I talked to Mihai Florin Liviu, a tattoo-artist from Iasi, with about 14 years experience in this field. He started to practice as most of tattoo-artists do – with photocopier ink and a home-made tattoo-machine – technique he is very respectful for, considering it some kind of a “sacred”, original age for him! The tattoo images he found back then on Internet made him taking a shot in the domain. “I was hanging out with may PC owners pals and browsing through tattoo photos I thought to myself Shiiit, I can do this! Awesomeness and coolness are two things I exploited with no shame, if you know what I mean”.
He is apparently a lone wolf in his activity field, with no affiliation whatsoever, but this status it’s not one Mihai is proud of. “I don’t want to be a lone wolf”, he says. “People need other people, physically, spiritually, financially, the thing is, a lot of them are too ignorants, vains or they don’t have the balls to admit it. Any collaborations are in pending for now!”
There’s no tattoo-artists community in Iasi!
Mihai experimented the first tattoo on his own skin, and even he doesn’t remember what they really represented (because there are many!), he loves them and says he won’t cover’em ever. Now, he’s inking anyone who demands it, with anything: “I tattoo anything and I don’t reject any requests, even if they’re fractals or repetitional like, you know, butterflies, sweet hearts, ribbons or other related stuff. Because when you refuse a tattoo just because you’re not in the mood for it, that means you’re an ignorant uncultivated morron. A relationship established with the client is very important, and the rejection is no part of it!”
The artist had once his own salon, but some unfortunate affairs determined him to shut it down and even work at home for awhile. He stopped doing that because of hygiene issues and his lack of privacy. One of his disappointments is the fact that there’s no tattoo-artists community in Iasi. “There are tattoo-salons in Iasi, but no community. A community where some deep tattooed bearded guys could exchange experiences, ideas or advices. Unfortunately, hatred and envy are more important. They’re number one, as Salam would say!”
I’ve been chosen to be the creative tool, the pipe beauty is being released through
I asked him if tattoos are for everybody, explaining that there are some people who do it to mark an important event, while others choose a tattoo which symbolize something special for them. “Who are these people you’re talking about?”, he answered with another question. “Are they the ones who are doing serious research about tattoo history and how all the process is working? Then yes! A tattoo fundamentally characterize us. Untill then, it remains only a drawing on skin. Culture thirst is a need, not a necessity! I don’t think I’ll have to answer if tattoos are for everybody. I’ve been chosen to be the creative tool, the pipe beauty is being released through. Deity-me-community, an educational and cultural form. That’s what tattoo-art is for me!”
Talking about tattoo-art, I asked him to explain his opinion about tattoo as artistic expression. “No matter how much experience you have (in any fields), you’ll always have something to learn, to improve. You’ll never reach the climax”, Mihai said. He continued: “I don’t consider myself an artist (for now), but it’s cheering me up when society decides that I am one! Of course, tattooing is an art and it deserves all the credits for that. I don’t see any value differences between Rembrandt and Victor Portugal, for instance. Before pyramids were built, tattoos had more meanings and less art. Fecundity, decoration, religious symbolistics and spiritual devotion, social status, if I killed more lions than you, and so on. If interested, I recommend for reading A brief history of tattoos, by Mark Smith”.
If you want get a tattoo, no matter the reasons, check out Mihai’s Facebook Page, where are listed more of his works. “The reason burns inside the reader, but if he needs more oil, take a look Here“, the tattoo artist concluded.