Vincent Zattera is an Italian tattoo artist from the city of Castelfranco Veneto, near Venice. Like a lot of tattoo artists he always had a passion for painting and drawing which then turned into tattooing. In his free time he enjoy motorbikes and vintage cars, and of course live music! As he says: “Tattoo changed my life. It gave me a way to express myself, opening up a world of new experiences and the possibility to travel and meet fantastic people from many different countries. This is super!”. In my eyes Vincent is not only a very talented guy but also nice and humble person. Nice to look at his focus while working but also listen to what he says. Now you also have the opportunity to get to know Vincent better thanks to this interview. Enjoy!
I remember the first time I saw your work during one of the French tattoo conventions a few years ago. I still remember how it made an impression on me! The tattoos you make are very distinctive. Will you agree with me that it’s very important for you to have your own individual, distinctive style?
You have a good memory! Yes, I think it is necessary to have your own distinctive style, not to be cooler, but because that is you, your being yourself, and each person has different ways to express themselves. Ok there can be some similarities to others but you must have your own distinctive characteristics. Then there will always be an evolution as you grow and develop as an artist through various changes. I see it as a continuous search for ways to express yourself.
How long have you been tattooing and why did you start doing it?
The first time i picked up a tattoo machine i think it was in 2006-2007… I was intrigued by this new world and its expression, I was attracted to it! I remember the first time I picked up a vibrating coil and struggled to hold it! Haha! But what a great emotion! I went to work in a tattoo shop shortly after, doing an old-style apprenticeship. “… By still wielding the needles like this – I was told – you will better understand how to use them and the differences.” Good experience!
I think that the more time you devote to improving your passion and tattooing style, the more you must be upset when someone copies without thinking what you have tattooed to someone else. What do you think about it?
Yes, it bothers me… not so much for the copy in itself, but much more for the lack of respect towards the artists who spend nights thinking and drawing, trying to create something new and different. And it does take time and it’s not easy to come up with something original. I am also bothered by the lack of respect towards those who wear the original tattoo piece. The tattoo design would have such huge personal meaning and value for them but it would get lost and diminished when copied and replicated by others. In addition to tattoo collectors or those who choose a sketch for the simple pleasure of having it, there are those who want a specific tattoo that expresses a personal motif, sometimes private, even of difficult and painful moments in their lives. You can never know the true meaning of a piece.
Life can be unpredictable. Now you are a tattoo artist but who did you want to be before you started tattooing?
It may seem like an obvious answer, but as a child, to the question “what do you want to do when you grow up?” the answer was “to draw” … so I can say I succeeded in this sense! And I feel very lucky about it!!
I have the impression while I’m observing tattoo artists at the turn of many years that less and less of them attach importance to drawing or painting in their free time. How is it with you? Do you think painting is important for tattoo artist nowadays?
I think drawing or painting is very important. How can you evolve and grow yourself as an artist if you don’t have an outlet for your creativity? You have to keep trying, to experiment… Those who are active tattoo artists today will create new ideas and bring innovation.
Nothing specific or defined. I follow everything because everything can be a source of inspiration.
You travel a lot to tattoo conventions around the world. What do you like about such events and what do you pay attention to when choosing an event you want to attend?
I choose the conventions which are the most fun, with a good atmosphere of friendship. I think it is important to find old and new friends and spend good times together! A big party!
I really like asking about people’s dreams and their plans for the future. I think that gives us moments to think about what we are really heading for. What would you most like to achieve as a tattoo artist?
I don’t have a definite plan for the future, because there are always unexpected surprises! To be sure I would like to keep being involved in this tattoo world and continue to have fun like now!