interview with Oskar Nybraten | ink by oscar, Norway | 24/10/2018


Hello Oskar Nybråten! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers.
Please start by telling us something about yourself and what inspired you to start tattooing?

 Ever since I was a child I’ve always found new ways of exploring with my creativity, trying a range of different crafts. I am quite ambitious. When I first decided to do something I was determined to become “the best”. But to be honest, part of the reason I started tattooing was because I wanted to be cool and get girls, haha.

Q: Getting into the business sometimes can be challenging. How much time was necessary for you to get on a level of a professional artist? Was it hard to learn

A: From the time I got my first tattoo machine to the time I started making enough to get my own place I think it took about a year, but making the money is just the beginning. The stuff that I was making was simple and not quality art, the 3 first years I mostly spent perfecting the craft and learning the different ways to use the different needles, as well as to understand the machines I was using at the time. As the craft got better I started focusing on the art, challenging myself to use more of my own mind and less of copying other people’s ideas.

Q: Did you have any artistic background? What type of art you used to like?
A: I grew up on a small countryside estate with horses, quite far from the town, school and friends. However, being restless and creative I found several ways to keep my time occupied. Of course I liked drawing and painting, but my greatest interest was fine crafts like wood carving, forging knifes and tools and leatherwork for saddles and gunholsters for the local gun club.

Q: Do you have any favorite artists you look up to?
A: There are so many! I think Alex Sørsa is great with a 3liner, Steeve Butcher is nothing less than a genius with his eye for color and a steady hand, and Thomas Carli Jarlier has some of the smoothest/cleanest shadings and some amazing portraits. Not to forget Oscar Aakermo who always make his hyper-realistic innovative designs. But my biggest influence is probably my girlfriend Miriam Andrea who always gives me the right feedback and helps me grow faster with every day passing.

Q: How would you call your style?
A: I define my style as hyper realistic and sometimes micro realistic when working with 3liners and one-liners.

Q: Beautiful mix of black and white ink is something that makes your tattoo art so special. Especially the contrasts. Nicely done details too. What are some of the most time consuming parts when it comes to realistic portraits?
A: Easy, always the hair!

Q: I love the fact that you create unique tattoos. Even when it comes to portraits, people expect that super realistic vibe, either it's eye expression or the specific look of a person, still I would say, you are able to put some creative tone in all of your designs. How do you prepare for a tattoo session? Do you draw some sketches for your clients or the inspiration comes naturally while talking to them? Tell me more about the making process.
A: I always make the design with the client. This can consume a lot of time, sometimes up to 5 hours. However, it’s an important process for me because I think it builds trust between me and the client and it gives room for random ideas that can improve the design. Sometimes I also make half the design and the other half freehand, but never freehand alone, maybe in the future.

Q: It's obvious that there's a lack of color inks in your portfolio, hmm why? Have you ever thought to change something?
A: used to do some color early on, but my passion is black and grey, maybe someday I try color again, but first I wish to master black’n’grey style at the highest possible level.

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: Sleeves are one of my favorite things to do since they’re very complex and challenging. You have to get the proportions right and make just the right amount of detail without it being too much. My passion is making detailed tattoos, ironically this is somehow my weakness: overdoing the details. I think the hardest part of making a sleeve is findings new ways to make compositions and still maintain a nice flow and the right balance between the black ink and the skin.

Q: Anything you can say that you cherish about being a tattoo artist? What is the best lesson learned from your tattoo journey?
A: First of all, I don’t do well with taking orders from others. So the fact that I can run my own game makes it feel less like work. Being an artist is hard, but also rewarding when seeing personal progress in what you do every day. Unfortunately it can’t always be progress, your enthusiasm will drop from time to time, and honestly feeling shit can last for weeks. The most important lessons I have learned are: hard work pays off, if you don’t challenge yourself you’re not going anywhere, and if you think you know something you’re only halfway there.

Q: What would you say to someone who is planning to start tattooing? What is the best approach?
A: Before you pick up a machine and start tattooing you need to have at least some basic drawing skills. If you don’t show any skill it's hard to get an apprenticeship, and on that topic: when looking for an apprenticeship, look for someone whose style you like. Also, when you have a mentor and he or she is teaching you to perfect the basics: don’t skip those lessons. The lessons like in drawing realistic good lines, smooth shades and texture will become the foundations of your future growth.

Please write your contact info and if you are attending some tattoo conventions soon so me and my readers can say hello and book an appointment : )
I'm not currently planning on going to any conventions in the near future.

Mr.Oskar Nybråten
Thank you so much for the interview,
Kind Regards 
The Skin Artist Team