Where were you born and where are you from?
I was born in a small town on the west coast of Sweden, lived there until I turned 16 and then I moved out and I’ve moved probably 9 times since then, and are currently living in Karlstad, SWE.
How did you get introduced to the tattoo culture?
My older sister had a couple of tattoos, but I never really cared for them since I didn't understand what it was all about. But I saw an article about uncle Allan in a magazine I got to realize that tattoos could be so much more. I got more into before that too, since I got older and my friends and more people around me got tattooed. but at that point I realized I wanted to do something other than flash work in a production shop.
When did you get started?
I did my first tattoo in 2004.
Do you remember the first tattoo that you did?
A wiggly little skull on the inside of my leg still got it there. A fun reminder to have.
How would you describe your style of tattooing?
I don't know, character based illustrative style? It’s hard to put a name on it without sounding douchey. Always felt like new school was old school motifs with a graffiti twist, which is not really what I do. I definitely get my inspiration more from animators, sculptures and concept artist.
What were you doing before you got into the tattoo business, and what made you change?
I didn't do anything. Was studying, but that never really worked out so when I started tattooing I just felt like I found my thing.
What influences your artwork?
As I said, I try to look outside of what everyone else is doing. I don't want to look for inspiration from Joe Capobianco’s if I’m drawing a pin-up, or look at any other tattooer to get inspired, cause then it just feels like the business is copying itself forever. I want the business to evolve, so I try to find inspiration else where and I collect a whole lot of photos and always try to find some sort of understanding of the anatomy of what I’m gonna draw. And then just tweak it and play with it for a while until I get it to where I want it.
What advice would you give to someone looking to get their first tattoo?
Keep an opened mind, the possibilities are bigger than you can grasp. Many people I feel have the need to do something simple for their first tattoo, so they can get an understanding of how it feels, how they are going to live with the piece. There are many good artists out there, make sure you find the one you want to do your piece and you will be happy.
Do you see your self doing anything other than tattooing?
Yeah sure, I definitely want to get into other aspects of art, would love to do some sculpting, I’ve started to paint some. Would love to be able to do some work for animated movies or something one day. Mostly just to try it out, but I don't think I’ll ever quit tattooing.
Do you have a favorite quote?
Go for broke.
Where do you see the tattoo culture 10 years from now?
Hopefully people are getting more educated on what's a good tattoo and what's not. I just hope that the good artists keep pushing it and that they get the support they need. This is no longer a lower form of art; we have some real talent in this business now, if people keep supporting them there are no limits.
Anything else you would like to add?
I just want to give a big up for my family who always supported me though thick and thin. I love you guys and could not have done it without you.
For people who are interested in getting tattooed by me or just have a look at my stuff everything you need is available at www.xEmilx.com