Q + A With Tattify Artist Diana Katsko

Wednesday, September 9, 2015 By Julia

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Diana Katsko is a tattoo artist from Russia who’s style is the perfect mix of structured and organic. Those lines though? Come on, ridiculously good! I’m DYING to have a linear tattoo done by Diana. She just has the coolest style about her! I’m super into the photoshoot Diana did for her product shots, too – it really speaks volumes of her creative aesthetic through the black and white imagery. Simple and beautiful.

You can shop Diana’s tattoo collection here.

1. How long have you been tattooing for, and how did it become a profession?

I took to the tattoo machine four years ago for the first time. I had never thought about it, but a friend of mine once told me – “You draw perfectly! You should try tattooing!” And i started to think about it. I spent 24 hours watching “LA ink” and ordered my first Chinese tattoo set from eBay. Since then I draw on people.

At first all my clients were my friends. Little by little others others learned about me too. Once I did my first polygonal work – Marilyn Monroe’s portrait (the sketch by Josh Brown). After this moment everything began to develop quickly. Now people want only polygonal graphics) Many tattoo masters refuse to do such minute and hard work but i like it especially the result.

2. You have a YouTube channel called “What Does it Mean”, (which is totally awesome by the way!). What sparked that idea into motion and what has it been like working on such a cool side project?

Oh, I have been thinking about this project for a long time.I was always interested in the stories which lie behind the tattoo. Remember I started with the “LA ink”reality show? It seems to be the most interesting part of my work. Neither style nor quality or originality of drawing, but the story. One can make a simple flower tattoo, but than your hear the client’s story that lies behind and you can’t hold back the tears, because it is so meaningful and touching.

That’t why I decided to shoot my clients and ask them only one simple question: “What does it mean?” As a result, my husband and I want to release an Artbook, where all these stories, photos of people and their tattoo will be gathered. Different people with whom I was fortunate to work.

3. You’ve tattooed a lot of people over the years I’m sure. Do you have a favorite? 

Yes, I really have a lot of clients. But I remember everyone! If I try I can count all tattoos that I have made. It is rather difficult to choose one specific work. But I definitely have one favourite client! It’s my dad! He always has a lot of different ideas. When he found out that I wanted to become a tattoo master he was (probably) happier than me. I adore his tattoo with lines on the shoulder. He completely designed it by himself. By the way, he is 55 years old, a former military and he is far from modern trends…

4. What kind of response have you gotten so far on your temporary tattoo collection?

First of all I really like your project! When I received the package from you I immediately put everything on me! I give them to all my clients and they are very happy and say that is an amazing idea! 
Some children outside are screaming :”Diana, we want tatooooes!”

5. That’s a LOT of lines! How long did that Jim Morrison tattoo take you to do? 

When I do such works as this Jim Morrison one I get into some kind of meditation and don’t notice how fast the time goes by. This work took 6 hours. It was the first tattoo for the girl.

6. What are words that you live by?

For a very long period of time these words were “Here and Now”. I even have a tattoo with this meaning. But lately I often say: “everything happens the way it should be”. It is always true. In different situations. Each meeting, difficulty, situation, place, event – is a possibility to learn something new or to leave something old and unnecessary. If you keep this thought in your mind all your life becomes a fascinating adventure! And every hardship turns into an exciting game in which you will have a great bonus at the end of the level.

7. What do you think about when you’re tattooing someone?

That’s a good question! Usually we just chat with a client. Tattooing is quite an intimate process. A person often doesn’t realise that is talking about some emotional things. somehow it is like a reception at the psychologist. When I am deeply in the process I’m thinking how to make everything right and neat. With such style you can’t do it in a different way. Very often I think that I’m really happy to do such work! Now it happens rarely, because of the small child. That’s why each session is a bliss.

8. If you weren’t a tattoo artist, what would your profession be?

I’ve drawn during all my life. I graduated from art school. Then became a graphic designer after university. That’s why I’m pretty sure that my life anyway would be connected with design.

9. Where are you from? Do you feel like your home environment has had an impact on your work? 

I’m absolutely sure that the place of living somehow affects the person. Especially the creative person, who  express him/herself trough art. I was born in Poland, but i have lived in a city with great military background. The name of this city is Volgograd, it’s situated in the south of Russia. At first sight it’s grey, dusty and dull place. To be honest I never liked this city and always wanted to leave it. But nevertheless my favourite colours are grey and dusty. My graphic work is a kind of response to something mechanised and factory. 

Now when i have my own little son, I realise that the main part of our worldview is laid up to the age of three. So I understand that I’m a European kind of person. Hopefully I will live there, because I feel an enormous force which attracts me.

10. Describe your style in 5 words or less. 

I can do it with only one word – “Line”.

11. Where is your happy place?

Without hesitation it’s Barcelona. It is my dream and my home. It’s love at first sight!

12. Coffee or tea?

I’m in love with coffee. I spent a year in Indonesia, Bali. As you can understand it was fresh coffee, roasted only in the morning… It’s impossible to describe in words.

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