We started this somewhere in February, but with the COVID-19 outbreak, everything stopped. The tattoo industry and the rest of the world. Now many months later, Artem Koro and I have had a chance to talk again.

The artist based in Tel Aviv, Israel, has been helping his family as that takes priority during the COVID. But like everyone, Koro needs to pay bills, so he has continued to push himself to experiment and propel his art forward.

You were always on the road, yet with the COVID-19, your travelling has stopped.
I think travelling is essential at the beginning of a tattooing career. For me, travelling is part of who I am. I like to travel, meet new people, learn new things, and share my knowledge.

The COVID situation sucks. It has changed everything! I don’t have much to say about it, but I hope that things will go back to normal soon.

Do you think the tattoo industry will thrive again?
I don’t know how it’s going to be. But I want to believe that it’s going be good again, and I am trying to stay positive.

Artem Koro
Collarbone tattoo was done on client Klara.

You travel with your partner and tattooer, Shiran. Is the journey better when shared?
Yes, absolutely. Every time we travel together, it is perfect; you have someone by your side — together, we share many beautiful moments in crazy places. For example, we lived for two months in an RV in Miami; we went to Brazil, there we did guest spots in Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo, Curitiba … We traveled to Uruguay, one of the cool moments was driving for 28 hours straight on a tour bus that took us from Brazil to Uruguay, and then to Argentina. We’ve been to Europe together, places like Germany, Holland, Belgium, and Spain.

Usually, Shiran prefers a quiet life without many adventures or travelling, but when we go, it is the best feeling to be together with the person you love!

You’ve mentioned an interest in collaborating with other tattooists. Who have you worked with, and what are your upcoming plans?
Yes, I want to focus on collaborations with artists that I respect and with whom I can have meaningful experiences. I have collaborated with Guga Scharf, Caio Miguel, DaNe, Bradley Silver, Ivana Belakova, and more. Once the traveling situation improves after COVID, I am planning to do a collaborative tattoo with Xoil. I’m very excited! All I can tell you is that it will be a backpiece, but we are still discussing the project.

What was it like working with Long Beach’s Ivana Belakova?
It was a special moment. I appreciate Ivana’s work and style, which has inspired me since the start of my career, so collaborating with her means so much to me! She is a really lovely person. Our tattoo took us about 5 – 6 hours in a single session.

Are you trying to do more significant skin art?
I’m currently trying to change the way I work on my designs, and alter my art style. I’m trying to do bigger projects with fewer colours, like in black ink only. It is my present inspiration and how I feel in terms of creating. Unfortunately, some of my clients don’t like this change, so I have lost a few. But there will always be people interested in the new work, and supportive of it.

Artem Koro
One of our favorite back pieces by Artem Koro.

Are you a perfectionist, or do you fly by the seat of your pants?
I am like a free bird! I like to flow with life and live in the moment. However, I am also a perfectionist. Doing guest spots always requires to be super professional and show the best results because you are working with excellent artists at a shop.

But of course, you need to be professional when working from home, but when you work outside of your studio, there is more responsibility, and I think this also helps you “move forward,” push your limits.

Is tattooing your ultimate passion as a job, or do you see yourself working in other creative fields?
One hundred percent, tattooing is what I love to do the most! I hope to continue doing it for many more years.

But I do have hobbies like inline skating. I’ve been skating since I was a kid (12 – 13 years old). I currently do surfing, Muay Thai, and do weights in outdoor workouts. I started to train with weights because I had back problems, which is a common issue in my field. I am trying to stay strong and healthy to do my passion, which is tattooing!

You can find Artem Koro at Dumiya (Tel Aviv, Israel)
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