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Tags:   Tattoos,   Art,   Career

By Mila Camilleri   -  December 26, 2014

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Next up in our Inked Up series is PEJXU, owner of Inksane Skin Art studio in St Julian's. He told SWAG all about his love of art, his start as a tattooist and the best part of his job.



How long have you been tattooing?


I’ve been tattooing professionally since 2011. It’s hard to say what got me into a change of medium. I always painted and have had my work exhibited both locally and abroad. At one point, thanks to Tony Seymour from Lazy Bandit Tattoo, who is my mentor, I started learning tattooing and made the transition from canvas to skin.



Are there any artists or tattooists that have influenced you?  


Lippo, Matteo Pasqualin, Den Yakovlev, Phil Garcia, Carlos Torres... these are some of the artists whose work I look up to. However, influences come not only from tattoo artists. I love Escher's work, as well as Klimt, Pollock, Kandinsky. These can all be sources of insight for ideas.



Do you have a style of tattoo that you prefer to do? 


I enjoy Realism, but lately water colour-style work has taken my interest – creating paintbrush or dripping effects on the skin, or the illusion that it was not worked on with needles. My first such tattoo was featured on Skin Shots, an international tattoo magazine and this gave me the motivation to keep at it and explore the style.



What was the first tattoo you ever did?


I was 13 years old when I tattooed myself for the first time. I did it in school, during a Geography class.



What did your family and friends think about you getting into the tattoo business?


Everybody was supportive, and I would like to thank them for that. I started tattooing in my thirties, so it’s hard to picture a scenario where anyone would object to me doing what I want to do.



Are you interested in other forms of art?


As I mentioned before, I’ve had various personal painting exhibitions, the last of which at the Palais des Nations, in Geneve, which was also featured on Euronews. I’ve also done book and magazine illustrations that were also published internationally. I used to work as a professional airbrusher for a good number of years. 



When did you open your studio and what has the experience been like? 


I love what I do, have been working at it since 2011. It was a lot of work opening Inksane Skin Art, as the beginning is always the hardest part.



What would you say is your favourite part of the job?


I love building a tattoo, after the initial preparation is done. The last parts are what give it most life, the magic it needs. I’m very fussy about my work, and spare no details. I also enjoy the first reaction a client gives, after looking at the mirror – it’s rewarding.



If you weren’t a tattooist, what do you think you’d be doing?


I'd be an astronaut! Joking apart, probably painting and travelling.



What would you recommend to someone wishing to get into the tattoo industry?


Perfect your work before you start putting ink on people – a good reputation is easily tainted, but hard to keep immaculate. Also, take no short cuts, the longer way pays better. Stay humble, work hard. Never be careless on the clinical aspect of the trade, it’s as important as producing good artwork is. 



Did you take part in the Malta Tattoo Expo 2014?


Yes I did. I think the organisers did a great job, especially since it was the first one. Kudos to them, totally. The turn out was also good. I was even awarded second place in the Best Convention Colour category so I am happy about that.


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