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Sake Tattoo Studio
FRESHLY INKED: What year did you start tattooing?
SAKE: I started tattooing in 2001.
How did you get into tattooing?
I was looking for a job, since I needed some money for my vacation. At this particular time I visited a tattoo convention as a good friend of mine was working in a tattoo studio. His idea was to introduce me to the owner of the studio, and he showed some interest to my sketches. He hired me there to help with the tattoo designs, because I was very much into graffiti art then. I never intended to become a tattoo artist, of course—until my boss convinced me to hold a tattoo machine in my hand and try to use it. That was all for me. Suddenly my life had a meaning.
Where did you apprentice?
I started as an apprentice in Barcode Tattoo and then in Live in Color studio.
What conventions have you worked at? What are some of your best convention memories?
I have worked in conventions in Milan, London, Manchester, and some others in Europe as well as a Los Angeles tattoo convention, and in Athens also. My most touching memory was when I first visited the London Convention. Then I wasn’t working, but it was the first time I saw so many tattooed people and so many artists. It was an unforgettable experience.
How do you describe your style?
Definitely subversive. And “street.” Realistic images with graphic backgrounds.
What inspires you as an artist?
What really inspires me most is contradiction. I enjoy the contrast between something perfect and something destroyed.
What sets you apart from other artists?
The shuffle of realistic topics with several other painting techniques.
What other mediums do you work in?
I work with sprays, pencils, watercolors, and markers.
How have you branched out from tattooing?
For me it started backward. I started my career with graffiti and then with all ways of painting. Then my great love of art and painting led me to my current profession, this of the tattoo artist. Me and the crew of my tattoo studio are trying to combine art with tattoos lots of times. That is why we always enjoy taking part in painting exhibitions or other kinds of art shows.
What tattoo artists do you admire most?
Mike the Athens, Xed Le Hed, Jondix, Nikko Hurtado, Carlos Torres, Jesse Smith, Timmy B, Derek Noble.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
Realistic full-body tattoos with large graphic backgrounds.
Is there a tattoo that you haven’t done yet that you are dying to do?
I would really want to do tattoos close to Kubicki’s style, who I personally think is a great graphic designer.