Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?
My name is Bruno and I’m a tattoo artist.
What does your creative career involve? Give us the typical outline of a day?
My career involves dealing with people, designing, painting and tattooing. Usually, I have consultations with clients but most of the time I’m tattooing all day.
What does being an artist mean to you?
Being a tattoo artist means the world to me because I interact with lots of people and I do what I like and most of the time I have fun!
What’s great about your job?
One of the best things about my job is that I can travel to lots of places for work and meet good people. I also get to experience different cultures.
What are the bits you don’t like or find challenging?
What I don’t like about my job is that sometimes people try to tell me how I do my job and I have to try to explain why I have to do it in certain ways.
Do you think there are any misconceptions about your job?
Not so much these days, but not long ago people used to relate tattoos with criminals and gangs. Luckily, it is not like that anymore as people just want to adorn their bodies with art and look awesome.
What are the highlights of your career to date?
It’s hard to point a highlight because it's a long process, and one I’m still going through. But what I find best is being recognised by the tattooers that I have always admired as artists.
What was your career path into this job? Have you also worked outside the Arts?
It’s crazy because I never dreamed about or wanted to be a tattoo artist. Instead, I was chosen to do it. I used to work in design, and people in the same agency would always ask me to make drawings so they could use them to get a tattoo. At one point the guy that was doing the tattoos asked me to come to the shop and invited me to be an apprentice. I said yes and it’s been nearly 20 years now!
Can you describe your biggest challenge so far in your career? How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge of my job is always making sure that I deliver my best to my clients. It requires a lot of research and hard work to generate a good design to the client’s requirements, and at the same time make it look appealing, so it's a fine balance.
Have you noticed any changes in the industry? If so, what?
Yes, the industry is constantly changing and evolving. Nowadays, tattooing is a huge business, completely different than, let’s say five-ten years ago!
You’ve been granted the ability to send a message to a 16-year-old you. What do you say?
That’s a good question, I would tell myself to not waste time and to trust myself more.
Do you have any advice for young people interested in doing your kind of job?
If you are interested in becoming a tattoo artist, you have to work really hard. Study the history of tattoos and the traditional masters, draw every day, go for a solid apprenticeship and be patient because it’s a very hard profession and will take up all of your time.