Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Best Tokyo Japanese Tattoo

Carlos aka Captain is a Brazilian born tattoo artist who runs Tattoo Church Studio in Tokyo, Japan. Tattoo Church has invited some of the top international tattoo artists to appear there and have built up such a good reputation that people from all over the world go there to be inked. Let Carlos give you the word up on life as a tattoo artist…

TattooCarlos can you give me a little background about yourself?

I was born and raised in Brazil and moved to Japan when I was 20. I was never really interested in getting tattooed or tattoos themselves until I discovered tattooing in Japan.

What made you decide to become a tattoo artist?

When first I started to live here, the language was a huge barrier even my parents though were Japanese, but I never really studied the language seriously to the point of using it in dialogue. So, I started to watch
videos to learn the language and then I found a big section of Yakuza movies in the video store. Since I started to watch those, all the tattoos painted on the actor’s bodies just caught my eye!

TattooDid you apprentice under a sensei or master?

No unfortunately. I started to get tattooed right after I saw these movies by myself (not a thing people should do at home!) and later found tattooists doing their trade. At that time more than 10 years ago,
tattooists didn’t have shops or never advertised on magazines. The more I got tattooed, the more my interest grew. Finally I ended up buying my own equipment and starting to tattoo at home again (never learn!)

How has your style of tattooing developed over the years and who are your main influences?

My style developed naturally, always trying to answer the clients requeststhe best I could. I was fortunate enough to have a chance to work in Japan and abroad in various shops with different artists. They are the
ones who gave me the help I needed and inspired my work like Russo (Brazil), Shad (Belgium), Sabinne Gaffron (Germany), Shiryu(Niigata-Japan), Houryu (Tokyo-Japan) and many others. Also the clients I met always asked for different stuff, so I suppose they encouraged me to open my eyes and always keep myself open to different styles.

What is your preferred style of tattoo for example Japanese, Traditional, old-school etc?

I mainly work with tribal and Japanese but as I said it is the client decides what they wish to get and my work is to answer these requests the best I can, I guess.

TattooI noticed when I was in Japan that it was mostly females who had visible tattoos. What would you say is most popular style of tattoos you do in Tattoo Church?

Mostly tribal and Japanese. Now I have an apprentice named Harley Davidson (real name!) and he’s a young
gun from Brazil as well, specializing in the chicano/pachuco black & gray style. We have many guests coming from all the corners of the globe, so I guess we have a good variation of artists and styles to
the demand of the clients.

How would you compare the Japanese style of tattoos to the Western way of tattooing?

It is different the way we treat the clients I guess. In the places I worked in the West, I felt like the relationship was more like friends. Here in Japan the clients kinda look up to the tattooists…that is not
a bad thing but we ‘re trying to break down any barriers that may build between both parties so we can create an environment were people don’t feel intimidated to ask questions or place requests.