Colorado-based tattoo artist Arlo DiCristina is only 26 years old, yet is already making waves in the tattoo scene with his impressive surrealistic works. Having recently opened his new studio, Elysium, Arlo will soon be making the trip to The London Tattoo Convention and visitors should not miss seeing his incredible works in the flesh. This week, The London Tattoo Convention caught up with Arlo to find out more...
What sparked your interest in tattooing and how did you learn your craft? How long have you been tattooing?
I suppose what sparked my interest in tattooing was the amount of freedom you could have with the craft. There was more freedom in tattooing than any other field in the art industry that I saw at the time, which was a huge attraction for me. The first tattoo I ever did was while I was still in high school. I had to have my buddy order me a tattoo machine because I wasn't 18 yet. I really messed up my first tattoo and I didn't tattoo again until my apprenticeship. I was at my apprenticeship for about eight months and learned a lot about the business and sanitation side of things, but I acquired most of my knowledge through trial and error and practice. A lot of practice!. In total I have been tattooing for six years now.
Your work is often described as being instantly recognisable; how would you classify your style, and what do you think makes your pieces stand out from the rest?
It is very flattering to hear that people find my artwork very recognisable. I believe it is something that every artist strives to achieve. I would classify my style as surrealism but face morphs is the main thing I do off of the surrealism branch. So, I suppose my style would fit either of those categories. I'm not too sure what makes my artwork stand out amongst the others there are a lot of other artist doing face morphs nowadays and a lot of them are extremely good. I suppose each artist is drawn to using different imagery picturing a different type of emotion. I can't exactly identify the specific type of imagery I like to use but I know I am drawn to a certain feel which is probably consistent throughout my work.
Which artists or art movements have influenced your tattooing?
I have been influenced by so many artists and so many art movements it is tough to name just a few. Anywhere from skateboard decks to the artists of the renaissance have been major influences on my work. I am constantly influenced and inspired by new art every day.
Do you work in any other mediums outside of tattooing? Did you come from an art background prior to embarking on your tattoo career?
I have worked in a lot of mediums; painting, pencil, airbrush, but lately I have only had time for tattooing. I would love to get back into other mediums at some point but at the moment I have my hands pretty full with my tattoo schedule. I kinda had an art background - or more so art was always something I was naturally gifted at. I didn't really take it seriously until after high school but I never had any outside schooling for art besides high school art class!
Can you share a little about your new studio, Elysium?
Elysium is my private studio located in Grand Junction Colorado, which is centrally located with the coolest outdoors in Colorado/Utah. It has been in the works for a while and soon I will be taking applications to bring in some bad ass artists to work with. Definitely an exciting thing and a big step for me!
Lastly, what are you most looking forward to about The London Tattoo Convention? Do you have any special pieces planned, or are you taking bookings?
It is hard to say just one thing I am looking forward to about the London Tattoo Convention. It is the biggest and best tattoo convention with the top artists in the world attending. I would have to say getting to work alongside so many talented artists is probably the part I am looking most forward to. It is my first time tattooing at the London Tattoo Convention and I am super stoked! Unfortunately, I am already all booked up but if anything changes I will post it on my Arlo Tattoos Facebook page and @arlotattoos Instagram page. I will however have prints, hats, shirts and other merchandise at my booth so if you enjoy my work and are not able to get a piece done by me this time around I will have some other artwork there as well for purchase.
Catch Arlo tattooing at The London Tattoo Convention 22-23-24th September 2017. Advance Tickets are now on sale; get yours today!