interview with Lorena Morato | Seemann Taetowierungen  06/06/2016

Hello Lorena Morato! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our magazine. Please start by telling us little about yourself and how you got into tattooing? Are you self-taught artist?

Hello everyone! Yes, I m a self-taught artist, never went through an "official" apprenticeship, started on my own at home and started meeting other artists, exchanging some experiences and learning with these people, traveling around, visiting conventions, etc. I got into tattooing 9 years ago when I decided to leave Brazil and move to Barcelona, where I worked as a waitress, a cleaning lady and participated in activities such as vegan cooking and political demonstrations, yeah I was a punk lady, a riot girl! I bought my first tattoo machine and started tattooing friends, of course I learned from people who tattooed longer than me and had a bit more experience.

Q: You have a really unique and interesting style, reminds me of traditional, old school... How would you describe your style?
A: Neo-traditional I would say, a new adaptation of traditional and realism put into one. I try to mix everything spiritual and mysterious, animals with a touch of dark magic, obscure figures who are at the same time full of grace, memories of childhood books and stories I used to read and create, and the magic crystals of which my mom once told me that fairies were living in and that they would protect me. Let’s say mystical neo-traditional.

- When the fascination for those designs began?
I got fascinated years and years ago when I first came into a shop in Germany to get a cover up done by a certain artist who I didn’t know. A friend brought me there, up to that point I wanted to tattoo traditionally and was always inspired by Teo Mindel (spider murphy), Amanda Toy, the classic Sailor Jerry and so on ... Once I saw the paintingsby the artist who would do the cover up, I was amazed, because it had a huge touch of traditional but the figures were dark, melancholic and had a realistic shape but outlined... I guess everyone knows who I am talking about. With this inspiration I developed my own style.

Q: I really like those love themed designs... Has anyone revealed their story while the tattoo session? :) Share some of the most interesting experiences with the customers.
A: Yes, so many of my clients always tell me stories about the chosen subject, some also have no meaning, but in the end I believe every tattoo represents something, even unconsciously. You are marking your body in a particular season of life you are going through. There is this amazing lady from somewhere in Germany, she came to me twice to get her arm done with some motives about her pilgrination through Santiago de Compostela, with the path ending in Spain. This lady taught me so much, more than she can imagine, I lost her email address and never heard from her again. But never will I forget all the times she came around, her story of life and her path were amazing, she knew why we were here. She had a spiritual journey during that long walk and told me about people she met on her way and how those people taught her something about herself and life. Hey lady I hope you are reading that! She will know.

Q: Being a tattoo artist means being creative every day. What keeps you creative and enthusiastic about your job, especially during a busy schedule?
A: Some days it is just sooooo difficult to be creative when you are just tired. But well, when my mind is giving me trouble I try to breath, take a bath, relax, look for some references that always inspire me and remind myself that, every day, every single person that is waiting to get tattooed is just awesome and they chose me for that job, to mark their skin for life. This single thing is more than inspiring ... it’s because of them that I can make my art reality. It’s important to keep the soul in tattooing!

Q: Would you say tattooing could be an expressive job?
A: It definitely can be an expressive job, this is like what I said above, to keep the soul in it, the creativity, to let the artist show what truly lies within. It’s great when a client picks you because this person is able to feel identified with your style and understands the point of giving the artist freedom to create.

Q: Your tattoo designs are all custom made, how much the drawing skills play a big role when it comes to tattooing?
A: Yes, they are custom and unique for each person, lucky me and lucky them! Drawing on paper and then transferring to skin can be different, I started learning this recently with my boyfriend who does Tribals ... he taught me loads, specially how to deal with what you have on paper to match the body ... sometimes free handing is the best way.

Q: You also have an impressive painting portfolio. What kind of supplies do you use the most? Do you also sale some of your paintings?
A: I paint with watercolors, I love that, but during the last months I was not able to paint new pieces, because I’m too busy... I use drawing ink, different kinds of watercolors, markers of many kinds ... the fun is to mix them all. You can purchase some of my paintings mostly on conventions where I am (Paris, Brighton, London, and Stockholm) or sometimes I have a few prints available at my friend Filip’s here:

Q: Do you also have some other hobbies?
A: At the moment I’m playing around doing some do-it-yourself-stuff to give friends as gifts, I love doing that. I also love decorating my flat, I can spend hours decorating, this could be my new career :)

Q: Where are you located now?
A: My second home is at Seemann Taetowierungen, a lovely private shop in Cologne, Germany. I love that shop and my workmates are awesome, I am also working at Taiko Gallery in Berlin one week every month with the amazing Guen Douglas, Wendy Pham and Mattew Gordon, great artists and lovely people.

- What is the appointment procedure?
People should check my Instagram, I open my schedule from time to time, book 3 months in advance and close the schedule again, then I will open again. I always announce things on my instagram (@ninmesarra)

Q: As an artist, how much you challenge yourself to push your (creative) boundaries nowadays, when almost everything is already seen? How much is it important for artists to try to discover new ways of expression, no matter the medium and try to progress?
A: I am always pushing, always trying to bring some element I didn’t draw yet, sometimes I take some elements and incorporate for a season, then I try to find the next one. Studying is important, studying the body, trying to push and go further. Nowadays I’m beginning to free hand a few parts of the tattoo- for better placement on the body. I am thankful for all great artists out there, they help me to keep inspired and push myself even more.

I know that everything has already been created but we can try to keep going and to innovate, bring in a few different elements every time.

Q: What would you recommend to a beginner?
A: Try to get apprenticeship first, in my case it was truly hard to learn on my own, you delay a lot to discover techniques...

Second, skin isn’t paper, so respect the roots. Tribals and Japanese are important and the right way, study a bit of anatomy, learn about the body to place drawings. Respect the older ones and be HUMBLE, only by being humble you can progress.