interview with Oleg Shepelenko | realistic tattoos | russia 11/07/2013

Hello Oleg! Nice to have you here. I'm really glad for having the chance to share some of my thoughts with you. Your tattoo style really sets you apart from many tattoo artists out there. Very detailed, realistic pieces, an excellent color use, really great! Thanks again for this opportunity! Let's start with some basic info...

Q: What made you to become a tattoo artist?
A: I have never thought about becoming a good tattoo artist. I had a friend at school who wanted a tattoo. So I told him "Let's try to do it ourselves". And we did it. It was not a real tattoo, just a strange spot of ink. But I liked the process a lot. I kept on doing tattoos for my friends and little by little I have improved.

Q: How long have you been tattooing?
A: I did my first tattoo in 2001. And till 2005 it was just my hobby. Since 2005 I have been tattooing professionally. I devote almost all my time to it

Q: Realistic tattoos... Do you remember when the impression for this kind of work first began?
A: I was shocked by the pictures of famous artists. I have always thought that was the most complicated style. I couldn't understand how it was possible to reproduce it on canvas. Even more difficult seemed to do it on skin. That's why since the very beginning I have been trying to work in a style of realism.

Q: What part is most difficult in doing a color piece?
A: Now I can say that the most difficult part of any work is to fight down your own laziness. If an artist has a certain goal and a wish to reach it he will be able to overcome all the difficulties.

Q: Portraits are also something unique. I really love to see a custom portrait design, such as The Day Of Death Putin Tattoo piece. Wow, really nice! Are you always the main creator while doing someone's tattoo? Are you always supportive to your client's idea?
A: I like doing unusual tattoos. They always draw attention. I'd like to have more clients with daring ideas. Simple tattoos can surprise no one. There are more and more good tattoo artist appearing. That's the reason to improve yourself and astonish people continually. I always hear my clients out and try to realize their ideas with my modification. I believe I'm good at it.



Q: Do you prefer color tattoos?
A: I like color tattoos a lot. They give a chance to do something special. I can use a lot of different tints which give my tattoos individuality. I can work in my own style without any resemblance to manner of other artists who work in realism.
But it's impossible to achieve it working on black and gray. There are a lot of beginners who are good at black and grey realism.

Q: Would you say that color tattoos are quite more challenging?
A: Of course they are. I'm trying not to take photos of my black and grey works. But I have to do such tattoos.

Q: Would you change something about your style?
A: I keep on improving my style. To be a good artist you should always find new ideas. It takes a lot of time. I'm sure I'll be able to impress you with my new works.

Q: Nowadays, people are coming up with many creative ideas for a tattoo. What was the most bizarre request ever that you can share with us? Any crazy experiences with the customers on your mind?
A: I like a piece with Putin. Now an owner of this tattoo wants a new one with Stalin. But I won't tell you about our ideas. I believe it would be a wonderful funny tattoo.

Q: Do you use other art mediums to get inspired?
A: I'm inspired by photography. My wife takes a lot of portraits for my new tattoos. We find new faces, do make up, take a photo and it gives an idea for a new excellent tattoo.

Q: I saw some of your personal photos, you have a lovely cat! :) Are pets a good inspiration? Would you take your pet at the shop when things get tough, just to cheer you up? :)
A: Yes, I have a cat. His name is Clip Cord. He is cool. But I'm sure it should be very clean in a tattoo studio. There's no place for a pet.

Q: You have a really nice ink on your body. When did you get your first tattoo, what was it? Would you say that tattoos can become an addiction?  Guide me a bit into your inked madness!
A: I got my first tattoo at the age of 17. It was a design on my shoulder. Since that time I became addicted. Now I'm thinking over before doing another tattoo. Less and less free space is left on my body. But you want more and more new tattoos. I just don't know how to solve this problem.

Q: Do you have any advice for the new artists?
A: I can advise only one thing. Never stop on what you have achieved. Try to become better than you are now. And you'll reach everything you want to.

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