News/Blog Breaking news, exclusive features & artist interviews

Jasmine Rollason
Interview by: Jasmine Rollason Friday 30 March 2018
Share this story

Tattoo Artist Interview - Nissaco

Japanese tattoo artist Nissaco is a true original; combining heavy blackwork, dotwork and detailed geometric patterns with a nod to traditional Japanese iconography, his work is complex and intriguing. Unafraid of bending the rules, Nissaco experiments with mixing styles and above all, having fun with his work. Spontaneity and artistic freedom is key to creating his unique designs.

This week, The London Tattoo Convention caught up with Nissaco to discuss his ideas about tattooing, influences and plans for upcoming projects...

How long have you been tattooing and what led you to the tattoo industry?

I have been tattooing for the past 17 years, it was kind of a trend among my generation… and I thought I could attract some girls by being a tattooist!

Can you describe the current tattoo scene in Japan?

I don't really communicate or connect with a lot of the tattooists in Japan so I can't say much but tattooing remains illegal even now. (Editor note: a law passed in Japan in 2001 forbids any tattooing by persons who do not hold a Medical Practitioner's License, effectively meaning that any tattoo artist without the qualifications of a physician is breaking the law by applying a tattoo.)

Your style is unique, utilising heavy black, dotwork and geometric patterns with a nod to traditional Japanese iconography. How did your style develop and what influences your artwork?

My style and my art are based on ‘fun activity’, as I want to create to be fun and unique; I don’t really think of the ‘rules’ or how my art is supposed to be. I have worked in this way for the last 10 years; I think my style has developed organically.

Which tattoo artists inspire you?


What is the typical design process?

I don't plan anything, from purposefully gathering ideas to preparing a design for the tattoo. The ideas come naturally between me and the tattoo until I would finally simply dip my needle into ink and begin tattooing.

Can you share a little about your collaborative projects with Gakkin?

We don't really sketch or design before tattooing to prepare, we also don't know what the tattoo will be; we only start thinking of designs when we hold a pen in front of our clients and that’s how we process our designs during tattooing.

Maybe, we might end up drinking beers, get tipsy and choose not to begin tattooing… who knows!