“If you’re in it for the money you won’t last long. This is a passion driven career"

We went and met Tattoo artist Claudio Traina at his brand new studio in Denmark St London. Above one of the many guitar shops along this famous street sits Sixty Ink. The studio oozes opulence with rich red walls, bronze resin floors, hand painted murals on the ceiling and decadent furnishings. This for us is reflected in the artwork that Claudio produces his fine line and minimalistic approach often mimics something you would find in a gallery in his native Venice. We asked him how he started in the industry, What advice he has for anybody wanting to find a voice, and his inspirations.    

So tell us who is Claudio Traina?  

Claudio Traina is the only Italian in the world who hates cheese and coffee. But for real I’m a tattoo artist and shop owner of Sixty Ink with my girlfriend Rosie. On the weekend I’m a rock DJ for Camden Rock. I’ve been involved with the art and music scene since I could walk, and I decided to create one of the most distinguished (cool as fuck) tattoo shops out there. We’ve put all our passion into this space to create a unique experience that you’ll never forget. 

How and when did you start in the tattoo industry?

I Started 8 years ago in Venice, Italy. At that point in time tattooing was extremely looked down on in Italy, it took a lot of strength to pursue my career, going against the grain. After begging for months, one of the only tattoo artists in the area accepted me as his apprentice. It was a proper old school apprenticeship, very hard, but totally worth it. After moving to England 6 years ago I began a journey of constantly evolving my work to become the artist I am today. 

How do you describe your style?

My style is constantly evolving but my roots are based in fine line/minimalist. Before this style became the trend, I naturally leaned towards small fine line drawings since I was a child. Lately I’m drawn to micro-realism, and I really want to branch into more colour work.

What advice would you offer someone considering the industry as a career? And what would you say to young creatives trying to find their style or voice?

If you’re in it for the money you won’t last long. This is a passion driven career, like most artistic jobs. In terms of finding your style/voice I would chase what flows naturally for you. When you’ve got that you’ll inevitably perfect your style and find a very clear voice.

What in your opinion makes a good artist?

A good artist is someone is never completely content with their work. Always ready for the next challenge. They always taught me, when you see the work of someone else and see yourself as better than then is when you stopped learning. You must look at somebody better than you to move forward, aspire to be better than your reference inspiration. Just never stop learning, be hungry for new inspiration and take all the styles and techniques from other people to create your own unique version. I would always suggest to do as many guest spots or tattoo conventions as possible, to check all the other amazing tattoo artists out there.

Are there any artists past or present that you take inspirations from and why?

That’s a good question, I've got lots and lots of inspirations, the level out there is crazy! There is a lot of Korean artist that I would say are the best out there for fine line and micro tattoos, I’m in love with Kozo and edit paint, and if I’m looking for realistic tattoo artists I’m more inspired by the Italians like Matteo pasqualin, Silvano Fiato, Alex de pase, and many more. And I would say instagram is pretty much an incredible showcase of inspiration from everywhere. I'm just inspired in general from all the amazing tattoo artists, I would love to be able to do all the styles and be a master like them. 

Last 3 things on your search engine? no lying ;)

Pretty much shop related stuff, I just opened and there is so many little things to buy. So we got amazon alway open, a chat with el Rana, one of the most influential artist on the tattoo industry, he does unique handmade art piece and I've got some new incredible pieces and the third is Gibson, I was looking at some guitars, I’m doing my custom one, a new spin of a classic 335 (if you know you know) 

Here at The Hobo Journal we love to travel hence the name, where is your favourite place on earth?  

I would say Toronto in summer time, I did a convention there years ago and I fell in love with that city, I highly recommend to anyone. The best description is a place in between England and America with nicer people.

More images below from Danny Woodstock Photographer   

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