Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Gandhi was the proud owner of a pitbull or what Pinhead from Hellraiser enjoys doing when he’s not busy torturing the damned? These are the sort of thoughts that run through Old Inside’s mind when he’s creating custom tattoo designs. He makes traditional body art inspired by pop culture from the ‘80s and ‘90s that even Bill and Ted would proclaim as excellent before shredding some gnarly air-guitar.
“I’ve loved every kind of art since I was young, and my big brother started to cover his body and buy lots of tattoo magazines, so I decided to become a tattooer. I began with Japanese and traditional, but about three years ago, I decided to bring out my real style,” says Old Inside (who does not like to go by his given name). “Now most of my work is a mix between the traditional style and ‘80s and ‘90s vibes related to games, movies, music, and other cult themes for nerds and geeks.”
Through his work, one can see Old Inside’s passion for both the traditional style and the entertainment that captured his imagination as a child. He channels the spirit of those colorful years through his highly animated spin on traditional tattoos. His work is incredibly bold and vibrant, and it emulates all of the weirdness that made pop culture so enjoyable in those days.
“I think that my generation is lucky to share the memories we do. Back then the stories felt more emotional,” Old Inside explains. “Cartoons’ illustrators were very good and characters had peculiarities that made them memorable. I love most of them, and nothing makes me happier than when I find other passionate customers.”
Old Inside doesn’t just do tattoos of celebrated characters like ET and obscure ones like Big Slammu from Street Sharks. He illustrates them in playful ways, having them beat up bad guys, commit acts of vandalism, skateboard in empty pools, and even rip out the Queen of England’s spine, as seen in his homage to Sub-Zero from the original Mortal Kombat.
“I think the wildest and weirdest subjects are the best. Jesus with a molotov and blood everywhere, stuff like that,” says Old Inside. “The customer who got that tattoo was a girl, surprisingly, and she chose it from my book without any doubt. It was so funny, and I hope I get to do more of them.”
To check out more of Old Inside’s retro tattoos, hit up his Instagram. If you want a radical tribute to your favorite game, movie, cartoon, or whatever else your nerdy heart desires, he works at Ink ‘n’ Roll Tattoo in Genoa, Italy and can be reached at old.inside.tattoo@gmail for booking.