In just over a decade, realistic tattooing has gone from an anomaly attempted by a few to the dominant style in the world. Today, artists like Homandski are constantly pushing the boundaries and redefining people’s expectations of what a tattoo artist is capable of on a daily basis. Originally from Sweden, Homandski performs stunning realistic tattoos in color and black and gray. Just as the style has grown exponentially over the years, so has Homandski. We sat down and chatted with him about how he started his career before he even could drive, what made him fall in love with art, how he developed his skills of realism and well Moreover.
Tell us how you developed a love for art.
When I was four, I bit my nails with my teeth. So my older sister asked my dad to buy me some pencils, and I’ve been drawing ever since. I started tattooing when I was 15 and loved it from the first moment.
How did you learn to tattoo?
Did you do an apprenticeship or are you self-taught? I started with tattooist friends at home. I made my own machine and my own needles. I consider myself self-taught.
What drew you to realism?
In realism, I have so many options. I have the freedom to express myself. It’s so difficult and eye-catching.
How does a tattoo artist become good at realism? What is the best advice you have received on this subject?
Practice improves any skill, but in realism it all depends on how the artist sees the reference image and how much information he derives from his own imagination. I learned to be open to new ideas and never rush.
Do you prefer the tattoo in black and gray or in color?
I prefer color because, in reality, we see everything in color. But I love black and gray because whenever I do a color tattoo I always start with a black and gray base.
What does your design process look like?
I never rush. Sometimes my design process can take longer than the tattoo itself.
What are some of your favorite images to tattoo?
Portraits, statues, animals and nature.
How do you go about finding references for your creations?
I mostly work freehand or use Pinterest.
What role does composition play in your work?
For me, composition is like the foundation of a building – if it isn’t done solidly, it crumbles.
How do you make sure your work will heal and stand the test of time?
I tattooed myself several times for this. So I know when to shade or wrap the color, how to use the tensions, how much ink needs to be in my greywash, how clean the needle is when I change the melody, and how long the needle needs to be.
What are some of your favorite projects you’ve done and why?
I did a portrait of a client’s daughter holding planet Earth with a bright smile. I like the idea that the tattoo has meaning or sends a message. Another, which I did yesterday, was hiding an old scar on my client’s chest. It totally changed his life.
What advice would you give to your young self?
Focus on what I have always loved, trust myself more and never depend on others.
How do you think you’ve evolved as a tattoo artist and artist?
I do everything with love and accept everyone’s inspiration.