Ilya Cascad


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


It happened accidentally. I was never involved in tattoo industry before 2013. I didn’t even have any tattoos on my body until 2012. I made one tattoo and then another, and it interested me so much that I decided to try it myself. First few years were rather tough for me, because I was not so young starting tattooing. Most of tattoo artists I know started when they were 20-25, someone even earlier, and I was almost 30 and I needed to be very fast with getting all the basics and reaching higher level. I did a lot of researches, I tried a lot of things and in a couple of years I started making huge projects with 3D illusions..



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


Oh, I remember first tattoo I did! It was my friend who came to me and asked to tattoo him. I’ve never tattooed real skin before, and I was very nervous about it. But my friend was pretty sure that I’m the right person. I was very scrupulous about this tattoo, I didn’t know how it comes out. But everything worked out perfectly and his tattoo still looks good ….



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


As many other tattoo artists, I started with absolutely different styles and techniques. But my favorite style was ornamental, because you can create big scale and individual designs. I use mostly dotwork technique for my patterns. I can do huge 3D and at the same time very detailed projects using dotwork. I’m fascinated with illusions, 3D geometric patterns, and I’m still in love with traditional ornamental works (Maori, Polynesian).



Does anyone or anything inspire you?


I’ve been always inspired my ornamental artists from all over the world who create something new and unique. I also get inspiration from ornamental art of different nations and times. I can always find something new in nature.



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


I know and follow the career of a lot of ornamental artists, and I admire their work. It’s gonna be a long story if I list them now.



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


Oh, I had a lot of memorable moments with my customers… To be honest, all my clients are very interesting individuals and they always bring something new to me. And sure I have a lot of pleasant and funny moments with them. When I worked in my shop in Russia, I remember people traveling from US and Europe to Rostov-on-Don in Russia to see me. I remember one guy who flew to me from Israel in February. He never saw winter before and wasn’t prepared for Russian winter. It was touch experience for him, as February is usually the coldest month a year. I also admire clients who can sit 4, 5, 6 and even 7 days back-to-back, because they come from far and want a huge piece in a one time from me. I had a client from another part of Russia who did 7 days in a row. I admire his tolerance, he admired my tolerance in work, though)) Sometimes I have 12,15 and even 17 – hours sessions and I also hero-worship people who can sit still and even enjoy the process.



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? 


I was always fascinated by music. I started doing music way before tattooing and I was big on playing guitar. I had a band called “Cascad Decay”, so you can see a part of band’s name became my artistic name. We played together with my wife, she was a bass player by the way. We were young and light-headed, it was great fun.. Music is a huge world that helps you to live, to come over with some difficulties and feel. I wish I had more time to play. Lately I’ve been obsessed again with the idea to play a little bit for myself, so I’m now in search of a custom guitar I would love. But all in all my only passion right now is tattooing. I’m happy to be a tattoo artist and I’m 100% into it.



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


Sure I love visiting and exhibiting at tattoo conventions! It’s not always an easy thing to a find time and to travel to another country or city for an event, but it definitely always worth that! This is a great chance to see my friends, to meet new people from tattoo industry and artists I’ve never seen before, or to meet the ones I know already, but only in social media and to see their work in real, it’s a great opportunity to meet sponsors and producers whose stuff I use and for sure this is always an amazing show that is a great fun. It gives me some many emotions! Participating in contests also gives you motivation to show more and move further in new crazy projects. After being a judge few times I find it to be extremely exciting, but responsible and hard at the same time. I know that all artist miss conventions this year, so do I…All events are cancelled because of Covid. Hopefully all returns to normal soon and we can travel and attend conventions again.



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


To be honest it’s not an easy thing to be tattooed when you are a tattoo artist, haha….First of all, you have your own vision and it makes difficult to find the right artist…Secondly, you simply don’t have time…. So far I’ve been tattooed by 4 different artists and I’m really honored to have their art on me. All of them influenced my career in some way. They are Denis Tidan, Konstantin Zavadkin, Evgeny Agnisvet and Maxim Zhuravlev. Now I plan to do my back and finish legs, so I look forward to see Maxim for this project.



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


I see myself a professional. Even more that I am right now. More experienced, more qualified, outstanding. I never stop learning and trying new, creating unique projects. So this is how I want to go on. I want to be top in my style.


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