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Tattooing is an art like any other

20 May 2010 / 12:05:26  GRReporter
7791 reads

Victoria Mindova

When we talk about Greece and life in Athens I cannot not tell you about Vaso. She is a tattoo artist, mother and a very charming woman with girlish beauty. She always has a sunny smile for everyone and a very contagious laughter. She works hard and likes the things she does. If people were radiating colors, hers would be some of the most brilliant and vivid, flaming ones. In love with her family and Rock & Roll, from an early age Vaso gives in to art and subsequently proceeds with determination to her passion for tattoos, which was her great dream, and success (as proven later). 

She was born in the USA but grew up in Greece. When the time comes to decide - outside or inside Greece - comes her great love, which answers many of her questions. She takes care of her two favorite men - her son and her husband and loves to travel. 

Tattooing is an art like any other 

It all started when I went to study at the Art Academy. I have always painted, but in the academy I enrolled in sculpture. I like the process in sculpture. Before that I finished school for goldsmiths, the benefit of which was that I started making rings. Besides this I have always liked tattoos, and many of my friends had some. Towards my third-fourth year I decided that I wanted to become a tattoo artist. I was 21 and I had no idea what would happen and if I am going to be good at this job. I was just determined that I wanted to learn. Tattooing as a process is directly related to visual arts, which I knew by that point, and generally this type of artistic expression and aesthetics attracted me. Tattoos for me are just another kind of artistic expression. 

First opportunity 

The first opportunity I had was at the International Tattoo Convention in Athens organized by Studio Medusa. The organizers, who were my friends, invited me to participate in the convention, by selling rings I have made. I already had my first tattoo. They gave me my own booth for free. At that point I had only two models of rings. Days before the convention I made another ten model so I can have something to sell. It was a great opportunity for me, and there I met all tattoo artists from Greece and some from abroad. It was a great experience. So far I only knew Vassilis from studio Medusa, who made my first tattoo and invited me to the convention. There I met Tolis, with whom we work until this day, but also with Dimitris from Derma Graphics Tattoo, where I learned how to tattoo. Dimitris invited me to his studio whenever I felt ready to start learning how to tattoo. 

Day after graduating from the academy, I was in front of Derma Graphics Tattoo in Kordalio. I went every day for a year and a half. I was not working with clients but I spent the whole day next to Dimitris, who showed me different techniques and ways of working. He explained to me in detail about all the tools, processes and everything one needs to know in order to become a tattoo artist. During the last six months of my stay in Derma Graphics I found my first two clients. I was very nervous, but nevertheless I had an accurate idea of what to do. The truth is that while studying, I was getting up early each day so that I can be in the studio on time and at night I was going home after "work" at ten in the evening. I was absorbing all information that I was given and so my first works were surprisingly good. 

Then I went to Eight Ball Tattoo where I continued to learn but I also worked. First I was working with friends who knew and trusted me and, then slowly, slowly clients started coming in. 

Parental control? 

At first my parents were not all that enthusiastic when I told them that I want to be a tattoo artist. My dad was a chef, and my mom took care of the family and the house. They thought that it will be much better for me to focus on my major and become a fine arts lecturer. I had the diploma and I could have become a teacher...and I also really liked it. I knew this would be a secure job, but my attraction to my tattooing proved stronger. When they saw that with this job I can be financially independent, they somehow calmed down. However, regardless of their concerns in the beginning, they did not push me. Over time, they got used to the idea and sometimes they even send my clients. 

Girls can make tattoos! 

Some of the difficulties I encountered in the beginning were the get the colors to look as I wanted, because the color in a tattoo is actually the most difficult part, at least for me. Another problem was that when I started working there were many regular customers who did not want me to tattoo them, because I am a girl. Even though they liked my work. Until that point there were not that many women tattoo artists in Greece and we seemed to customers somewhat unnatural. When such clients came to the studio they said want model they wanted and turned to everyone else but me, as if I were transparent or invisible. This continued for about two or three years before I became recognized and people heard about that Vaso from Eight Ball Tattoo is doing a good job. Now I have my own customers who come specifically to me. 

One day of a tattoo artist mother 

Tags: tattoo Athens Greece
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