Interview with tattoo artist Silvano Fiato

  Hello dear Silvano Fiato! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. It's a great honor to interview you again. The last time we talked was in 2012... oh wow! But I must say, I kept an eye on your work all this time! You never stopped working and constantly improving. I bet that inspires a lot of young people who see you as a role model. Is the passion for tattooing still the same? My passion for this art is not the same, actually it has grown and it keeps growing every day. I always try to improve my skills and my technique, I never feel totally satisfied, I want to push myself over my limits and become a better artist! My passion keeps growing because it constantly gives me new stimuli.

Q: The last decade was a huge shift. Creatively, technically, we have got so many new artists, better equipment, lots of tattoo conventions, seminars... So much progress. It made me really happy. What do you think? What do you like the most about the scene now?
A: In the last decade tattooing has changed tremendously, both creatively and technically. Everything that can be invented has been invented, that gave me, and other artists, the will to try out new methods, in order to amaze, to do better, to create a recognizable, personal style! Also it became easier to learn from other artists. We have to give that to the seminars which didn’t exist when I started. I think this is the best change this world have made. Sharing the knowledge allows new artists to learn more. Nowadays tattoos are recognized as pieces of art, and let me say finally! I’m glad is not a taboo anymore, I think is just an alternative way of buying art, in the past people used to buy sculptures, photos and paintings, now they basically do the same thing, the only difference is that they can wear their masterpieces everywhere.

- Do you think that there's still a room for improvement?
I think there’s still room for improvement, everything can be improved, everything can evolve.

Q: Where do you see your personal input as an artist?
A: I found my personal input as an artist when I started to tell stories with my tattoos, when I created my first composition of subjects. I’m pretty sure I was the first artist to do that. Of course in the beginning they were not as complex as they are now.
Currently is something that almost every tattoo artist do, they all try to develop pieces that gives emotions not only to who’s wearing it but also to whoever sees it.

Q: You're well known for your style. To be honest, when I think of tattoo realism I think of you and few other artists. Will you stick to this style or you will try something different in the feature?
A: Thank you for your kind words! Well, yes I surely will stick to realism, my style, because that’s what I always did. Since when I was a child and I used to draw or paint. Anyway I won’t hide, I love to experiment, to try new techniques or styles, sometimes just for a day. I love to evolve, to change, I really don’t want to keep doing the same thing over and over.

Q: In which way you see your evolution as an artist all these years? How long has it been since the day you got your first client?
A: My evolution was actually a revolution! I completely changed my manner of working, both in a technical and conceptual way. As I said, I always look for improvement and this has a huge impact on what I do. I’m not sure on how long has it been since my first client, it was maybe twenty years ago!

Q: Do you try to add a personal vibe each time you tattoo someone? It could be a suggestion for a background or the whole design.
A: I try to do better everyday and that requires an open mind. It happens to create a design for a customer who I haven’t met (usually this happens with foreigners) and to get to know him only at the first session day. Emails are the only way we have to exchange ideas on the tattoo design, that’s a quite cold manner to communicate and it doesn’t allow me to have a complete understanding of that person. That’s why sometimes it happens that I completely change my project when I finally meet my client.

Q: I can't pick a favorite because each time I see a new tattoo, it's like I'm choosing between the best of the best. But I must say, the french revolution tattoo is amazing! Who was the main creator of that masterpiece?
A: The French Revolution leg is by far one of my favorite works, the customer gave me total “carte Blanche” so I could express myself completely! Besides he is a dear friend of mine, so it’s a piece I will always love! My absolute favorite piece? Is the one I haven’t made yet.

Q: I bet Italy it's an inspiration on itself. Beautiful country, I've been there couple of times, and every time, I feel like I'm in fairy tale. Style and culture everywhere. I see some of that in your art too. Do you have like a dream piece in your mind? I think of Italian monuments, sculptures and warrior's glory!
A: I agree with you, Italy is such a wonderful country, full of art in every corner, it’s really inspiring for me! I love wandering around and finding art in places you’d never think of. By the way I see art in almost everything in life. When it comes to design a tattoo, to be honest, I always try to follow my customer’s directions and add my personal vibe to it.

Q: If I had your talent, I guess I would try to publish an illustrated book with interesting characters and thought-provoking storylines. Have you ever thought about it?
A: Well, yes! Actually I’d like to do so many things. If I only had enough time! I love cooking, photography and painting. To publish an illustrated book could be one of those things I’d love to do. Who knows, maybe someday.

Q: Do you keep up with the trends nowadays like the new artists with iPad and procreate app doing crazy digital artworks?
A: I try to keep up with new trends, I do use procreate since it speeds up my work a lot. I welcome innovations, sticking to a way of working doesn't bring any growth.

Q: I saw some collaborations with Moni Marino, Alex de Pase and others. I bet that experience was fun and inspiring. Tell me more.
A: When I created the “Interactive Tattoo Seminar”, a huge international seminar open to professional tattoo artists. I wanted to teach only everything I knew but also what other incredibles artists could share. I think that’s the best way of learning, different techniques, everyone has to find their personal one. Also, I learnt a lot from other artists, sharing knowledge is great.

Q: Numerous conventions, awards... How much the respect from the clients and the other artists keeps you motivated to push even further? Do you have any favorite award?
A: Yes, I won lots of conventions, first places and other awards. To be honest currently I don’t give them much credit. Back in the days, I used to go looking for visibility, to get myself a name in order to become popular. Winning was, of course, a huge personal satisfaction! After all these years, I tell you, my greatest reward is the happiness of my customers. By the way, there’s an award I won a couple of years ago that keeps giving me satisfaction, I’m referring to the award of MACRO museum in Rome as a “contemporary artist”. For me it was a milestone of my career, I overcome all the taboos, being among those tattoo artists recognized from a museum was one of my biggest purpose. I’m incredibly happy I achieved it.

WOW, THAT IS SO COOL! Congratulations Silvano!! You Deserve It!

Q: Some say, it's a job just like any other, but many say that tattooing is not an actual job, it's a sacrifice, it's endless dedication and true love. Giving someone a life long gift is a gift of remembrance for you and for the client both in each way significant. How bonding is that! This profession can take a lot of time apart from home and friends, but at the end... it's all worth it! What is the best part of being a tattoo artist? Did you learned something about yourself along the way?
A: It’s absolutely not a job like anothers. In my opinion is the best job ever! I still find it difficult to call it work, because it’s my biggest passion. It always brings me new ideas, new stimuli. It allows me to leave a part of myself, of my soul, on my client, another soul. I learnt to be patient, that’s what you need when you do this kind of work.

Q: After all these years of hard work, lots of beautiful memories either on the road, conventions or in the studio... Would you change something?
A: I would do everything the same way! Nowadays, I surely gained more awareness, but anyway I wouldn’t change anything I did. I did it all, I traveled, I met people and great artists from all over the world. I’m glad I saw other points of view and that I exchanged knowledge with all of them. I’ll definitely do it again.

Q: What's the biggest mistake an artist can do?
A: The worst mistake an artist can make is to stop, to settle. Many artists think they have reached the top and they just don’t aim to something better. The only thing that will stop me will be getting old and losing my strength. I am always hungry, I always want to learn something new. I would suggest to young artists to believe in themselves, will is power! Be confident and keep practicing. Never stop learning, be humble and have respect.

Mr. Silvano Fiato, it's been a pleasure and honor! Thank you for the interview,
Kind Regards, Iva Green

Thank you for your time, it's always a great pleasure for me to talk with you! You're very professional! Big hug, Silvano