This Spaniard specialising in Dotwork, Linework, and Ornamental-Mehndi tattoos talks us about his private studio (opened with 3 amazing friends) in Barcelona…
Hi Lluís, first of all tell me what in life made you a tattoo artist…
Well, since I was a kid, I’ve always been drawing, and when I discovered tattoos, I started to be interested in their culture. It was 11 years ago, I was studying graphic design in Barcelona, but I didn’t know at all what I would do in the future. One day a friend of mine motivated me to learn how to tattoo. So I bought a Micky Sharpz and some supplies and start tattooing some friends and myself. That first year was a test to find out that I wanted to become a tattooer.
What happened next?
I started to work in my first tattoo shop, “Body Hunter”, where I spent about 3-4 years. During that period I was the apprentice of the shop but I started to do more and more tattoos and got to working in some conventions very fast. In 2015 I moved to another studio called “Sta Demonia Tattoo”. There I was able to do more work in my style, Dotwork and Ornamental.
It was a really wonderful time, where I got to meet amazing new artists and people. 3 years later, I was offered a job tattooing in a new shop, “Seny Tattoos”. I enjoyed this period too, met new friends, did some guest spots and had some very good moments. Now I have opened a private studio with three great friends.
Do you work only by appointment in your private studio in Barcelona (“Lluís Figueras Tattoo”) or do you rely on some other studio in the city?
The first you said! Half a year ago we opened this nice private studio in Barcelona and in the meantime we have been trying to combine our work with some guest spots. Unfortunately that is something rather difficult in recent times.
How did you come to master the Dotwork style?
I don’t think I’m a Master, rather I’ve been improving the technique, making some mistakes like anyone else, trying different needles and machines. I think the most important thing is to be patient, and technically I prefer doing dots one by one so that they’re well marked, even though whip shading also gives good results.
Once upon a time, a master told me «Lluís, it’s easy to do a dot, the hard thing is to do good designs».
Nowadays I’m more focused on Linework, Ornamental-Mehndi tattoos. Sometimes combining this with some psychedelic Dotwork patterns.
Are the illustrated books your true masters or does every single tattoo of yours come exclusively from your imagination?
I think it’s a mix. I’m very interested in different ancient cultures, mostly Asian. I love this art in all its expressions, in architecture, fabrics, ceramics, etc. I have a number of books which serve as inspiration, and I’m always looking for more to add to my collection. I also feel influenced by other tattoo artists, and different kinds of art, like optical and psychedelic art. In the end I have all these influences in my brain and try to represent them in my own vision.
I guess that to finish one of your pieces, whether large or small, it takes a lot more work and concentration than a normal tattoo. Would you agree?
Maybe… (smiles) Sometimes I spend more time placing the stencil or drawing directly on the skin than doing the tattoo. But I don’t think the concentration changes that much from any other tattoo style…