Interview with Silvano Fiato | Tattoo Realism | Italy 10/05/2021

  Hello dear Silvano Fiato! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. 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 constantly! You never stopped working and constantly improving. I bet that attitude inspires a lot of young people who see you as a role model.

Is the passion for this beautiful art still the same? My passion for this art is not the same, actually it has grown and it keeps growing day after 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 to be honest. I don't think tattooing as an art is a taboo anymore. 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 of trying 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 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 get better results since the very beginning. 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 bring everywhere their masterpieces.

- 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 do, 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: Even though, tattooing is a "service" job, I think artists who are specialised in one style, they have a special connection with the style from technical and creative aspect. Do you try to add a bit of 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 me an open mind. It happens to me 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, because on an hempatic level he transmitted me different emotions.

Q: I can't pick a favorite because each time I see a new tattoo you did, it's like I'm choosing between the best of the best. But I must say, that the baroque sleeve is one of my favorite, I think yours too. Ha! Art, class, baroque, magic, beauty!! Who was the main creator of that masterpiece?
A: The French Revolution leg is by far one of my favorite works, not for what concern the technique since today I am at a higher lever, but just because 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 that you wish you have the client and put all that on skin? 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 I add my personal representation of what they ask, adding a part of my country, of my culture. But that’s quite spontaneous since it’s part of my cultural heritage.

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 something like that?
A: Well, yes! Actually I’d like to do so many things. If I only had enough time! I love cooking, photography, over all painting. To publish an illustrated book could be one of those things I’d love to do. Who knows, maybe someday.

- Do you keep up with the trends nowadays like the new artists with iPad and procreate app doing crazy digital artworks?
I try to keep up with new trends, I do use procreate since it speeds up my work a lot. I welcome innovations, I think it’s useful using them because sticking to a way of working doesn't brings 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. How much the team work can be a learning experience not just as an artist, but even as a person?
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 wanted to give seminarians other points of view. I think that’s the best way of learning, different techniques can all be true, everyone has to find his personal one. Also, I learnt a lot from other artists, sharing knowledge is great, and brings human beings to evoke.

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, and I think it’s easier to reach it when I work in my studio rather than in a crowded convention. 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 leave a mark in the world every day. 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: We live in very weird, uncertain times during covid. Many artists are out of work others barely coping, mentally, financially. How are you? Are you available for bookings?
A: Yes, we’re living in such a rough period! It’s a huge disaster for the whole world, not only for us tattoo artists, but for every sector, especially for those who owns and works in pubs, bars, restaurants or hotels. I feel very lucky, due to my long waiting list I could anticipate whoever could come despite Covid, so except for the lockdown period, I never stopped working. Obviously time has changed, it’s no more golden days, but never give up, better days will come! Yes, I am available for bookings! I don’t have specific plans, except my main purpose: improve myself! I want to keep doing what I love, I don’t want to stop! Currently I’m moving my studio quite close to where I’m right now, in Genoa. So I’m really focused on designing it! I want to do something great, never seen. This keeps me busy and makes me feel prompted. I’m investing in it both money and time, as I’ve always done since when I got nothing. I think it’s the way to reach better results in every field. Put all yourself in it!

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 is gonna stop me will be getting old and losing my strength. I am always hungry, I always want to learn something new, I have ambitions and once I achieve them I find myself to aim 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.

Q: What you would do differently if you were starting today? Let's just assume, we might have a lot more information about tattoo art, seminars etc but the level of skills and creativity is also higher than just 5-6 years ago. It's harder right?
A: When I started nothing was known, internet wasn’t what is today, it was impossible to get certain kind of info, much less learning in a seminar. If I could, I would have paid gold for someone to teach me. When I started tattoo artists in Italy were a few, they were all very jealous of what they knew, and no one wanted to teach me. Learning was such a long process, the only way was trying and making mistakes. Nowadays young people can learn way faster thanks to social media, seminars and internet. I wish it was that easy when I started. That’s why the level nowadays is much higher, if I could learn that fast today I would be even better than what I am.

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 deal with you! you're very professional!
Big hug, Silvano