Realism is the style that she has chosen for her tattooing for the lifelikes qualities it offers; to her every tattoo is a unique canvas in which she pours part of her soul.
Lena Diamanti is a Greek-born artist who lives in New York and who invests her heart and soul in each and every project she creates. Here is her fairytale story in which a dream has come true.
Hi Lena it is a pleasure to meet you. You are Greek by origin but living in New York. Quite a jump! Would you like to tell us about yourself from here?
My story unfolds like a tale—a fairytale or a nightmare, depending on the perspective one chooses to embrace life! I am Lena Diamanti, hailing from a small town in Greece. However, this year, yes!
I am fortunate enough to call New York my home. Recently, I had the privilege of being selected for an exceptional campaign by FK Iron, celebrating the indomitable spirit of women and their unwavering dedication to hard work and achieving their goals—the so-called “Wonder Woman.” During this incredible experience, I had the honour of meeting accomplished women in the industry and hearing their remarkable stories. Today, I wish to share my own journey and shed light on how I, as a woman, embarked on my path in this industry.
How did it happen?
Artistry was never part of my plans. Coming from a financially struggling family, I took on various jobs just to make ends meet—waitressing, being a barista, and working as a cleaner. Often, I found myself juggling multiple roles simultaneously. I understand that many of you may resonate with this feeling all too well. However, let me assure you that what may seem like a disadvantage can actually be a superpower in life.
My journey began six years before the tattoo craze took hold. It was during that time that I encountered a mentor who became a lifelong companion.
It all started with a casual conversation over coffee with a school friend who had just gotten her first tattoo.
“You draw so beautifully,” she exclaimed. “You should try this too. You would be great!” Almost impulsively, I replied, that’s not for me! But my husband challenged me, asking, “Why not?” The very next day, I took my first steps. A close friend of my husband had opened his own tattoo studio and offered me an opportunity. However, it wasn’t long before I found myself with more questions than answers. Back then, finding information about tattoos online was scarce. Artists were reluctant to share their knowledge or offer guidance, especially in my native language, as my English was very limited at that time…
So, George dedicated himself to spending countless hours online, scouring for any valuable information, watching videos, and tirelessly translating the most useful tips for my practice. And so, it began. The man who knew nothing about tattoos became my guide, teaching me everything about this beautiful art form. I began experimenting, carving my own path within this world. Eight months later, I received my first collaboration offer from a tattoo shop, which unfortunately didn’t turn out as I had envisioned.
In 2023, having a social media manager, videographer, or photographer as part of an artist’s team is commonplace. However, in 2015, it was a foreign concept. This led to numerous shops across Europe dismissing me contemptuously. It was reminiscent of the stories I heard from other women who took their initial steps 25 years ago.
Do feel there was discrimination?
Imagine the challenges faced by women in an industry predominantly surrounded by men, during a different era with a different mindset. While I may not have experienced the same level of oppression as those who came before me, I encountered disdain and non-acceptance for being different—deviating from the established norms of what an artist, a professional, and a woman should be. However, my greatest mistake would have been allowing these judgments to affect me.
On the contrary, negative comments fueled my determination to prove my true worth.
And let me be clear, my words encompass not just my own worth but the worth of all women in this industry. The first, fifth, seventh, and tenth shop may have had their own standards, preferring not to embrace our unique collaboration. But fast forward to today, and I now have the privilege of collaborating with the most prestigious tattoo studios across America and receiving invitations from around the world.
Let’s talk about your tattoos today. How did you get across Realistic?
Realistic tattooing felt like a natural choice for me. I’ve always been captivated by the lifelike qualities it offers. The ability to recreate intricate details and evoke strong emotions through my art was something that truly resonated with me. It’s a style that allows me to bring the essence of my subjects to life, and that’s incredibly fulfilling.
Realism isn’t something I consciously decided on; it’s more like it found me.
From the very start of my artistic journey, I felt a strong pull towards this style. It’s about creating tattoos that not only look realistic but also carry a story and meaning, often deeply personal to the client. My goal is to make each tattoo a unique work of art that reflects the essence of the person wearing it.
What is your personal imprinting that makes them own yours?
What truly sets my work apart is the heart and soul I invest in each and every project. To me, every tattoo is a unique canvas, and I pour a part of my soul into it. It’s not merely about creating beautiful visuals; it’s about crafting a piece of art that resonates deeply with the person wearing it.
What about the most important technical aspects to be sure of the lasting of your colours and shades?
With every project, I embark on a journey alongside my clients, and I feel deeply honoured to be a part of their stories. I don’t just ink designs; I encapsulate emotions, memories, and aspirations. Each stroke of the needle carries a piece of their narrative, their identity, and their essence.
It’s a profound connection that transcends the mere visual.
So, when you choose to adorn your body with one of my creations, you’re not just getting a tattoo; you’re getting a piece of my passion, my creativity, and my dedication. It’s a collaboration, a fusion of your vision and my artistry, and I take immense pride in that. Your tattoo becomes a living, breathing testament to your uniqueness, and that’s what sets my work apart in this world of ink.
And what are the things you have acquired from a technical point of view to ensure that the shape and colour of your tattoos last?
When it comes to the technical side of tattooing, is a discussion that can go on for hours and hours, but for me hygiene is paramount. I leave no room for compromise in ensuring the safety of my clients. I’ve also delved into the intricacies of ink pigments, how they interact with different skin types, and what it takes to maintain the vibrancy of tattoos over time. Proper aftercare is crucial, and I make sure my clients are well-informed about how to care for their tattoos.
Where do you work at the moment and where can our readers find you?
I’m Located in Soho Manhattan at Hustlebutter Tattoo Gallery, and you can find me at various highly respected tattoo studios across the country. I’m constantly on the move, so I encourage you to stay updated by following my Instagram
How do you want to wind up this chat with us?
If there’s one wish I have for each of you from my story, it is that your own fairytale always concludes with a happy ending. I was fortunate to find my prince, and I wish for you to find the person, the willpower, and the strength to persevere where others give up. By doing so, you will create your own fairytale, and I promise you, it will always have a happy ending.