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English - August 11, 2021

Naomi, a tattoo artist who started by a drawing passion

By the passion for drawing, to work as a tattoo artist. Naomi's path, between prejudices, different projects, hopes and a great dream.

Welcome everybody to a new episode of “I’m Luna Dolph – Art & Reality”. I am Luna, and I thank you for being here with me. In the last episode we talked with Giuliana, a young painter, who is making her way into a world of men.

Today I’d like to talk about a new topic, completely unknown to me. I’m talking about the drawing, however, made on skin, therefore, of tattoos. To talk about this topic, I contacted a very young tattoo artist who has recently entered this world, but who has already achieved interesting goals. Let’s get to know Naomi di Sanza together.

A tattoo artist and her passion for drawing, born as a child

Me: Hi Naomi, nice to meet you!

N: Hi Luna, it’s my pleasure to meet you. Thanks, first of all, for the opportunity. I’m Naomi Di Sanza, a 22 year old girl. I live in a small town in Abruzzo, in the province of L’aquila: Roccaraso. And I’m a tattoo artist.

Me: I saw your profile, Naomi, and I found it beautiful. I have to congratulate you on your drawings! I wonder when your passion was born!

N: I’ve always had a certain propensity for drawing, and for everything about art in general. However, I never pushed myself further, I never took a chiance. Because I didn’t think I had this talent. Then, over time, making mistakes, sometimes even in “bad luck”, I got lucky. Thus, I have known my way.

Me: So, this passion has always been inside of you, you just had to understand it.

How does the path of a tattoo artist begin?

Me: How did you understand that, this, was just the right path? I’d like to know how you approached the world of drawing and, then, became a tattoo artist.

N: My projects were different projects. I’ve always had a particular passion for languages, and for the oriental world. In fact, I started the linguistic high school. After that, I graduated from the tourist high school. I’ve always studied languages, to become a hostess, etc.

Once you have finished high school, the first step is usually the university. So, I decided to enroll in the Oriental of Naples. There, I started studying Chinese and Japanese. However, I felt that I was missing something. In the morning, I woke up and had no stimuli. That was also a difficult period, a “dark” period. So, I needed to find a way to bring out what I had inside.

One day, I bought some pencils, which cost very little. And a drawing album. I was planning to take it to class, to take notes. One afternoon, I was studying Chinese history, but I couldn’t concentrate. I was down in the dumps, and I needed to let off steam.

So, I started looking for pictures on the internet, to find an idea. I started drawing, and something beautiful came out. Then, I showed this drawing to my friends, my family, and they loved it. So, from there, I began to cultivate this passion.

Me: It’s incredible to think that: it all started with a sketchbook and some pencils. You had completely different projects, then, you came to your true path.

The first drawing, the first emotion

Me: Naomi, do you still remember your first drawing?

N: My first drawing was an eye. I saw the image of an eye and reproduced it. I remember it was a dull eye, which conveyed to me, exactly what I was feeling at that moment. So, there was some kind of empathy, between me and the image. Then, a drawing came out. That was, in the end, my first drawing.

Me: You remember very well, what a beautiful thing! It must have been a great emotion to see the final result.

How a passion becomes a job

Me: Naomi, I guess there is a long way to go to make your dreams come true. You have managed to turn your passion into a real job. But, how was the journey?

N: It wasn’t easy. A little because of the surrounding environment. Because, living in a small village, there is a fairly closed mentality.

I started for fun. However, I had to find a way to make what I was doing concrete. Many people have advised me to try the academy of fine arts. Or, learn how to make comics. However, always remain in the world, in the theme.

But, it was like I was missing that something. Personally, I’ve always had a passion for tattoos. But obviously, living in a small town, with a somewhat closed mentality, it was a difficult transition. Above all, make me understand.

A world populated by prejudices

N: Unfortunately, the world of tattoos is still seen as frequented by bad people. Also because it comes from prisoners. Thus was born. Over time it has evolved. Indeed, I would like to disprove this, because it is a beautiful environment. I got to know a lot of special people. So, it was difficult, yes.

