Whether their eyes are vacant like deadly demons, or gazing directly out at you, Tattoodo Ambassador Cristian Casas' portraits are arresting. His work is dark, incredibly clean, and bold. Merging esotericism with gothic gloom, noir moods, and lavish Neo-realism stylings, his work is unforgettable and eye catching. In this interview he talks about how falling into the tattooing profession was practically an accident, but that his love and devotion for the art form go deep, and he couldn't be happier.
What is your artistic background? How did you get into tattooing?
Well...I have never really studied art and nothing that is related to fine arts. I was always drawing in class at school, I think like all of us who are in this profession today! hahaha! I am a tattooist today by accident...I never thought about dedicating myself to tattooing... I just let myself go with what I liked. I started tattooing 6 or 7 years ago, when I was 21 years old. It was a time when I decided to try all forms of painting from oil to airbrush, pastel, watercolor and of course, the tattoo. From there everything went on alone...and I do not know how, but I'm here now telling you my story!
You’re from Spain, but mainly tattoo out of Switzerland. How do the tattoo communities in these two places differ? Why did you decide to make Switzerland home?
This happened when I was starting to tattoo, I had been tattooing in an apartment for two years, on my friends and the people of my town. One day a Swiss boy arrived who had family in my own town and he heard about me, he was quickly interested and wanted to know me. He offered me the opportunity to go with him to work in his studio in Switzerland but at that time I worked in a car workshop as a mechanic and tattooed at night and I could not leave everything for someone I did not know and without knowing anything about how it would be, so I tried it for 15 days and I liked it. After a year I moved directly to Switzerland. I was alone without family or friends or language. It was difficult in the beginning; it was also difficult because that boy turned out to be a swindler...but hey, it was the path I chose, and my decisions...good or bad...make me be myself today.
Why were you drawn to the Neo-traditional style?
Sincerely I have done everything, from tribals and maoris...to old school..new school...realism and neo-traditional to color. Now what I do is what I find more natural...and what I have inside. It has proven to be a mixture between the realist technique with traditional or neo-traditional composition, with which I feel very sincerely comfortable, and very grateful to my clients for letting me do my own jobs.
Who are your artistic heroes?
My heroes in the world of tattoo? All the tattoo school that has made the tattoo world today as it is, and my "tattoo family": homz, xuama, Juan Gonzalez, Mauricio, Gianluca Altaleva, Rover Villanueva, Capritio, Pina, Ernesto Vega, Koko, Ramiro...They are my family tattoo and I learn the most from them day to day.
What do you do when you’re not tattooing? What do you wish you had more time for?
The truth is that the tattoo art form occupies much of my life, it is part of me...and I am nothing without tattooing...it gives me the opportunity to do what I like. I travel a lot...meet awesome people in all corners of the earth. When I'm not tattooing what I most want to do is hang out with my girlfriend, my family and my friends and enjoy time with them.
What is your personal tattooing philosophy?
Respect, first of all, respect for those who were, for whom we are and for those who will be...respect to the world of tattooing because it makes us live a dream that very few can...and another very important thing: if you want to be doing things well, it's hard work...and never stopping learning everything possible from everything.
Any plans for 2018 that you want to share? Guest spots, travel plans, new projects?
I've been traveling like crazy. I've been more out of my house in recent years than anything else. I would like to focus more on Switzerland, to make our store the point of reference for anyone who wants to make a good tattoo in Switzerland. Apart from that I would like to be able to paint more...to be able to offer my clients and people who can not travel to get a tattoo of mine the possibility of having a nice flash piece, or a shirt. Anyway...I hope to give more of myself in the not too distant future, and far too!