Sin Saimdang is a rarity in Korean history. Although she lived in the 16th century, she was an artist and a poet. Above is one of her famous paintings. Sin Saimdang, who was also the mother of a famous Confucian scholar, is honored in Korea with her image on the 50000 Won note.
I’ve met Claudia at the Rome Tattoo Expo this year. She is nice, spontaneous and funny, exactly how you would imagine her from the few lines she wrote for this interview. Her style is great mix of traditional and asian folk influences, with an unique color palette.
Hi Claudia, please introduce yourself I’m Claudia, born in Rome in 1986, and I’m a tattoo artist.
Introduce your art Would you call it art? I’m not sure, maybe the times are ready for it.
What inspires you? Some look for the inspiration, I just wait for it! I’ve spent many years searching for it, looking at other tattoo artists, buying the books everybody buy (and I still do), until I understood that research and inspiration are two separate things! I take inspiration fromlowers, colors, nature, paintings, old Hindu and Persian paintings, religious icons, mithology, little details in clubs, wallpapers, architecture and interior design, old pics of tattooed men and women! I finally understood that inspiration, just like life, is cyclical, it comes and goes, changes, disappears and then appears again. I follow its mood and do my best to always have it with me in my journeys!
Your thoughts on tattoos becoming a trend, media exposition etc. Who doesn’t have even a small tattoo nowadays? How many trends like little stars, small black birds or infinite symbols? People want to wear tattoos as a permanent accessory, like a bracelet, or a pair of shoes. It doesn’t bother me, everyone is free to wear whatever he/she wants. What I don’t like is tattooing being treated like a job for everyone, like any other. I can’t say I’m an old school artist, I just have 8 years of experience, but I’ve spent years learning and I still have a lot to learn. Watching people tattooing with no respect for the client or for real tattoo artists, just makes me sad.
Any less known tattoo artist we should follow? I have so many to suggest, I’ll try to make a short list: Viola Ceina, Alice Mater Totemica, Arianna Fusini, Elia Landi, Sofia Mesisca, Alvaro Llorar, Rafa Decraneo, Marta Messina, Ricardo Contreras, Jeroen van Dijk, and Rion!
Suggest us a band, a movie, a book, or a painter, whatever you want.
Band: Spiritual Front “Armageddon Gigolo”
Book: Michael Talbot “The Holographic Universe”
Movie: Big Fish
Painter: She’s been a trend lately, but she is still one of my favourite painters, the most passionate without a doubt, Frida Khalo!
Describe your creative process, from client/your idea to final design/tattoo. I follow two different approaches , depending from the type of client: when they know exactly what they want, I start drawing following their references, with size and placement in mind. But they often want my designs so I show them my flashes to help them pick one.. I constantly draw and bring my drawings with me, this waythey can see the clean lines. I try to give them an idea of the final result, even if they often let me guide them!! I like both ways, as long as there is flexibility and both parts keep their minds open.
What do you do when you are not tattooing? Good question! We don’t live of needles and colors! I’ve chosen to work 3 days a week, in order to have 4 free days (unless I’m a guest in other shops)! I havepersonal paintingprojects, so I can do something different from my usual style! I do yoga, cook a lot, love nature and when I can I do long walks (Rome is full of concrete, I look for green corners where I can relax), I read a lot, walk my beautiful dog, and during the weekendI drink beer like there’s no tomorrow ahah! Friends and family are the reason I’m back in Rome after years! But most of all, I travel everytime I have a few free days! It’s my biggest passion along with tattooing and I couldn’t live withouth both of them.
What do you look for in a tattoo artist, as a client and collector? I want my tattoos to be recognizable! It doesn’t have to be clean and perfect. Sometimes I go crazy for a specific tattoo artist, and then I have to be tattooed from him/her. Sometimes I know the artist in person, and then it all starts from empathy. It’s important to have good vibes from him/her! I don’t like to be tattooed from cold, distant people, in the end I’ll wear their ideas forever, so I like to have a connection with them.
Free space, say what you want. Thank you! I’m a lucky person, If I can live of what I love, it’s mostly cause of people like you that support me and my works!! So thank you!
Claudia Ottaviani Tattoo artist at Swan Song Tattoo, Rome
I used watercolour for this piece on A4 Fabriano. Tiny bit of pastel at the end.
Lots have been asking where I get my ideas from. I want to help you guys 😊😊 I love lots of different artist’s work and it’s great to look at other artists to gain ideas. But at the end of the day your imagination is unique to you 😊 look inward for your ideas, explore your imagination, that’s all I do 🙈✨😊
Natural mica goes into numerous products without anyone realising, since it is not listed as ingredient in car paints, decorative paints, plastic products, hairdryers, toasters and much more. Child labour is a part of our everyday life but no one knows about it.
Aysel Sabahoglu, children’s rights officer of Terre des Hommes Netherlands, a Dutch NGO that works to protect children’s rights
Gotch was an EnglishPre-Raphaelite painter and illustrator. He studied art in London and Antwerp before he married and studied in Paris with his wife, Caroline, a fellow artist. Returning to Britain, they settled into the Newlyn art colony in Cornwall. He first made paintings of natural, pastoral settings before immersing himself in the romantic, Pre-Raphaelite romantic style for which he is best known. His daughter was often a model for the colourful depictions of young girls. His works have been exhibited at the Royal Academy, Royal College of Art and the Paris Salon.