Graphic tattoos, bold lines and solid colours, a great love of Traditional and its timeless imagery: that just about sums up Gianni Orlandini. To find out more, read our interview or else go to see him yourself in Grosseto (Tuscany) in his shop Luxury Tattoo…

Hi Gianni, would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi everybody! I’m Tuscan and I’ve been tattooing since 2003. I’m resident tattooist in my shop, Luxury Tattoo, in Grosseto. I prefer to work in the Traditional style, but I’m also glad to work in others. Over the years I’ve learned how to be pretty versatile.

Gianni Orlandini, Luxury Tattoo, Grosseto. Italy
Gianni Orlandini, Luxury Tattoo, Grosseto. Italy

When did you start tattooing and how did you develop your style?
I started tattooing by pure chance back in 2003. In the beginning I would never have imagined it could turn into a job. It was hard going in those early days and progress as a self-taught tattooist was slow. There were no courses held by the regional authorities in those days and no such thing as an internship in a professional tattoo shop. In 2007 I opened my shop, but I hadn’t yet identified the style I would rather work in.

I think that then as now, it is really vital to have a good background and mastery of technique is very important so you can say “what I want to do is this”.

Over time I realised that my comfort zone was Traditional, so I started to focus on studying my compositions. Obviously in the meantime I continued to work as a tattooist and tried to satisfy the various requests I got from my clients.

Gianni Orlandini, Luxury Tattoo, Grosseto. Italy
Gianni Orlandini, Luxury Tattoo, Grosseto. Italy

Has it changed over time?
My way of working has changed and fortunately continues to change: it changes in response to influences and personal taste, year after year. A person changes, my way of communicating changes…we can call it “experience” if you like. Personally, over time, I have tried to clean up the drawings as much as possible while trying not to lose the details. During the design stage, I carefully study the distance between the lines, the best way to insert a detail so that it can be graphic and last over time.

How important is it for you to paint and draw as well as tattoo?
Drawing is definitely a fundamental part of the work of a tattooist…I enjoy it and spend a lot of time on planning a tattoo, especially when I have a request for something original and meaningful. Needless to say, painting has been a love of mine for the longest time. In recent years, when I can, I like to paint on paper. Like a lot of fellow tattoo artists I really got to paint a lot during this lockdown. Painting gives you a chance to express who you are, your idea, without compromise or limitations. Something that is hardly ever possible when you’re working on commission.

What are your favourite subjects?
I like tattooing pretty much all of the imagery of the Traditional style. But I have to say that the pieces where I manage to express myself best are definitely figures of people and animals.

And what are your favourite techniques?
I prefer doing graphic tattoos, with bold lines and solid colours, and I guess that this is fairly obvious if you take a look at my portfolio!

Where did the idea for this eBook come from?
For some years now I’ve collaborated periodically with Milano City Ink and one evening, talking with Miki, he told me all about his plan to create a platform where he could load a series of digital sketchbooks by top level tattooists. Needless to say I was on board in a flash.

What plans have you got for the future?
I don’t like making long term plans. One thing is sure though, I will definitely get back to travelling around to work in other places! After the lockdown I still haven’t got back to doing guest spots. I think that today, more than ever, the exchange and input you get from other artists is essential for updating your skills and continuing to grow as a tattooist.

Follow Gianni on Instagram: @gianniorlandinitattooer