Known for his bold style, Celio Macedo sat down with Tattoodo to talk more about the work behind the scenes of daily shop life at his studio Motorink Finest Tattooing. A mainstay of the Amsterdam tattoo community, Motorink offers unique designs and awesome guest artists year round...but Celio explains that this is just an effort to give the client the best experience possible.
How did you get into tattooing? Why did it feel like the right profession for you?
I started having contacts with tattoos around ten years old in Brazil, walking around the studio of my cousin who was a tattoo artist in the 80's. I was fascinated by those Japanese paintings and Yakuza showing those majestic tattoos all over the place. In my years as a young man around the neighborhood, in the bars of the city driving around, tattoos were always present.
At 22 years old, going to the studio of a friend, I thought about that routine to be mine, I really liked the music with all the drawings and the girls that were around and all that scene that was underground. I realized that all of it was my freedom from the social obligation I was in, imposed on our society nowadays. In return would be my prison for the rest of my life, a mark of repetition that would shape the person I am today.
Who are the artists, tattooers or not, that inspire your work?
I am a fan of Black Sabbath and artists like Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo, at a time when everything was fantasy, everything was oil painting.
I grew up skateboarding and playing drums, listening to Pink Floyd and drawing a caricature of the city's punks. After attending journalism I decided that I would attend Fine Arts.
The tattoo artists Guy Aichtinson and Philip Liu inspired me a lot at the beginning of my career when we were still reading the magazines that came from Europe.
You can do a lot of styles, from realism to graphic blackwork, but what are your favorite pieces to do? What kind of tattoos do you wish you did more of?
I really like the scenes of my favorite movies, good ideas that cover the whole back, tattoos with the size of the hand is also welcome of course, but mostly is bigger works with many sessions involved. I like black and gray but I'm also a fan of colors, which I'd really like to do more. I like the pictures of people and animals, the flowers and the beautiful composition on the body, just a good request, smart people come to me please.
How do you spend your time when you aren’t working? Beyond tattooing, what are you passionate about?
I’ve been in Amsterdam for the past ten years and seven in the store, building with hard work aiming for reputation, no time for many things. I am the father of two beautiful children and I try to reconcile everything in the middle of work and everything. But I try to relax, read a little, practice drums, walk with my dog, go to the gym. In Amsterdam the bike is essential but after ten years I miss the style of motorbikes, which is my passion.
What is the tattoo community like in Amsterdam? Why did you decide to open Motorink and what makes it a special shop?
At the beginning I worked with Jerry Harley at Hanky Panky Red Light District and it was the craziest time of my life, and back there I knew that Motorink would be part of my story one time or another. As I stayed in the country the plan was formed and the shop was established in the center of the city of Amsterdam. Over the years, the store has received several tattoo friends and talents from around the world. The team and the store as a whole have grown, we have made videos that explain our art. The scene in Amsterdam is fraternal and promising, many shops with a lot of art have emerged. My desire to open Motorink has always been to remain willing to deliver the best to the customer, much beyond an excellent tattoo, they will carry an unforgettable experience for life. We have fun over here and we want to show it to the world.