Artist Interview - Rodrigo Souto
Hailing from Brazil and now co-owner of London’s prestigious Black Garden Tattoo, Rodrigo Souto talks to The London Tattoo Convention about his unique tattoo style, influences and upcoming solo art exhibition.
Tell us about your beginnings in tattooing…
I started tattooing from home when I was seventeen years old in Sao Paolo, Brazil. I tattooed for a few years from my bedroom, using really bad materials, as there was no better equipment available back home... After a few years I approached a shop with my flash where I received some help and started tattooing one or two days a week.
I tattooed in Brazil for around five years. After finishing University, I came to London and spent a year learning the language before picking up tattooing once again.
How would you describe your style?
I like the Japanese style – though I wouldn’t describe my tattoos as 100% Japanese.
What are your favourite elements to include in a tattoo?
I like an organic theme with flowers and background; I try to mix a little bit of the Japanese flow, or idea. But I don’t strictly follow the ‘rules’ of traditional Japanese tattooing.
Which artists do you admire?
One of the first tattoo artists I became interested in is from Brazil, Mauricio Teodoro, who was an inspiration for me from the start. After that I found Filip and Miki and became interested in Japanese tattooing. There are so many artists that I like; it’s difficult to narrow down!
Can you tell us a little about your artistic interests outside of tattooing?
I’m now taking more time off to pursue other creative interests. I recently started a Chinese painting course, which I’d like to return to one day…
This year however I’m working on a big project - I’m going to have a solo show at the end of 2016. I’m producing lots of collages and paintings for this exhibition. For me, an ideal day would begin at my drawing table, completing drawings, paintings and working on my collages...