests for prints in Toronto. I made limited copies and gave them to my customers as a gift. I plan to incorporate items on my website that will soon be available worldwide, such as prints, original paintings, clothes, and more. For those who are interested in my work, please fill out the request form on my website, www.anthrillermontana.com, with all the information about the project. All inquiries will be answered within three business days. Thank you!

Q: Do you have anything you would like to promote on this interview?
A: I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to your team for creating and maintaining this incredible platform. It supports artists around the world and contributes to the knowledge and visibility of the tattoo industry. Your efforts have provided artists with a platform to showcase their work, connect with potential clients, and find new opportunities. I would also like to extend my heartfelt thanks to my sponsor, FYT, for their unwavering support since day one. FYT has provided me with the best needles in the industry, which has helped me deliver high-quality work to my clients. Their support has been invaluable, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with them. Finally, I am thrilled to announce that my online courses will soon be available. These courses will focus on improving lifework and 3-round liner shading techniques. As someone who is passionate about tattooing, I believe these courses will be an excellent resource for other artists who share my passion. All the relevant information will be updated on my website and social media platforms. Once again, thank you for creating this incredible platform and supporting artists across the globe.

Q: What would you recommend to all the young people who will read this interview and want to try getting into this business?
A: We are fortunate to live in an era where we have access to a vast amount of information through the internet. This makes it easier for individuals to avoid unnecessary mistakes and focus on what is essential. However, it's crucial to understand that learning requires dedication, perseverance, and the willingnes to learn from mistakes. As mentioned, the best way to learn is through handson experience, such as an apprenticeship with an experienced mentor. This kind of learning provides practical knowledge and helps establish a strong foundation in the subject matter. A strong passion for your craft is key to pursuing it with excellence. This passion will inspire you to discover your tremendous potential and enthusiastically pursue it. However, remaining open to changes and new ideas is equally important. This approach will help you stay flexible and adaptable to your field's ever-evolving demands.