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Tattoo Artist: Roman Kuznetsov
Rebel tattoo artist Roman Kuznetsov began his artistry by drawing on school desks and in notebooks while ignoring his teacher’s lessons. Having supportive classmates who thought he was a good artist only nourished his desire to draw and develop talent. Thinking college was a “waste of time”, Roman enlisted in the Army, where he first began tattooing.
Admiring tattooed rock stars like Tommy Lee and Ozzy Osbourne, Roman’s rebellious nature became clear especially since the Soviet Union banned tattoos unless they were on prisoners. When watching the first music videos in the late 80’s he watched the famous rock stars and was fascinated with them. “I looked at these guys and thought: wow, it is a hell of cool to do something like this, to “paint” on skin and I thought I would love to make it my career.”
Never completing an official apprenticeship, Roman bought his first machine after his military service was completed during a time where he met some professional tattoo artists. He learned how they were doing it and that it could make good money so he “decided to give my child’s dream a real try.” Taking advice here and there, he began his career, and by using Vlad Blad machines (a Russian machine builder), Adam Ciferri, Aaron Cain, and Lucky Supply Ink who supply Intenze, Kuro Sumi, and Dynamic, Roman proves that his childhood dream is a reality by providing breathtaking work.
Having a long list of artists in which he finds inspiration and admiration, Roman doesn’t really choose any one in particular. He realizes that there are many talented artists and it is evident by the many posted on the Internet, and by the constant flow of artists on Instagram, the new talent never ceases to flow. “You can find someone new, an artist whose style makes you wonder how in the hell he did that.” This is not to say however, that Roman takes inspiration from only other art, but he finds it within everyday life as well.
Working with different styles of tattooing, Roman enjoys them all, be it realism, new school, old school, but his favorite is when he can use color and works to make his work stand out the best way he can. It is important that his clients are both happy and satisfied with their tattoos.
The tattoo world is filled with interesting people as well as interesting tattoos. Roman is not surprised by any tattoo requests, but some of the clients are very strange indeed. “One day an old lady came to get tattooed by me, she wanted two pieces: a tribal and a panther. She was like 80 and I couldn’t help myself and asked why she wanted to get tattoos. She told me that she was an undercover KGB agent and she needed tats to infiltrate a criminal gang. She was hilarious, but it was still a little weird to tattoo her.”
Roman’s advice to anyone who wishes to live up to their childhood dream is this: “Take a sober view of your own abilities and to not rush in. It is a big responsibility, ink is gonna be there forever.” This is so true and important; artists are definitely taking big responsibilities when deciding to permanently place artwork on people’s skin.
See more of Romans work here
Written By: Heather Martini