Joe Tartarotti

Traditional tattooing in Milan

I had my first tattoo in 2004, when a friend was getting a Japanese sleeve and I walked into the studio with him. I got immediately fascinated by this world.

After a while, I spent almost one year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where my interest in the art of tattooing got serious. As soon as I was back in Milan I started drawing almost compulsively, and I was lucky enough to find an apprenticeship very close to my university, where I was studying architecture.

Traditional designs immediately caught my interest: at first, it was military flashes, but then I soon realized I was completely into tattooing.

Actually I get inspiration from anything I see. I am inspired by anything I see. Besides my keen interest for early 20th century tattooers, I also look at prints, illustrations, pottery, art books.

I constantly search for images, references, sources of inspiration from any context or era.