Tattoo artist skilled in Blackwork, Dark and Occult styles, Paulo Carvalho (his real name) is here to tell us all the secrets of his job…
Flesher, how did you become a professional “tattooer”?
Well, I had wanted to get into tattooing for a long time but, for some reason or other, never actually did it. I also tried to get an apprenticeship, but the two stores I went to turned me down. At the time money was kind of an issue and I had to give up the idea.
Do you have some special mentors you want to mention or are you a complete DIY artist?
Pedro Guardao, a great friend and also a great Realism artist, helped me out, and I worked at his store for some while, I got the basics there. After I left the store I started practising and trying different stuff on my own skin and some friend’s. Now we are opening a tattoo studio together in Viana do Castelo, Portugal.
Can you satisfy my curiosity and tell me where you got the nickname “Flesher” from? It’s a very direct and straight to the point…
That’s a common one! (laughs) Flesher – a person or machine fleshing hides or skins. I thought it was appropriate.
Where does your creepy work surface from? Does the customer just say the name of a subject – for example, H.P. Lovecraft, Wolverine or Joker – and you start drawing? Is that the way it goes?
Usually clients choose from my flashes, I am always drawing and the flashes get taken up fairly easily. Obviously I also do custom works, and yes, the client gives me a theme and I start developing it.
How much pathos do you put into working on a H.P. Lovecraft tattoo? Are his books and vision an influence on you?
Yes, I love H.P. Lovecraft, he was the father of a lot of the stuff that’s out there nowadays. I also watch a lot of movies, and filmmakers like George Romero, David Lynch, John Carpenter, Lars Von Trier, etc. have a huge presence in my work and aesthetics too.
What would be the favourite horror movie of all times for a guy like you?
Ouch, that is a really hard one, there are way too many. I love classic horror and those really gore B-rated movies.
The non digital special effects gave them another kind of magic and substance.
Do you listen weird heavy music when you’re concentrating on tattooing?
Yup, especially Spice Girls! (kidding obviously). Yes, I usually listen to some weird atmospheric music, sometimes even horror movie soundtracks but more often than not to some sludge or doom metal.
I have seen a very romantic picture on your Instagram official page. You and your girl tenderly kissing near a window. So you don’t believe exclusively in darkness, misery and doom… You believe in love, man!
Love all the way! (laughs) Of course I do! My style doesn’t imply that I have to stay locked in a dark dungeon drinking virgin’s blood! I am actually a pretty cheerful and fun guy. Yes, that was my girlfriend. She is a Succubus, she was actually draining my soul. By the way, a big kiss to her.
Last question: upcoming conventions or guest spots scheduled by Flesher Tattooer for the summer of 2019?
I will be tattooing in Madrid in early June, after Barcelona which is fully booked. After that Milan and Antwerp for now.