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Living Not Drowning: Interview with Tattoo Artist Grey Un

Living Not Drowning: Interview with Tattoo Artist Grey Un

Tattoo Artists2 min Read

In this interview with Grey Un, we talk about getting into tattooing, changes in Korean law, and creating to live.

Delicate depictions of florals, animals, classic motifs, and even Disney castle's, Korean tattoo artist Grey Un is devoted to creating beautiful works of wearable art. In this interview, we talk about the impetus behind getting into the tattoo industry, what changes need to take place in Korea for tattooists to be able to ply their craft, and where Grey Un gets inspiration for these poetic pictures.

How did you get into tattooing and why was it something you were drawn to?

I worked for a Korean game company to make characters. I saw people drowning there and I was drowning too. It is my precious job because I want to live. Drawing is all I know how to do, so I chose it.

Tulip tattoo by Grey Un #GreyUn

Can you talk about your inspirations, and how your style has evolved since you began?

My inspiration is my life itself. The pleasant coldness on the back of the pillow, the familiar perfume smell that reminds someone, these trivial things. I have been constantly agonizing over three things: the style I want, the style of artists I can see and learn, and the style my customers want, and it has gradually developed.

What inspires you?

Facebook and Instagram give me great inspiration. Thanks Mark Elliot Zuckerberg.

Chameleon tattoo by Grey Un #GreyUn #chameleon #animal #color #realism

What is your artistic philosophy? What do you hope to give to the world with your art?

That's a very difficult question. I thought about it for two days. "Let's not stop drawing because I'll have to." I can't give the world anything and I don't want to give anything. I am just living. I'm sorry any nice words can't come to my mind

What advice do you have for young artists trying to get into tattooing? What was the best advice you received when you first started tattooing?

Remember intense curiosity when you first started. And the best advice I got was to just think that you had changed to a tattoo machine instead of a pencil.

Girl with a pearl earring tattoo by Grey Un #GreyUn #fineart #painting #girlwithapearlearring #pearl #ladyhead #portrait

How do you feel about the future of the tattoo industry? What things need to change, and what needs to stay the same?

AI can't replace tattooing, so more artists are likely to emerge. First of all, tattooing is only illegal in Korea. I strongly hope the revision of the law will take place. It's a big boost for your platform that leads the tattoo culture to show your interest in artists who aren't famous. Thank you so much and I hope you don't change.

Beyond tattooing, what are you passionate about? How do you spend your free time, and what do you do on your vacations?

I am interested in astronomy and physics. When I think of the universe, everything feels like nothing. I try to be as lazy as I can. when i get a long vacation, meet people I like, and drink.

Rose and dagger tattoo by Grey Un #GreyUn #rose #dagger #painting #surreal #realism #watercolor

Any future plans or goals that you’d like to share?

I don't make plans. Plans and goals make me too hard.

Still life tattoo by Grey un #GreyUn #stilllife #painting #fruit #wine #color #realism


Justine Morrow
Written byJustine Morrow

Social Producer, Journalist, Editor, and Curator for Tattoodo I am here to support you 🌻 IG: @lathe.of.heaven

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