Photo above by Guillermo Vidal.

Emanuel Oliveira


How long have you been tattooing and how did you start your tattooing journey?


I am working as a Professional Tattoo Artist for about 8 years, but my first contact with the world of the tattoo was 2 years earlier. Everything started just by curiosity for trying something different besides just painting with the “regular ways”, in the traditional canvas. Do tattoo is different in every way and that is what captured my attention at some point, a new challenge. So I bought a cheap tattoo kit from china and started to try using it on some friends… Having some crazy friends helped me a lot at that point! 



Do you remember what was the first tattoo you did? If so, tell us what it was and for who.


Yes, out of curiosity, I bought a “tattoo kit” and tried it out for the first time tattooing on a friend. I tattoed a Chinese letter that, in the end, looked more like a Mexican cactus. After that tattoo, I tattooed a few more friends in the following days and, since then, I have never stopped tattooing even though, professionally and full time, just four years later.



Please, tell us about your current tattoo style and how it has changed over the years.


When I started tattooing I was doing everything and pushing me to do any style or kind of work. It was an important period to develop myself but then I focused only on realism. I think that because it was also the style that I liked the most in drawing and painting and also technically speaking it was harder to archive. That’s what fascinated me. The same happened in the tattoo. Although after tattooing realism for some years I got to a point that it looked like I couldn’t feel free anymore… It was just that… to look for a picture from the internet, stencil it, and doing it the most realistic way possible… Even though I love realism, I started to feel empty, as if I was just a printing press, and then I knew that I had to create something different, something more unique and mine. So after trying different things like cutting, splitting, vectorizing I started looking for compositions where I could capture different moments at the same time. Contrasts between colors and grays, mixing graphic elements and putting it all together but in split parts. Then I started to realize that this kind of “no flow” style that I created from these splittings and cuts that I use in my compositions could create a “flow” if they end up balanced and with high contrast. The first work that I did that changed everything was a simple portrait of a mother and a father. I split the booth in halves and combined them together and at the end of the work when I looked at it, it all made sense to me.



Does anyone or anything inspire you?


Yes, some Painters and some Tattoo Artists that I like to see work because it motivates me to do new things. I’m also motivated by things that a see or just random things from daily life that pushes us to create something. Music and movies are also cool things that inspire new ideas!



Are there any tattoo artists who are extremely admirable to you? If so who?


Yes, I have some Artists who are inspiring, but on my top Artists, I can say that Dmitriy Samohin and Robert Hernandez are my choices. I really admire their work and unique styles. 



Do you have any memorable tattoo story or a customer that has stuck with you through all the time you have been tattooing?


We deal with a lot of clients every day so many things happen, and soo many stories, that only the crazy ones or the most sentimental ones stay in mind.

Maybe a project that I did recently of a Portuguese guy who went to get married in the White Chapel of Elvis Presley, Las Vegas, and then went to do all the Route 66 as Honey Moon and made a tattoo of all the wedding and places they visited… It was a fun project to do and really cool wedding for sure.



Is there any art form that fascinates you also except tattooing? Maybe do you have any other passion or something that you really enjoy doing? 


Painting is the answer. I love painting. It all started from there and then evolved to tattooing. But still, anytime I get free space, painting is the form of art that fascinates me.

Also, something I really like to do besides tattooing is sport and running, it’s my escape from everything.



Do you like visiting or exhibiting at tattoo conventions? Would you recommend any of them?


Yes, of course. I participate in Conventions every year and it’s something I am planning on continuing to do. It’s something that I really like to be part of.

I would recommend The London Tattoo Convention, which unfortunately ends up this year, also the Mondial du Tatouage in Paris, Stockholm Ink Bash in Stockholm, and Venice Tattoo Convention.



Any artist you planning to get tattooed by? Who has tattooed you already?


My tattoos are mainly from Dmitriy Samohin but I also plan to be tattooed by other great artists that I like such as Robert Hernandez, Domantas Parvainis, Mashkow…



What are your plans and dreams? If you think about yourself in 10 years, what do you see?


My focus will always be my work and to evolve in the world of tattooing, search for new styles and new forms to interpret the tattoo. It is a constant search that I do.



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