Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: When did you get your first tattoo and what was it? Did it take much time until you decided to get it done?
Andrea: The first I got with 35… and I took a life till I decided to... it was the whole left arm... it was a Japanese.
RoD: How many tattoos do you have? Could you please tell us their story?
Andrea: I have tattoos on arms, back, chest, thighs, and ankle. The stories I will save for me.
RoD: Have you already got all the tattoos that you wanted or will you get some new ones in the future?
Andrea: First I have to finish my back. I would like to continue with my belly...
RoD: Have all your tattoos been done by one tattoo artist or by different ones? How do you choose the tattoo artist? In addition, who draws your sketches?
Andrea: Almost from one artist. I’m addicted to Japanese style so I choose one of the main in Rome.
RoD: Getting tattooed hurts, how do you cope with the pain during the sessions?
Andrea: It depends on the part of the body. I just suffer in silence... but during last session I discover an amazing cream. It could help for a couple of hours.
RoD: Do you regret getting tattooed sometimes?
Andrea: Just sometimes when people, during a conversation, look at my tattoos instead of my eyes. Btw if I was young again I would get first started with my back.
RoD: What is your taboo in terms of tattoos? What kind of tattoo would you never get done and don’t like to see on other people?
Andrea: I have no taboo. I don’t like so much tribal stuff... btw if the artist is talented, every tattoo becomes an artwork.
RoD: Some people say that the drive to acquire body art is addictive while others say it fails to meet the true definition of an addiction, simply calling it a passion. Is it really impossible to stop?
Andrea: I don’t think I could be addicted to… so for me it’s not impossible to stop. Tattoos have always been part of an imaginary that fascinated me since I was child. I remember during a holiday in Scotland I was intrigued by a group of old men full of tattoos who worked at a museum. I think that was the moment I decided I will get a tattoo.
RoD: Currently, tattoos are a new trend; many people do not care about the meaning, they just want to have something coloured on the skin, to be in trend. Those people often just go into a tattoo salon and ask which drafts they have. Tattoo artists are not artists any more, they produce consumer goods. Not all of them, of course. How do you feel about this situation?
Andrea: I really don’t care about this trend. If more people have tattoos, this don’t change the value of what I did. People are free to live tattoos as they prefer. The only problem is that there are many new tattoo makers who do not do their job well. So the risk is to see ruined skins around.
RoD: I would like to talk about the social aspect of tattoos, too. Previously, many people believed that if you have a tattoo, you will be never be successful and will not find a “good” job. Have this state of mind and people's perceptions changed or are these prejudices still alive?
Andrea: Tattoos are now part of mass culture... if you browse a magazine now u usually find some tattooed model. It’s easy to find tattooed managers too ...so I think we’re talking a social aspect we could find 10 years ago.
RoD: Which advice would you give to people who are going to get their first tattoo? How to choose a tattoo artist? Colour or black and white? Any practical advice?
Andrea: The only advice is: a tattoo must be beautiful… amazing… so trust in your tattoo maker. He/ She knows more than you how is better to do
Special thanks to the NCN Festival for supporting the project and for giving opportunity to take pictures.
Project by Daria Tessa and Daniela Vorndran, Interview by Daria Tessa
Pictures by Daria Tessa (https://www.facebook.com/tessaswelten)