Where were you born and where are you from?
I was born and raised in Rockland County, NY. The same place I got my start in tattooing.
How did you get introduced to the tattoo culture?
I’ve always had an interest in this art form. I can remember as a kid seeing tattoos on my older cousins and being intrigued. Once I was in high school, I would pull up pictures of tattoos on the internet and redraw them in my note books. My interest grew from there into researching the different types and styles of tattoos, as well as getting to know other artist’s work. I spent my college years at SVA in NYC and developed my talent in the various forms of painting. Becoming a professional tattoo artist just felt like the right path.
When did you get started?
It was back in 2006, I bought a few machines and found a few brave friends to let me practice on them.
How would you describe your style of tattooing?
I always have difficulty describing my work. I work a lot in full color, full saturation, and full coverage. There is a depth to the work that I try to achieve. Some have called my style new school and some color realism. Ultimately, I just try to take whatever the client asks for and make it something they will be happy with for the rest of their lives.
What were you doing before you got into the tattoo business, and what made you change?
My previous job was actually working at a third party payment agency coding and prepping paperwork for data entry. And it was about as fun as it sounds. All the while I was in school and working on finding a way to make money with my art. After apprenticing at another shop, I took a part time job at Winky Dink Ink in the evenings. Once school was done I asked the owner when he thought it would be a good idea for me to quit my other job coding and work at the shop full time. His answer is great advice to everyone starting tattooing, “when you are making more money here than there”. I put in my 2 week notice in the next day.
What influences your artwork?
The easy and most truthful answer is other art. I love discovering new paintings, drawings, tattoos, and videos of all genres and time periods. I often find inspiration in small details of other works and then elaborate off them, adding my own skill and making it my own. Art is an expression of real life, its all around us, especially in nature. You just have to open your eyes and really take a look at what surrounds us.
What advice would you give to someone looking to get their first tattoo?
The best advice I can give is to look at the portfolio of the artist your about to get tattooed by. I see way too many people getting tattooed with expectations for greatness or with a style in their mind and it ends up being not what they are looking for. Even though your artist’s portfolio won’t have the exact tattoo you want, it will give you a good idea of how your tattoo will look when finished; i.e. the style and feel. Artists vary and you need to know as best as possible what you want and what you should expect to be getting.
Do you see your self doing anything other than tattooing?
I hope to continue to branch out into the other forms of art. As of right now I have done a few book covers and sold a few paintings through my website and in galleries on the east coast. I enjoy painting and it would be great to one day have that become a bigger part of my life.
Anything else you would like to add?
I wouldn’t be where I am right now without the love and support of my family, friends, my beautiful fiancé Nicole, my agent and good buddy Brian, and fellow tattoo artist Bobby Ciffone, who took me under his wings and gave me my start.
For anyone looking to make an appointment, please send me an email at email@example.com or fill out the form on the contact page of my website www.matttruiano.com And check out my art while you are there. Finally a big thank you to everyone who has bought a painting or gotten tattooed. Hope to see you all soon.