Artem Korobov – How This Tattoo Artist Came To Master Graphic Avantgarde

In an industry where everyone focuses on what’s trendy and constantly changing their approach, Artem Korobov is pushing the envelope of the ever so beautiful Graphic Avantgarde tattoo style and fashion. This is more amazing than you might think at first. Just knowing that he is currently the only one in Israel performing these feats of tattoo style is enough for us here to want to delve deeper into this mythical style.

In order to get the full picture (no pun intended) we decided to check if Mr. Korobov would be up for an interview so that we could get the full scope of his traditional, yet mind-boggling tattoo style. And luckily for us, he was game!

So, let’s get started presenting Mr. Korobov to you readers and no one does it better than if he did so himself.

Interviewer: Hello Artem, thank you for allowing us to peek into your world and learn a bit more about the art that has come to be called Graphic Avantgarde. Would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself and where it all started?

Artem: Yo, what’s up? So, the idea of tattooing came to me when I was traveling and searching for myself, somewhat trying to find me, and tattooing suddenyl founds its way to me. I was around 27 years old and at this time I moved from Israel and I started working in Europe. After that, I met a person who showed me this new world and helped me a lot at the beginning of this amazing journey.

I will forever be grateful for that! Its was a huge gift for me that I don’t think I will ever be able to repay. The idea was born in Ibiza, Spain. Then after that, I did my first tattoo in Teneriffa, another amazing city in Spain. It was done on pig skin and after that, I went back to Israel super inspired to get started. When it comes to my first tattoo on a person, it was about 4 years ago and from that point, everything changed in my life!

 u can feel it only when u do what u love!

Interviewer: Many tattoo artists’ dream is to own their very own tattoo studio and take on the adventure of evolving into a popular hotspot for the kind of style that they are specialized in. Is this something that you are familiar with and if so, when did you start your own tattoo studio?

Artem: Okey, so at the moment, I am working on this project that is called DUMIYA, it’s a Hebrew word that means “complete silence”. Its a private studio based in Tel Aviv in the old city of Jaffa. Before that, I was working in various shops in Israel, most of them in Tel Aviv.

After that, I was traveling around the globe for 2 years, and now I have this place where I can create without any problems and do it in my own way! I opened this place together with my love and best friend, Shiran. She is a tattooer as well and we also have two additional young tattoo artists work for us and they have their own special styles. Also, It was one of my dreams, that when I owned my own studio it was going to be private and not a street shop.

Interviewer: I know many of our readers are eager to learn more about your style and how you developed the skills necessary. How did you get started with Graphic Avantgarde and where is it, in your opinion, heading in the future?

Artem: Well, in my early years as a tattoo artist, I was inspired by a graphic abstract tattoo artist. This kind of work Is out of the box. I like things that are not usual or ordinary. At the current time, I try to be less on the road and instead concentrate on developing my style and make it more and more unique! For me, it’s really important that an artist has a unique style. Also, in the future, I want to progress and learn more and this is what I have been trying to do for 4 years until today. This is probably what I will continue doing as well for the foreseeable future.

Interviewer: When looking at the style itself, it appears to consist of intricate lines forming various motifs. When a customer shows up to get one of your amazing tattoos attached to their skin, do they usually have something in mind, or do they mostly allow you to freehand, based on what they tell you?

Artem: Yeah, a lot of time, the client knows what he or she wants so I am not always freehanding what I do as a tattoo artist. Also, a lot of the time, people ask me about the abstract stuff that I do and most of these pieces I make by using different brushes and a variety of materials. After that, import them into Photoshop and create a composition of it all. Some of the textures I draw with pencils or other brushes, or even freehand on the body.

These I sometimes load into Photoshop and reuse them. It’s a creative and fun mix between technology and an old school technique. As much as I can, I also try to stay close to the rules of the traditional tribal tattoo. This way, as you can see, most of my work is large scale and I also use a lot of contrast with black to further accentuate the tattoo. Of course, I experiment in my work as this makes you move forward.

Interviewer: One thing that struck me after doing a bit of research about the Graphic Avantgarde style is that it is heavily void of color. Almost all of the tattoos are black. Do you have a different approach to the style, meaning more colors, or is the style just that, black complex lines creating a beautiful motif?

Artem: At the moment, I don’t want to set borders or limits of what my style is all about. I try to experiment with different colors, however,  most of them are earth tones. Most of the time, I like to use big spots of black. Like mentioned before, I believe that a tattoo needs to stay clear for 20 years. Nowadays, a lot of different tattoo artists create these kinds of mainstream work that will despair in just a couple of years, this is why I connect better to the tribal work.

Interviewer: I have a few tattoos myself, but I am struck by the amazing foresight you must have when you create your artwork. Knowing tattoo artists practice quite a lot on their profession, what do you feel was the most difficult phase getting into the Graphic Avantgarde style and what are your strengths and weaknesses?

Artem: Everything is hard! In the beginning, I was working only with magnums on real skin for 6 months as I was afraid of lines. However, after that, I started to use lines among a lot of other things. I think if you want to progress you always need to get out of your comfort zone. This is perhaps the only way to improve. When it comes to Graphic Avantgarde, it develops with time. It’s still not perfect and perhaps it will never be and that is kind of how I want it to be as you never stop to evolve and progress.

Interviewer: The future. Working your way to up to the current level popularity, what do you feel is the future for the Artem Korobov brand and where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?

Artem: I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but I do know that I will keep moving forward as a tattoo artist and create as much art as I possibly can.

Interviewer: I know everyone is interested in knowing what your inspirations are (including me). Can you tell us a bit about who you turn to when your artistic inspiration runs dry?

Artem: In the beginning, my inspiration came from an artist that when I saw the style for the first time, I was shocked. I had never before seen this kind of style and the artist was George Drone. Today, he is a good friend of mine.

So, 4 years ago I  sent him a message and told him that I wanted to get a tattoo from him and then I traveled to Greece where he was located at the time. It was a big moment for me. Furthermore, I also got a lot of inspiration from music and movies. There have also been times when just ordinary people have motived me, like martial arts people.

Interviewer: No doubt have you created quite a few tattoos since you started. But, which one are you the proudest of and can you tell us a little about what the thought process was behind it?

Artem: I think it depends on the customer. The ones where the customer has an open mind as this allows me to create whatever I want. I have a few big projects that I like a lot. I love a few full sleeves that I did in the past because when you build a sleeve it’s like a puzzle. You never know what it’s going to look like before it is finished. I think this is the kind of work that I like the most.

Interviewer: Let’s end this interview with a question that I think everyone is interested in knowing. I honestly think it must be the most asked by customers getting ready to get their tattoos permanently attached to their skin. Who is the most famous person you have tattooed and what did that person get?

Artem: I think a lot of famous people like more of what is mainstream today. My kind of work is more underground and I don’t remember that I ever did something for someone famous. However, there are a couple of people that I would really like to tattoo:)

Interviewer: I would personally like to thank you for letting us peek into what the world of Artem Korobov looks like and to learn about your amazing artwork. It’s amazing what the imagination of a talented artist can create, and I know I am not the only one who thinks your work is beyond amazing.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions and I will be looking forward to checking in again in a couple of years to see where the future took you.

Thanks!

Artem: Thank you so much, guys!

Artem Korobov – Tattoo Artwork

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IMAGES: ARTEM KOROBOV

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