Khan

Khan Tattoo: “I really enjoy talking with my clients before tattooing them.”

Khan Tattoo

  • How did you get started and what inspired you to become a tattoo artist?

I wanted to be an Architect like Antonio Gaudi and I studied that for a long time in my country South Korea. But one day I saw a traditional Japanese tattoo of the Yakuza in Japan. It was absolutely the most amazing art I saw. Just wanted to be a tattoo artist.

Khan tattooing a client

I started to teach myself tattoos in Tokyo. I did my first tattoo on my whole body (even on my right arm, chest, belly) and started tattooing at my first own small studio in Tokyo, Japan. My teacher was my body.

Khan Tattoo
Khan Tattoo
  • What are your main sources of inspiration and how would you describe your aesthetics?

I am really enjoying realistic tattoos now; it’s just one of my favorite styles. Most of my clients like the way I do color realism, but I’m still working on creating my own style, every tattoo is different and the people that I work on usually have a story to tell.

Khan Tattoo

So I enjoy tattooing while learning from my customers, and a little about their life’s in the process. Where they come from, what they like, and no matter what style of tattoo I’m doing, I enjoy it to the fullest.

Khan Tattoo

So many artists inspire me with their artwork and still I get many inspirations from many artists I didn’t see before. There are so many great artists in the world. It’s impossible to count them. Also from my client’s ideas, my friend’s ideas, people who I met during my traveling, and even people who I saw on the street. Everything influences my work.

Khan Tattoo
  • We are a big fan of Japanese tattoos. We even dedicated an entire category to Japanese tattoos. What are the strongest points of a Japanese tattoo design?

The strongest points of a Japanese tattoo design are the story of the whole tattoo each person has got and the use of the body line to express them well.

As one of the artists who did Japanese-style tattoos before, I always tried to make one or some story on each client’s body after enough talking about the ideas they bring. 

Khan Tattoo

And once all design is completed, make whole outlines first. We can’t change the design anymore as we already made whole outlines, so the first stage was the most important part for me. 

  • What’s been your favorite moment in your career, so far?

Well… I really enjoy the time talking with my clients before tattooing. Me and clients, we’re trying to respect each other and all the ideas they have. I pray the tattoo changes them in a positive way.

Khan Tattoo

I try to believe that, because I do realize that tattoo over the responsibility and the weight of what I’m doing, they’re changing people’s lives. This must be a different answer you expect but this is my favorite moment in my career.

Khan Tattoo
Khan Tattoo
Khan Tattoo
  • What do you like to do when you’re not tattooing?

Actually, I do nothing as I don’t have any hobbies. I just try to go sauna when I’m not tattooing.

  • What advice can you give to artists who are just starting out?

Try to meet many artists so you can see who is a good artist and who is a bad artist (this is NOT only about their skill for tattooing) and try to be an artist as good as your role model.

  • In the old days, tattooing used to be regarded as a subcultural activity, but now with all the social media apps it seems to be more mainstream. What are your thoughts about that? 

As you know, everyone has got tattoos nowadays and it’s hard to explain but becoming more mainstream, the tattoo industry will develop, but also it will make a lot of bad artists who do this art for only their business.

Khan Tattoo

In the end, I’m definitely happy with the fact that the industry got more popular due to these social media apps.

Khan Tattoo
  • What are your thoughts regarding tattoo trends like watercolor tattoos, embroidery tattoos etc.? We as tattoo aficionados, when we’re thinking about getting a new tattoo, should we follow the trends or should we stick to the established ones?

You don’t need to follow the latest trends for a new tattoo, because a tattoo stays with you forever, and sometimes it can change your life.

Khan Tattoo

But if you think that a particular trending style suits you well, I think it shouldn’t be any problem. Sometimes trends can help the industry to progress.

Khan Tattoo
Khan Tattoo
  • A few tips on tattoo aftercare?

I use 2nd skin products for tattoo aftercare at the moment.It’s really easy to get a good healing for the client. There are a lot of 2nd skin brands on the market.

Khan Tattoo
  • What would you like to see done differently in the future compared to now, regarding the tattoo industry?

I want to go back to doing the big scale projects so I can use whole human’s body lines, because, fundamentally, tattooing is body art.

Khan Tattoo

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