It seems like every gifted tattoo artist in Russia could be seen at the Moscow Tattoo Convention this year held at Moscow's exhibition centre "Sokolniki". Fans of the art got to sample the goods, check out the models and participate in exciting workshops. The Russians were also joined by artists from across the globe - Spain, Brazil, China, the UK, Mexico and Australia. Russia Beyond is bringing you the highlights!
“In order to fill up an arm, and make a quality job of it, you’ll need four or five days’ work, five to six hours each day,” tattoo artist Roman Zakrov says. Zakirov’s just snagged second place in the ‘Best Neotraditional Tattoo’ category.
Legs, back and chest usually take longer, “you can do the math.” And in order to cover the entire body, “two whole years are usually needed.”
Tattoos aren’t cheap - just one day’s work spent in the chair of a professional will run you at least 30,000 rubles ($460).
There’s no distinct stylistic approach in Russia, but the nation does have a noticeable penchant for black & white designs, Zakirov notes.
“I specialize in color tattoos myself, but I often get requests to replicate my own designs in black & white,” he adds. “The client’s reasoning is usually that the color variant might require a slightly more outgoing attitude”
It’s also a thing with some Russian men to consider color designs as something a little more for the gay community, so they’ll usually opt for the more “brutal”, classical designs.
According to Zakirov, the face is particularly hard to do. “The face is riddled with capillaries closer to the surface, you have to work more carefully, because the pigments could seep in and create a whole mess of things.”
One of the toughest styles of tattooing is blackwork - the art of covering a large patch of skin entirely in black.
“There are very few artists that can do this well. Such tattoos are more difficult when you take into account that every tiny spot of skin needs to be covered up. Otherwise, you get these bright white blotches against the black background.”
The areas most prone to pain are the elbow, the groin area and the knee. “That’s obvious, since the organism works to protect the circulatory system, and the skin there is slightly different, there are way more nerve endings there. The sensation felt in those places will be different, that’s for sure”.
Your biggest mistake, however, is heading out thinking it’s going to be painful. “In this case, you might just want to stay home,” Zakirov laughs.
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