Style + Beauty

The Art of the Tattoo: Lupo Horiokami
"The Art of the Tattoo" is going across the globe to talk to Italy-based artist Lupo Horiokami of Mushin Tattoo. Now tattooing for over 14 years, Lupo opens up about his passion for the unique Japenese "irezumi" style and why the industry means so much to him.  Plus, be sure to check out some of his most eye-catching work below! How did you get your start?I have always been passionate about drawing and painting, and I did a lot of graffiti back when I was younger, so it came naturally to me that the next step would be tattooing. What's your tattoo style of choice?My style of choice is the Japanese style. I love the traditional "irezumi." I think of it as a complete form of tattooing where you put your spirit and mind into your art and creative process. You learn something new every day, and that's important to me. I'm also very into Japanese culture and Zen philosophy, so it fits me well. What do you think makes tattoos special?Sometimes to an "untrained eye," tattoos can look similar. But when you take a closer look, you'll see that they are not, because every artist puts their mind and personality into every drawing they make. When you draw a dragon a million times, every time it's going to look different because of how you're feeling or working in that particular moment, and that's what makes it unique and special. Tattoos seem so mainstream now. Is that good or bad?I think it's neither good nor bad, but it depends on whether you do it to be "cool" — then I don't think it's OK. but if you feel like you have something to transmit and express to the world and you put your heart in what you do, then it's something positive for the tattoo culture. Do you see a current trend in the industry? I believe there are trends in all fields of work, but I don't care that much about "the new cool style" at the moment, or if one color is more trendy than another. I know what I like and stick to it. Do you have any funny tattoo stories? What about horror stories?I have many horror stories and funny ones too, not so much about tattoos but about customers. I try to forget about them, but it's not that easy. I love my job, but sometimes people can be a bit strange. For privacy reasons, I'd better not list them here. Which piece of work has been your favorite?Every tattoo is special to me if I have the right feeling with the customer, but of course I love to tattoo very close friends of mine and important people in my life. Then, it's not important what kind of tattoo it is or how big it is. What inspires you? A lot of things inspire me. It could be things around me in my everyday life, or friends and artists that I know, and, of course, other artists that I admire like Hokusai, Kuniyoshi, Yoshitoshi, Kunisada, Hiroshige, Kyosai and Horiyoshi III. Do you have a message for aspiring artists?Keep studying the art of tattoo, because the soul of tattooing is in the drawing; it's not the actual making of the tattoo. The tattooing is just one part of the world of tattooing. See some of Lupo's incredible work below.
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Right Sleeve

(Lupo Horiokami)

Right Sleeve

(Lupo Horiokami)

Right Sleeve

(Lupo Horiokami)

Back

(Lupo Horiokami)

Back

(Lupo Horiokami)

Lupo at Work

(Lupo Horiokami)

The Art of the Tattoo: Lupo Horiokami

"The Art of the Tattoo" is going across the globe to talk to Italy-based artist Lupo Horiokami of Mushin Tattoo. Now tattooing for over 14 years, Lupo opens up about his passion for the unique Japenese "irezumi" style and why the industry means so much to him.  Plus, be sure to check out some of his most eye-catching work below! How did you get your start?I have always been passionate about drawing and painting, and I did a lot of graffiti back when I was younger, so it came naturally to me that the next step would be tattooing. What's your tattoo style of choice?My style of choice is the Japanese style. I love the traditional "irezumi." I think of it as a complete form of tattooing where you put your spirit and mind into your art and creative process. You learn something new every day, and that's important to me. I'm also very into Japanese culture and Zen philosophy, so it fits me well. What do you think makes tattoos special?Sometimes to an "untrained eye," tattoos can look similar. But when you take a closer look, you'll see that they are not, because every artist puts their mind and personality into every drawing they make. When you draw a dragon a million times, every time it's going to look different because of how you're feeling or working in that particular moment, and that's what makes it unique and special. Tattoos seem so mainstream now. Is that good or bad?I think it's neither good nor bad, but it depends on whether you do it to be "cool" — then I don't think it's OK. but if you feel like you have something to transmit and express to the world and you put your heart in what you do, then it's something positive for the tattoo culture. Do you see a current trend in the industry? I believe there are trends in all fields of work, but I don't care that much about "the new cool style" at the moment, or if one color is more trendy than another. I know what I like and stick to it. Do you have any funny tattoo stories? What about horror stories?I have many horror stories and funny ones too, not so much about tattoos but about customers. I try to forget about them, but it's not that easy. I love my job, but sometimes people can be a bit strange. For privacy reasons, I'd better not list them here. Which piece of work has been your favorite?Every tattoo is special to me if I have the right feeling with the customer, but of course I love to tattoo very close friends of mine and important people in my life. Then, it's not important what kind of tattoo it is or how big it is. What inspires you? A lot of things inspire me. It could be things around me in my everyday life, or friends and artists that I know, and, of course, other artists that I admire like Hokusai, Kuniyoshi, Yoshitoshi, Kunisada, Hiroshige, Kyosai and Horiyoshi III. Do you have a message for aspiring artists?Keep studying the art of tattoo, because the soul of tattooing is in the drawing; it's not the actual making of the tattoo. The tattooing is just one part of the world of tattooing. See some of Lupo's incredible work below.

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