There are an infinite variety of colours in our universe, and Ivana Belakova is on a mission to make use of all of them in her tattoos. Born and raised in a small city in Slovakia, Belakova grew up in a rustic the place tattooing was nearly nonexistent. But, regardless of her upbringing, she’s made tattooing her life’s work and her profession has taken her all over the world. Immediately she calls Los Angeles dwelling and has attracted among the greatest stars in Hollywood into her tattoo chair—from rappers to world-renowned grownup entertainers. We chatted with Ivana to find out about her distinctive signature model, her first movie star shopper and what units her other than the pack.
Take us by way of your upbringing and the way you have been first uncovered to tattooing.
I grew up in a tiny village referred to as Kostolné in Slovakia. It had round 200 individuals and it is in the course of nowhere—you want a automobile to entry something. I grew up surrounded by nature, enjoying soccer day-after-day, enjoying and dreaming huge. I additionally grew up in communism, which was a really attention-grabbing time for me.
The primary time I used to be uncovered to tattooing was by way of watching MTV and seeing all of those closely tattooed musicians. I used to be fascinated with Weapons N’ Roses and I used to attract Axl’s tattoos on myself and my brother.
After I was 16 I obtained my first tattoo at a bar in Slovakia. We didn’t actually have tattoo retailers in the whole nation and I used to be additionally underage, so this was the way in which to go. On the time it didn’t even happen to me that this was one thing I used to be going to do with my life.
What made you determine to turn out to be a tattoo artist and the way did you go about studying? After I completed faculty, I moved to a little bit city referred to as Trenčín the place I began to tattoo. At some point my pal requested me if I wish to attempt to tattoo and I agreed. From the primary time I held the tattoo machine in my hand and the needle touched the pores and skin, I used to be hooked. I knew proper there that this was what I needed to do for the remainder of my life.
I began by tattooing my brother and buddies with out gloves or any skilled gear. My pal obtained me a tattoo machine from Canada and I came upon after a while it was’’t even an actual tattoo machine. It was a machine for beauty tattooing, however I may do small decorative tattoos with it.
I realized the laborious manner and it took me longer to determine issues out, however I’m very grateful for the way in which I realized. I didn’t must abide by any guidelines on find out how to tattoo—what to do first, what to not do, find out how to apply coloration, and many others. It was good and I’m fairly positive that’s what helped me develop my very own distinctive model.
What was the tattoo business like on the time and the way has it modified over time?
In Slovakia, tattooing was taboo. It was related to bikers and prisoners for a considerable amount of time. No person needed to show me find out how to tattoo. We had two tattoo retailers in the whole nation after I began. The final 10 years have been utterly completely different. There’s this new technology of artists who’re on a complete completely different stage—pushing boundaries and breaking stigmas. These days, it’s all about artwork. There are tattoo retailers all over the place, and now we have some wonderful tattoo artists with actually distinctive types. It makes me actually joyful to see it.
How would you describe your signature model?
My model mixes a number of completely different components collectively, however what makes me distinctive as an artist is all of the vitality I put behind my tattoos. I see colours throughout me. Each individual is exclusive and radiates a special vitality, which I apply to my work. Immediately, my tattoo model comes naturally to me. I don’t actually observe different individuals’s work, I solely tattoo what I really feel. After so a few years of honing my abilities, I’ve developed my very own distinctive model that I’m nonetheless crafting and making higher day-after-day.
I might describe my model as “funky coloration.” I draw inspiration from avenue artwork and graffiti, coupled with excessive vogue. After I was little, I might spend hours drawing and reducing out footage from magazines to create collage tapestries. Together with utilizing daring colours, I incorporate graphics, geometric shapes and squiggle ornaments into my tattoos. That is why I describe my tattoos as organized chaos as a result of nothing is ideal, identical to life.
What are a few of your favourite animals to tattoo and why?
I really like all of them. I really like animals with humorous expressions, bizarre faces, enjoyable colours and attention-grabbing shapes. As an example, I really like tattooing unique birds. I really like how colourful they’re and I really like their completely different layers of feathers.
Inform us among the experiences you’ve had tattooing celebrities. Who was the primary celeb you tattooed?
I’ve tattooed many celebrities from all around the world, however my first huge one was Chris Brown. I’ve additionally tattooed Lil Wayne, Quavo, Lil Twist, Wealthy the Child and A Boogie wit da Hoodie. It’s an amazing expertise for me to satisfy my favourite hip-hop artists. I really like with the ability to take heed to their new music or albums earlier than they’ve been launched but.
The tattoo you probably did on Mia Khalifa was particularly significant. What’s the story behind this piece?
It’s my custom with Mia to provide her significant tattoos. Mia’s newest tattoo is a portrait of Asia Ramazan Antar. Asia was a Kurdish Ladies’s Protecting Unit fighter who defended Syria in opposition to ISIS. She died at 19 whereas working to free town of Manbij from Islamic extremists. The opposite items I’ve finished for her are impressed by hope, change, acceptance and love. The primary tattoo I did on her was a part of a fundraiser for the Lebanese Purple Cross, the place she raised over $100K for charity. She’s considered one of my absolute favourite celebrities to tattoo, I really like her vitality and humorousness.
What forms of tattoos would you love to do extra of sooner or later?
Childrens’ drawings, whimsical tattoos and playful items. I’d additionally wish to work on huge artwork items over a number of classes, akin to animal items or flowers combined with my funky design components.
Other than tattooing, what different artwork mediums do you want working in?
For the time being, I’m portray baggage for Louis Vuitton and that provides me a whole lot of pleasure.
What else ought to our readers find out about you?
I’m the one girl on this planet whose tattoos are licensed as up to date advantageous artwork by the Macro Museo in Rome.