From Japanese to an unmistakable New Traditional, with a penchant for “Mandalas, eyes, lightning bolts and Japanese masks”: Pablo DE talks to us about his style, his favourite subjects, techniques and the tools of the trade, as well as the two eBooks he has come up with for Tattoo Life…
Hi Pablo, would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi there everybody, I’m Pablo DE and I’m the founder of Tattoolifestyle in Livorno. Right now, apart from being continually present here in my home town, I do periodic colloaborations with another two tattoo shops. The first is Milano City Ink (where I have worked since 2012) and the second is Macko Tattoo Shop in Rome and Bari.
When did you start tattooing and how did you come to develop your style?
I started tattooing around the end of 2001. At the outset, my favourite style was Japanese, but over the years I have really got a taste for New Traditional too.
Has your style changed over the years?
I would say that over time I’ve improved my technique, also thanks to lots of the people I have worked with. At the moment I can’t say that I have ever totally changed my style…I am usually always coherent in what I do.
How important is it for you to paint and draw as well as tattooing?
I draw every day, but in recent years I’m sorry to say I haven’t had much time for painting.
These digital tablets have been the ruin of us (smiles). In 2020, that’s what most peole use for the sake of convenience. They have taken some of the magic out of this craft, but that’s the way it goes, times change.
What are your favourite subjects?
My favourite subjects are mandalas, eyes, lightning bolts and Japanese masks. These are also what my clients most often ask me for.
Each time I try to change something to make the tattoo original, even though I get to repeat the same subject several times.
And what about your favourite techniques?
Until recently, I had always used machines but now I’ve moved on to a “pen”. It was Macko who persuaded me to give it a try and I like how it works. There was a time when needles and grips were made better if you ask me…In recent times I was throwing away more than I was using. Without doubt cartridges are more precise in this sense.
Where did the idea for this eBook of yours come from?
Simply from seeing other eBooks by other tattooists. So I decided to do 50 mandalas and 50 eyes in colour. As I said, these are the subjects I most often get asked for.
What plans have you got for the future?
I don’t have any new plans at the moment. I’ve cut back on guest spots and conventions to have a lot more time to spend with my son. London and Paris are the conventions I would never want to miss out on. Milano City Ink and Macko Tattoo Shop are the only places people can find me when I’m not at Tattoolifestyle in Livorno.
Is there anything you would like to add before we wind up?
Thanks for the space you’ve given me! See you around!