The artwork of artist Alex De Pase

Where were you born and where are you from?
I was born in Grado, a small island northeast of Italy, where I still live today. A nice peaceful place to grow up, where during summer you can also enjoy the fun of a seaside town with a lot of foreign tourists.

How did you get introduced to the tattoo culture?
My first memory about tattoos goes back to when I was 14 years old, when I met “Bruno”, a jailbird with the arms covered with tattoos. I showed him my drawings and he shared with me his knowledge about tattoos. Something rude and simple, done with a needle dipped in paint, as they did in prison, but this is how I started.

When did you get started?
I started with the first “tattoos” just after meeting Bruno, so I did my first drawings on the skin of friends in my bedroom when I was 14 years old. It wasn’t the right way but I’m pretty happy to have started doing this, because today it’s more a passion than a work.

Do you remember the first tattoo that you did?
First tattoo I did was something traditional, it was a heart with a dagger passing through it and a snake wrapped around it. It was done on the arm of a friend of mine.

How would you describe your style of tattooing?
I prefer to work on realistic subjects and on portraits. I usually prefer to give the highest reality that I can give to my works, with realistic skin tones and a higher fidelity to the reference picture. Renouncing to the strong impact that you can have using gaudy colors and drastic highlights. I also try to not leave out any detail, giving importance to all of them, but without exasperating them.

What were you doing before you got into the tattoo business, and what made you change?
I started doing my first tattoos when I was 14 years old, and since then I always wanted to tattoo for a living. I quit school early and I did a lot of different jobs since I was 20 years old. Tattooing at home at night and in the weekends, then when I saved enough money, in 1997 I opened my first tattoo shop. So I can say that I always tattooed, because the other jobs were only needed to find the money needed for the shop.

What influences your artwork?
Working mainly on realistic stuff, I’m influenced from everything around me; sometimes nature could offer wonderful things! Then when it was the time for example, to study headlights and shadows I looked at the classic art from the past and to some famous photographers.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get their first tattoo?
My first advice would be to chose carefully the subject and the style, then to choose a tattoo artist specialized in that kind of tattoos that could make it right…
Sometimes people come to my shop asking for a traditional Japanese tattoo or something else, and when it’s possible I always recommend some good artists, specialized in the requested style.
A tattoo is not a t-shirt; you cannot easily throw it away when you don’t like it anymore. A laser treatment would be painful and expensive, so yes, get tattooed, but always take your time to think about it.

Do you see your self doing anything other than tattooing?
Yes, right now when I’m not tattooing I’m a dad, and this would be the only other “work” that I can think to do.

Where do you see the tattoo culture 10 years from now?
I think that tattoos have changed a lot in the last 10 years, and it will change more and more in the next ten. Right now, especially in the USA there are lots of young and talented tattoo artists that look forward to definitely elect tattoos as a form of art. And tattoo collectors all over the world are understanding this, opening their mind to new subjects and styles. For more than a century we had only “traditional” coil machines, and we were only able to play with some setups, but it was difficult for a lot of people. In the last 10 years the tattoo industry developed new kinds of tattoo machines, with easier setups, with less weight and vibrations and so on. For example, right now I’m using the Stigma rotary machines and I think they’re very good. So who know which level tattoos and tattoo artist’s tools will reach in the next 10 years?

Anything else you would like to add?
Thank you very much Mr. Tattoos and for this interview!
You can check my works and the convention I’ll attend on my website

Or contact me at this email address