Inked Mag Staff
February 28th, 2023
Artist Spotlight: Victor Hugo
Check out our conversation with Victor Hugo, an artist churning out stunning Japanese and American traditional tattoos
When did you first become interested in art?
My first contact with tattooing was the day I got my first one, around 18/19 years old. I talked a lot with the artist about my childhood and how much my friends and I liked to draw… So after the tattoo session I had decided I wanted to start tattooing, leading to the purchase of my first tattoo kit.
What made you want to become a tattooer?
After my first contact with the tattoo world, I have started tattooing friends and artificial skin. I dedicated myself to draw and to create techniques to improve myself, until I had my first invitation to work professionally in a tattoo studio. Being around other artists every day made me dedicate myself even more to become the best artist I could be.
How did you start tattooing? Did you have an apprenticeship?
I have never taken a course, I learned by watching other tattoo artists how to improve my techniques and drawing a lot throughout the years.
What is the tattoo scene like in your hometown? How is it different than here in the states?
In Brazil, tattooing is in constant growth, still seen with bad eyes by some folks, tattoo artists make a lot of effort in Brazil to be recognized as artists and as a profession, not just a lifestyle. I believe in the United States it is already more evolved than in Brazil.
How did you come to find your current style?
When I participated in my first tattoo event, where I managed to win an award in the Best Asian category. At this event, one of the judges made an observation that I should follow the traditional style because my talent was clearly highlighted for that, I have decided to study hard and dedicate myself to Japanese and traditional American arts.
What is it about Japanese style tattoos that drew you in?
What I am most interested in is the Japanese Culture, how the meaning of each element can bring the opportunity to create a unique piece of art for the client. The vibrant and solid colors fascinate me, the Japanese style is an age-old sensation, and I like to keep the traditional style.
Can you describe the importance of flow in a large-scale piece?
The movement is important to bring harmony to the anatomy of the body. The flow must be thought of in a way that highlights the art. In Asian tattoos, the background is extremely important as it makes the main elements of the tattoo stand out!
What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t a tattoo artist?
I think I would be expressing my creativity in another way, I love to paint, I would probably be in the art world, but in another niche.
Where do you see your art going in the future?
I want one day to be able to see my art as paintings displayed in a museum, to be remembered and admired by the people around me.
Inspired by Japanese culture and anime, MimiSama combines old school methods with modern technology in her unique style of tattooing
He fights in the UFC, fronts a punk band, runs a clothing line and does a little stand-up comedy on the side—so, yeah, Andre “Touchy” Fili is all the way alive