However, I think it is essential to chase that something that makes your heart beat. Chasing your dreams. If I hadn’t, I would have lived unhappily.

Me: I think it’s important to follow your dreams. Personally, I lived in a world without sound, without color, without soul. I know a hope, an idea was lit in me. I wanted to know something more. Go out and find out. I met two people who helped me. I realized it was what I wanted and I never gave up. So I discovered your world and I’m happy with it.

Draw on a sheet and draw on skin

Me: But, I guess a tattoo artist encounters a lot of changes in her path. Before you drew on a sheet, now you draw on leather. What did you feel?

N: Surely, they are two completely different worlds. As I said before, I started out for fun. Then, I saw that my works liked them. This, also thanks to the help of my friend and my family. They understood and supported me right away.

I began to look at this as a possible job, and also with a different eye. With an eye to the future.

Surely, on paper it is different, because if you make a mistake you can erase, or turn the sheet. On real leather, on the other hand, technically speaking, it is completely different. Every stroke you make is indelible, permanent. Then, it’s no longer you who chooses the subject. You have to adapt to the customer’s requests. And so, surely, it was a difficult transition, but I feel that it is that something that fills me. I found my balance.

Me: Beautiful what you said. The fact that you have found your goal and your balance is important.

The advice of a tattoo artist

Me: I’m sure a lot of people are looking for the right path. Do you have any advice for these people? Any advice to get them to believe more in their dreams?

N: The only advice I can give, is not to be afraid. Fear holds people back, and I was afraid at first. If I hadn’t put myself on the line, what I saw as a dream would not have come true. I’ve just started. I have achieved a goal.

That is, I got the qualification as a tattoo and permanent makeup operator. But I see it as a beginning, I don’t see it as a goal achieved. I see it as a new birth and, to date, I am happy. I am happy, because I have found a way to make myself understood, to express myself. To convey something to people. And I believe that in my small way I have succeeded.

So, my advice is to always chase your dreams. Not to be afraid. And above all, to go further when you are not understood. Because, even in social networks, there are not always people capable of listening and understanding. So, go and go for it.

Pursue your dreams, because there is no better choice. And most importantly, you should not be afraid of making mistakes. In my experience, by making a mistake, I have found my way, the right way.

How does a tattoo artist live the relationship with social media?

Me: As you said at the beginning, you approached the world of drawing to let off steam in a “dark” moment. I think it’s a very interesting thing. People in your world are not always satisfied with their surroundings. In fact, they tend to escape as much as possible and seek refuge. This refuge is almost always a social network, it is the internet. There they manage to create a life that I would define fake.

You did something different, you took a piece of paper and a pencil and started drawing. What do you think of this difference?

N: I find that, nowadays, people tend to wear a mask a lot. Until recently, I was wearing one too. But, it was more to protect me, out of fear. Certainly, as in my case, social networks are a great opportunity. They are gold. Because, they are a showcase, a window on the world.

I love my job, because it allows me to be in close contact with people. So, you need to find a meeting point between real life and the life of social media. Also because, the world of social media is a world, sometimes, built. So maybe you get lost.

Social media, an important window on the world

N: For example, I started right on social media. Also for fun, following the advice of my best friend, I opened an Instagram page. I didn’t think I would get such a positive response. I thought I would always remain intimate, with the few people who know me.

Instead, it was a huge opportunity. It gave me the opportunity to show my works also in other places in the world. I have been contacted by many people, in America, who are interested in my work.

I started by drawing what I wanted to express, what represented me and what I felt inside. Then, entering the world of my work, therefore of the tattoo artist, I began to make a selection of drawings. So, I started doing this style, they call Chicano. Style born in America. Many people have liked my works.

They contacted me to work on request. They also published my drawings in some famous American magazines. And therefore, this gave me a great opportunity. I think that: social networks serve to give you a broader view of yourself. However, I keep the relationship with the customer alive. There is nothing more beautiful.

