Interview with Christos Galiropoulos

  Hello Christos Galiropoulos! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. Please start by telling us something about yourself, how it all started? I was interested in art since I was a child. I remember drawing my teachers in school even if I wasn't good at it, but I kept doing it. As a teenager, I would airbrush bikes and I did it very well! Tattoos were always something I loved and I had some on my skin from the age of 17 even though in Greece it was not so popular or accepted from the people. Because I liked tattoos a lot it didn't take me much time to take the step and start tattooing.

Q: Becoming a pro it is not easy, did you face any difficulties?
A: I think the most difficult part was to learn the skill and learn it well, but every day I'm learning something new and better myself. After a point, your skills start to speak for itself and the clients realize this and begin to seek you out.

Q: How long took you to gain confidence?
A: It's important to never give up, if this is what you are passionate about. In the beginning, you will make many mistakes and you must listen to the critiques of those who are helping you to get better.

Q: Did anyone help you?
A: In the beginning, I had a mentor who was teaching me incorrectly and for the wrong reasons. After I realize this I found my own way alone. I think apprenticeships are important when done correctly and with the right person.

Q: I'll just call you an expert when it comes to tattoo realism. I've seen so many tattoos in my life and most are good, but your work is something special. Would you explore other styles?
A: First, thank you so much for your kind words about my work. I believe I will stick to black and grey realism. However, I am always seeking to find new ways to improve my work such as using different techniques with the reference photos as well as the inks and needles.

It's important to make as many connections as possible with other artists and to always receive criticism well. Going to conventions and seminars is helpful in finding those connections and seeing first-hand new techniques from different artists.

Q: Do you have any favourite moments, periods of your career that you consider as a highlight?
A: Some of things I am mostly proud of is being invited to attend certain conventions and guest spots around the world, as well as being apart of judging panels. It is also an amazing feeling anytime a piece of mine is chosen for an award at conventions.

Q: What keeps you motivated?
A: For me, I am mostly motivated when a client trust me with certain ideas for their tattoo. I enjoy doing realism portraits because of the difficulty and the different ways you can capture the true essence of people's faces.

Q: Do you have any favorite facial expression?
A: I don't believe I have a favorite, for me the best part of tattooing is the fact that every portrait is unique and I am constantly creating something new.

Q: What would you say/do if someone ask for a tattoo you are not sure you can do?
A: For the most part, all of my clients understand my style and I don't get many offers to do something I am unfamiliar with. When this does happen, I let them know that I only work in black and grey realism and if they like we change the idea to fit this style, or I advise them to search for an artist who strictly works in their desired style.

Q: Do you have any hobbies?
A: When I have some free time I draw. It's helpful to find new ideas and transfer my skills from paper to skin.

Q: The things you cherish the most?
A: The lifelong friends I have made around the world during this journey. I also have been lucky enough to travel extensively and see so many things that will be long-lasting memories.

Q: How do you feel about the tattoo scene in Greece? Do you see progress?
A: These years we are seeing many new artists emerging. The tattoo scene in Greece has changed drastically and I believe for the better. Here in Greece, we have one of the best international tattoo conventions that takes place in Athens. 

Q: Any advice for the new artists?
A: My only recommendation for this is to continually try your best, have the willpower to continue and be patient. You must practice over and over again in order to achieve your goals.