In “Hamlet,” William Shakespeare makes use of a cranium to signify the inevitability of loss of life and decay. In tattooing, Sandry Riffard makes use of a cranium as a constructing block to create intricate and imaginative new worlds on his purchasers’ pores and skin. Regardless of having a deep concern of loss of life, Riffard has chosen to make skulls his speciality—incorporating them amongst grand cathedrals, slithering serpents and vibrant tropical fish. Whereas integrating this imagery could appear daunting, for Riffard it’s all about protecting an open thoughts and a degree head.
How have been you launched to tattooing?
I used to be launched to tattooing by likelihood. In the future, I used to be paying my pal a go to and found him in the course of his front room, attempting to tattoo himself with an inexpensive machine. He knew I had a ardour for artwork and determined to let me strive. I used to be slightly bit unsure, however I accepted and I tattooed slightly ace of spades on the aspect of his girlfriend’s hand. I instantly liked the sensation and felt comfy with the machine in hand. I borrowed his gear to follow alone and every week later he got here to my condominium to seek out me tattooing my very own arm. I continued to be taught from house by tattooing my buddies and acquaintances. I additionally realized by watching movies of Robert Hernandez and Victor Portugal, who’re two nice artists who impressed and helped me to progress. Then, about six months later, I opened my very own tattoo store the place I nonetheless am in the present day, eight years later.
What appeals to you about skulls? Do you keep in mind the primary cranium tattoo that you simply did?
I feel skulls are fascinating. On one hand, all of us have skulls below our pores and skin. On the opposite, skulls signify my greatest concern. They signify each life and loss of life, which is a topic that draws me as a lot as I’m afraid of it.
I keep in mind doing my very first cranium, nevertheless it was a very long time in the past. I hadn’t even opened my store but and I used to be removed from considering that I used to be going to make skulls my specialty. The cranium was impressed by Robert Hernandez’s model, nevertheless it was a far attain from his high quality.
Do you could have any cranium tattoos in your physique?
Sure, only one over my chest. I began tattooing it 5 years in the past and I nonetheless haven’t completed it.
The place do you discover inspiration on your items? How do you go about discovering references?
I discover inspiration in nearly every part I see and watch, I’m at all times fascinated about new initiatives. Purchasers’ proposals additionally give me new meals for thought, primarily based on their tastes and desires.
I work with a photographer, Claudine Taillandier, and we take pictures of skulls for my references. Typically, I take my pictures alone for black-and-grey initiatives, however I depend on her for assist with coloration rendering. We’ve gotten used to engaged on and speaking about initiatives collectively. I wish to have a second opinion, in order that the ultimate rendering is as excellent and authentic as attainable.
How have you ever realized out of your healed work over time? How do you guarantee longevity?
I make some extent to comply with my purchasers all through the therapeutic course of—which lasts about two weeks—as a way to guarantee every part goes nicely. Then I let the pores and skin get well and one month after therapeutic, I ask for pictures and movies of the tattoo to see if now we have to plan a touch-up. That’s fairly uncommon, however it could possibly occur as a result of everybody’s pores and skin is totally different and doesn’t heal in the identical approach. I additionally attempt to ask them to return again to me after just a few years to ensure my work is getting old nicely. I’ve realized with expertise to differentiate totally different pores and skin sorts and tattoo them accordingly.
What function does texture play in your work?
Texture is a serious factor of my work, it has the lead function. To me, that is what makes all of the distinction in my work. It brings every part collectively. Texture provides my tattoos depth and realism. It’s these imperfections and defects that actually convey the tattoo to life. I like working with bone texture, after all, but in addition love working with textures in pores and skin and cloth.