Interview with tattoo artist Evgeny Antsupov

  Hello Evgeniy Antsupov! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. Start by telling us something about yourself and your background. What got you interested in tattooing? Do you have any formal art training? As long as I can remember, I always found time to draw, in the 6th grade I went to an art school, but a year later I was successfully thrown out of there because I missed all lessons except pencil drawing ) As a result, I entered the engineering university and dropped out again. Tattooing has always attracted me because it was something forbidden. As a result, my friend pushed me to seriously think about it and I went to the tattoo studio to try to try, 6 studios refused me, but the seventh accepted, so it all started.

Q: How long have you been tattooing? What type of tattoos you use to do as a beginner?
A: I have been doing tattoos for 4.5 years. I have done all types of tattoos, starting with a traditional tattoos and I even tried to do color realism, but eventually I settled for black and gray tattooing.

Q: I bet you figured out the process of tattooing much quicker than most, you're very talented. However, how long it took you to figure out the creative process? Technically speaking, was it hard to learn the basics? Did anyone help you?
A: Yes, according to many, I quickly began to do good work, but for 2 years I came to the studio every day from 10 am and left at 11-12 am, made sketches, trained on my friends, drew. I couldn't and still can't stay at home and just relax. The studio became like a second home for me, there was a period when I lived in the studio for 2 weeks and I fucking liked it. Only after 3 years I became really satisfied with my work, yes, I always know how to do better and what I missed, but this is visible only to me. I lived in a small town and couldn't find a person for myself whose work I like, so I had to study only through YouTube videos, it was difficult, but it was perceived as a game in which you need to go further.

Q: Tattoo realism is no joke! One must be not only creative but precise and ready to give the best results. The expectation is much higher in my opinion. But of course, I bet it's a pleasure to see a happy client after a long session. What do you like the most about tattoo realism?
A: I really like the way it looks, it's a fucking classic that never gets old. And indeed, people with a new tattoo come out very happy, it fills me with energy to go further and do better.

Q: When I saw the big back tattoo, I was blown away. It's been a while since I've seen anything like that. Truly impressive! I wish it was on my back to be honest! The design, the placement, the shading and just the overall awesomeness! Again, impressive work Evgeniy! Tell me, who's idea was this tattoo? Yours, your client's?
A: Thank you. To be honest, I would also like to get such a tattoo) I made this design a long time ago, but my friend was the first to trust me with a full back and I am very grateful to him, he gave me the perfect skin for work.

- How long you worked on this? How many sessions took to complete it?
Almost the entire back was ready in 6 sessions (each session 6-8 hours) but it took us about 4 more sessions on the neck and as a result 10 sessions for the whole tattoo.

Q: Angles and religious themes in general are very interesting as a tattoo design. There's something very beautiful but mystical too. Like old Rome or Greece art and architecture mix too. I like all of them. Is it something that you prefer to tattoo or your clients know that you do this kinds of designs so they come to you?
A: I have always been inspired by architecture and statues. I like the idea that they were made many years ago, but still it is insanely beautiful. It's a pity that architects and sculptors can't see what their works are wearing on their hands, it even sounds crazy. Mostly people come to me with sample ideas for tattoos, but there are also guys who like absolutely every work and I do any tattoos at will, I am grateful to everyone for their trust.

Q: Sometimes people just have an idea of what they want to tattoo, but they still can't decide. How do you help them?
A: I do not help them, if a person is ready and has decided, then we are on the same page, if a person does not yet understand what he wants and whether he wants to get a tattoo, then he must first decide on his thoughts and then go, but if he understands exactly what his idea for the tattoo is, it looks like my work. I will completely change the design, but lately I don't remember a person who would like to leave everything as it is, I really appreciate what I do and development means doing something new and experimenting every time.

Q: Something that sets you apart from many artists, is your technique. I like that there are no bold, black outlines but still there is a nice balance of black and white ink so the tattoo will look great even years after it heals. I really like it. Tell me more about the technique. Will you stick to this or there's room for some creative experimentation?
A: Yes, I have a formula in which black, gray, and white spots should be evenly scattered over the entire area of the skin. The tattoo looks solid not only due to smooth, harmonious transitions and a solid composition, but also due to the uniform distribution of the paint tone on the skin. This is the golden rule that I will continue to follow.

Q: Talking about creative experimentation, will you try color tattooing? I think you will do just as good as black and white tattooing.
A: I'm sure if I master a different style, then after a while it will also turn out great, but I damn much like how a black and gray tattoo looks, for myself I decided a long time ago that I would develop only in this direction.

Q: Where are you located now? Are you available for bookings? Please write your email and studio location.
A: Now I live in Bali, yes of course the places for booking are free. My email address is:

Q: Nowadays tattoo artists travel more for guest spots, conventions etc. I think that is a great opportunity to meet new people and fellow artists, but also learn from them. How often do you travel for work? Do you have any favorite place to be?
A: I try to travel mainly to Europe every six months. I'm resting at work.

Q: I think we grew a lot as an industry in the past ten years, things are very different now. New equipment, new styles, new artists, it's this new generation of artists, just young people that are so creative and dedicated to keep the level high. Insane competition sure, but also great quality. Right? I love the progress. How is the tattoo scene in your country? Do you see progress?
A: Yes, of course, there are a lot of novice tattoo artists who are of excellent quality, but on the contrary, I really like it, it means that more and more people have high-quality tattoos.

Q: Tattooing is a special process. You're gifted with your talent, they're gifted with a beautiful art for a lifetime. I think it's a special energy exchange between the artist and the client in a way, right? What do you like the most about tattooing?
A: Of course, tattoos are something unique, they open up your client and endear you to yourself and then you remain excellent acquaintances or friends. I like to sit and do monotonous work for 6-8 hours every day, I go into my own world and it's like meditation.

Q: But sometimes, it can be a challenge to be creative and do your best... How do you manage a busy schedule? Where do you find your inspiration when you just need some time off but you're still booked and there are people waiting on you?
A: When I lived in Russia, I had an appointment for six months in advance and I worked 25 days a month every month. I didn't have time for a classic vacation, I didn't have time to stay at home and get sick, this is my usual schedule and I adore it, I am always inspired by work, there has never been a burnout period from such a busy schedule.

Q: Evgeniy what would you tell to all young people who will see this interview, and will be inspired to try getting into this business?
A:Go on, and don't listen to anyone, if they tell you that you did beautifully- don't listen, if they tell you that you did terribly- don't listen, follow your inner state, develop inner beauty and do the maximum every time, do sessions for 13 hours if you don't have enough time, yes it's possible the skin will already be overloaded, but you will gain experience, you will understand more.