Today we present to you Ivan Hack and his geometric Black and Grey which reflects his way of thinking and his particular vision of the world. This Muscovite tattooist tells us about his tattoos and the eBooks he has published with Tattoo Life.
Hi Ivan, would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello, my name is Ivan Hack, I’m 35 years old and I am a tattoo artist and designer from Moscow, Russia. Me and my wife run a private studio in Moscow – Planimetry – and travel around the world for conventions.
When did you start tattooing and how would you define your style?
I began tattooing as a hobby in 2009, and in 2013 it turned into a profession with a focus on ornamental and geometric tattoos. While trying out various styles of colour and Black and Grey tattoos, at some point I realized that ornament and geometry best reflects my thinking and world view. Harmonious structures, crystal lattices, something from the depths of matter and the subconscious. It seems to me that Ornamental or Geometric style is the closest to the origins and ritual of initiations, as the true meaning and purpose of tattoo.
Has your style changed over time?
I try not to stand still and to develop and seek inspiration not only within the profession, but rather from the outside – nature, architecture, music, art, literature, ethnic fabrics or embroidery influence and transform my thinking, and as a result affect the style in which I work. In my projects I combine oriental ornament, geometry, optical illusions and Blackwork. Usually I try to find balance in the fusion of several styles. Therefore, today I can tattoo a lotus bud or vajra, and tomorrow it will be an optical composition of squares or triangles.
I always listen to the client’s request, offer some fresh ideas, and try to find a compromise to create an interesting project.
In my opinion, the design should not be a chaotic set of beautiful elements. I feel there needs to be some concept that I carry through from creating a composition on a person’s body to filling it with internal material (geometry and ornaments), which should all fit together so as to reveal the concept.
Is it important for you to also paint and draw apart from tattooing?
Most of the time I devote to vector graphics and drawing on the computer. If I draw on paper, then it is mostly for a specific task or art project. At the moment, my ideas and experiments have already gone beyond the boundaries of a tattoo, and to implement these I have turned to silk-screen printing, laser cutting and drawing on canvas. A human body is enough for many ideas, but some of them are too experimental and extreme to be embodied in a tattoo. I do not like to embody projects on the skin that can create social or other problems for the client carrier. For these purposes, there are other mediums and ways of self expression.
What are your favourite subjects and techniques?
My favourites are geometric patterns of various types of symmetry and kinetic art.
Where did the idea for this eBook come from?
Over the past few months, three of my flashbooks have been released on the Tattoo Ebook platform – tattooebooks.com – (1-mandalas, 2-patterns, 3-optical illusions). It seems to me that these three subjects are the main base or reference needed to create geometric blackwork or dotwork projects. The idea of creating flash books emerged during the process of sorting and organizing the material that I had created over the last 6-7 years of work. I chose the most interesting sketches suited to implementation on the skin, supplementing them with some fresh designs as well.
What plans have you got for the future?
Clothing designs, geometric installations made of wood, and silk-screen printing.