Throughout this interview with Scotty Massa, we will talk about the importance for the career of any tattoo artist to feel supported by their loved ones, work very hard and never stop chasing your dreams; however difficult or distant they may seem.
Scotty Massa creates tattoos full of texture and realism, being able to capture from precious roses full of details, to enigmatic astral charts on the skin of all his clients.
You want to get to know him better? The artist then explains how he began his journey in the art of tattooing, his main inspirations and his dreams for the future.
Don’t miss it, keep reading!
How did you get to Malta and why you were attracted to this job?
The idea of being a tattoo artist was something going on in my head since I was a kid. I always liked to draw, I watched the artists and the tattooers with a mixture of intrigue and admiration. That made me want it at the same time as I was afraid.
But before I became a full-time tattooist, the first thing I did was go to traditional art school. I wanted to have the basics of drawing and painting. Even though I knew I wouldn’t end up being a non-illustrator painter.
However, I did not finish the course because the concepts of art overwhelmed me. I understood that art is much more than the theory they explain in the books. After that I started being a tattooist on trial in a couple of local studios. A lot of things and learned what it was like to be a tattoo artist. Through those experiences I forged myself as a tattooist. Despite the difficulties, I would not change anything of what I live. All that has made me who I am today and the artist that everyone knows.
What are your main sources of inspiration and how your style has changed over the years?
Surprisingly, my greatest inspiration is not found in other artists or designs, although I do have some very marked artistic references that I like Caravaggio. However, I like inspiration to come from everywhere, such as science, philosophy and music.
Despite all that, if anyone inspires me every day and pushes me to keep tattooing, it’s my grandfather. He is the most positive and artistic person I know and whenever I can I talk to him to transmit all his energy and art. As for my style is clearly realistic, with a great influence of nature; therefore, the vast majority of my designs are floral. I also like the dark, reaching the macabre, performing really sinister tattoos that help me get out of my comfort zone and try new styles.
Which are the artists that have inspired you the most?
Classical artists have inspired me the most, I have always liked Van Gogh or Dali for their impressionism and their way of interpreting the world around them. I like darker Gothic architecture, my main references may be well known black Korean workers or Derek Noble.
As for the tattooists that inspire me, I don’t have any clarity, since my main source of inspiration is life, my family, my friends; the reality that surrounds me is an inexhaustible source of inspiration.
Many artists have a motivation behind their work, which you would say is yours?
My biggest motivation since I started tattooing is to provoke feelings in people who tattoo some of my designs. Getting them to feel any feeling no matter how good or bad it is will make me feel satisfied; I am certain that there is an ideal tattoo for each person, so if one of my designs is, my mission as a tattooist will be complete and all my art will make sense.
A lot of money doesn’t always mean hard work; it is the customers and their words the real prize to my work. A message from a client happy with their tattoo is the best prize.
Which is the best advice you think you can give for other tattoo artists?
You have to work hard for the difficult things in life; nothing that really makes you happy will be simple.
The best advice I try to apply every day and try to give to all my loved ones is to fight for their dream. If a person knows what he wants, he has to go for it, draw up a plan and set it in motion; tomorrow begins today, there is no time to waste when it comes to dreaming.
Some plan for the future?
I don’t have very strict plans for the future, I like to improvise and plan as things come up. I want to travel a lot, tattooing in different parts of the world has always been a goal. To be inspired by art from other parts of the world.
On the other hand, I would also like to start teaching, to give classes so that other people learn to tattoo in better conditions than I did at the time. I believe building a high standard in future shops is so important. Transmitting solid knowledge is so necessary; teaching is a gift, it is leaving a legacy that will survive beyond you, generation after generation.