Me: What you said is very important. You have to stay in touch with customers, create a relationship. And really congratulations on the goals you have achieved!

Chicano style

Me: You talked about one particular tattoo style called Chicano. Can you explain a little more to me? I am not very familiar with this subject.

N: The Chicano style is a style that was born in the 50s, in America: in California and Texas. Through the emigration of the Mexicans. Chicano derives from the distortion of the word Mexicano, which was almost an insult.

Then, it became a real culture. They began to tattoo these faces of beautiful women, roses, skulls. And it was almost like belonging to a group. Let’s say it is the style that best represents me. It is called “black and gray”, that is: black and gray. It represents me because my vision of the world is in black and white.

I will definitely want to grow, stylistically speaking. I would like to learn how to do any kind of tattoo. However, I would like to specialize in this style, because I feel that it is what belongs to me, that represents me more.

Me: Really interesting style. If that’s what represents you the most, then it’s right that you dedicate yourself to it.

The places in the heart of a tattoo artist

Me: Naomi, is there any place that has brought you closer to this world? Any museum or event that has remained in your heart the most? There will certainly be some listeners curious about this world.

N: Definitely Japan. It was interesting the practice of the tattoo, that was used before, tapping on the wood. This has always been a world that has particularly fascinated me. Above all, the world of the East. In fact, I love drawing Geishas.

My advice is to attend tattoo conventions when possible. Because, in this way, you have the opportunity to meet many people. Wonderful people, lots of tattoo artists from all over the world. And this serves to disprove the prejudice that it is a negative environment, with people who are untrustworthy. In reality, it is a truly vast and beautiful world.

Me: You’re right, there are misconceptions about this world. I think it is wrong to judge without knowing.

A tattoo as a memory

Me: Naomi, before I leave you, I would like to ask you something personal. Is there any tattoo you carry in your heart? Maybe, that you have on your body, or that you have done to someone.

N: Definitely the first tattoo I got. I did it to myself. It was a rose. This is the flower that perfectly represents not so much me, as my life. A life full of thorns, which however, slowly, is blossoming.

And then, of course, the tattoos I got on my family. But, also to people who I never thought would get tattooed. Instead, they trusted me, and the first time they got tattooed by me. I think it was a gesture of love. It gave me that extra something to believe in myself. Which I haven’t done before, and it’s good to start now.

Me: I find it really amazing how you are building your future. And I think it’s time to start believing in yourself, you have the skills, you are very good.

The future full of projects of a tattoo artist

Me: As for the future, what can you tell me? Do you have any projects in mind? Maybe I’ll meet you at some fair!

N: Lots of projects! However, first of all I want to grow stylistically, refine traits and practice. Now, I’m looking for a studio to join. I would like to work, do some apprenticeship.

Then, my dream is to open a studio, work on my own and be independent. At the moment, I do not feel ready yet, and with all the credentials.

And then, another project is certainly to participate in some fair and some convention. I would like that very much. When will it be possible to do them, when I will be ready and I will feel I can go. I hope to succeed.

Me: Maybe I’ll come and see you at some event! I have to thank Naomi for the time you gave me. You were very kind to tell me your story. I hope it will serve as an inspiration to many people.

N: Thanks to you for the opportunity. I hope to see you soon!

Me: Before saying goodbye, would you like to tell us what your page is called? Thus, our listeners can come and visit you!

N: @naomissketches on Instagram.

Rate and comment my podcast

Thanks also to those who listened to this new episode of “I’m Luna Dolph – Art & Reality”. I learned a lot thanks to the words of the tattoo artist Naomi, about her world. But above all, I’m glad she explained to us that the reality of tattoos is not about a bad environment. I hope Naomi’s advice was helpful. What do you think of the world of tattoos? Write me to let me know!

Leave me a good review on my web channels, to encourage me to continue this journey. Subscribe to my podcast and on Instagram. Contact me on lunadolph.com for advice, criticism or simply to get to know me. See you next Friday for a new episode! And don’t forget – live and enjoy the real world!