Interview with the Artist: Francesco Ferrara
Written by Baylor Meche
Francesco Ferrara is one of our newest Marketplace artists. This Italian tattooer has gone off with a bang on our online store and at conventions. Today, we sat down to get to know a little more about him.
Q: You suddenly have to leave your house and can only take one item with you. What is it and why?
A: Surely if I had to leave my house I would take my album with all my flashes made over the years! I call it "the bible", without that I would be lost! LOL
Q: Do you listen to music when you create art, if so what’s your go to?
A: I always listen to music while I paint or draw. I really like hip hop, both American and Italian, some of my favorites are Necro, noyz narcos, non phixion, colle der fomento and many others ..
Q: How long have you been living in Roma and what do you enjoy most about it?
A: I recently moved to Rome, but I have been working there for more than 5 years. Before, I lived in a town 40 minutes outside Rome, but I can say that life here is the best you can find in Europe, at least in my opinion! Traveling a lot, I was able to see the differences between my City and many European cities. I can say with certainty that life is much more relaxing here in Rome, and this is very important to me! The quality of work and the clientele are better in northern Europe.
Q: That's definitely important! How did you get your start as a tattooer?
A: Before I started tattooing, I started getting tattooed very young. My first tattoo was at 16! I almost immediately fell in love with everything around the tattoo: the life in the studio, the noise, the smells, everything ...
After a while an old friend of mine bought a tattoo machine and asked me to try it. From that moment, I knew that was my way. I did my first tattoos on myself, so of course they are shitty as fuck, but they are the most important to me. Then, I started tattooing my friends in a cellar. I only got paid for the materials, but I wanted to learn. The life I was leading often led me to not focus on my goals so after some ups and downs, I decided to devote my life to tattooing. As soon as I finished school, at around 18, I went to various shops in my city to ask to be able to do an apprenticeship. Many refused me, but in the end I found a shop that gave me a chance. At the beginning it was not easy .. establishing oneself in an already saturated industry like in my city (Rome) is really hard... After the apprenticeship, I changed various shops until I went to work in my second home, Fronte del Porto. There I met many tattooers and this helped me to grow in the industry day by day.
Q: What would you say is the most challenging thing about being a tattoo artist? The most rewarding?
A: It is very difficult to always maintain a certain level of commitment in everything you do, from social media to drawing, painting ... and in addition to maintaining that level find the time to experiment and raise your level more and more every day. But personally, even though it can be tiring many times, I only feel gratification in everything I do.
Q: What’s the process for creating your pieces? Is there a specific type of paper, ink, environment, etc. that is a must when you’re creating?
A: The place where I draw is everything! I need peace and detachment from everything to paint and draw. For me the best time is the night, usually drawing or painting every night, sometimes even until 5 in the morning. It's one of the best moments of my day.
Q: If you could study under or collab with any artist alive or dead who would it be and why?
A: In recent years, I have worked with many tattoo artists that I have always wanted to know and have followed since I started. There are many others that I would like to know but I still have a lot of time to make it happen!
Q: What advice would you give to any aspiring artists out there looking to get their start?
A: There are no tips that can help anyone, they haven't given me many, I can only say that if you love what you do and have respect for the tattoo and people, by putting in a lot of effort and sacrificing a lot of your time you can reach yours goals, you just have to believe it.
You can shop all of Francesco's art here!
Stay tuned for more interviews and blog posts from your favorite team of misfits at Mindzai.