A friendly chat with Augustin, the owner of Astin Tattoo studio in Cordoba. Let’s get to know him better and take a look at his work in Black and Grey…
Hi Astin, how would you introduce yourself to our readers? Pick three adjectives to define you as an artist, and three as a person…
Hi, how are you? First of all I would like to thank you for this opportunity, and then…well, I will tell you a little bit of me. My stage name is Astin and I have been drawing since I was little. I am passionate about art and culture and the truth is that I never thought I would end up tattooing, but it was clear that I was going to live from drawing. I feel I am very demanding with myself, perfectionist and creative. As far as my personal life is concerned, you could say that I am quite restless, formal, educated and above all, lead a healthy life. That is very important to me, tattooing is a job that requires a lot of concentration and staying in good shape is essential.
When and were did you learn tattooing?
It’s a long story, I need to summarize a little bit! I started, like many artists do, in the world of graffiti and later dedicated myself to airbrushing professionally, even painting some of the best motorcycles that participated in national and international bikes shows – Like Faro, Verona, etc. Thanks to this I became well known in the world of airbrushing and this helped me a lot when I started tattooing. In 2006 I met my friend Macoy at a Bike Show and he proposed tattooing in his studio Stone Stone in Malaga: that’s where it all started, about 14 years ago. Two years after this, I decided to open my own studio. I started tattooing as an apprentice the way it was done in the past, drawing a lot, welding needles and so on. I already knew that I was going to do it well, since I had a very good base in drawing and experience as a painter.
I think it is one more technique, although with a lot of responsibility. Before he used to do all kinds of tattoos and that’s why I can say that I am quite a versatile tattoo artist.
When I started, one day you did a Polynesian tattoo and the next day a Japanese or New School tattoo. That’s the way it was and finally, I declined to what I liked and what I was most comfortable with, which is black and white. When I started tattooing there was not as much information as there is today. Although it is normal, but well…I acquired knowledge that may not be useful to me today, skills like welding needles but… there it is.
What about your style?
My favourite style is Black and Gray Realism and family portraits, I do not like to pigeonhole 100% only in one style and from time to time I like to do something coloured or different from the usual, but only occasionally. Perhaps a point to differentiate in my Black and Gray works is that I usually play a lot with the black shadow and the gray pigments so that I can differentiate the work a little, although it doesn’t work in all tattoos.
What are your favourite subjects?
My favourite works are those in which the client gives me carte blanche. Normally when it comes to a photograph of the design or a design that needs to be modified a lot, I try to make sure there is good strong contrast because a solid tattoo will be good forever.
Tell us more about your studio and the tattoo scene in Córdoba…
My studio is called ASTIN TATTOO and it is located in Spain, more specifically in Aguilar de la Frontera, a small town south of Córdoba. The studio is very welcoming and personal, I work there with my partner Ricardo Villar, and we try to give a very personal quality service., I am very proud to see that many of the clients travel hundreds of kilometers and wait a year or more to get a tattoo with me. Luckily Córdoba is a city where my style is in great demand and we have a lot of work. The skins are not too white but hey hey…
What are your projects and plans for the future?
My future plans are to continue tattooing while I can and improve little by little. When you reach a certain level, moving forward and improving costs more and is a much slower process. We are going through a very strange period and I hope that it will normalize soon so that I will be able to continue travelling to conventions and do what I like the most, enjoying them with my friends.
Is there anything else you want to add?
I want to thank all the people who trusted me from the very outset, organizers, friends and family, and of course my wife for putting up with me at all times.