The art of drawing on skin
We spent a day with Angela Smisek, an Italian tattoo artist who was born in Termoli, Campobasso, and then relocated to Milan. After graduating from Bologna’s Accademia di Belle Arti (Academy of Fine Arts) with a major in painting, she discovered a passion for tattoos and decided to turn it into a career.
“I am aware that it is impossible to live and work without technology,”
Angela has a strange relationship with technology. She’s certainly not someone who has to have the latest device on the market, but she takes her new, recently-purchased 2 in 1 with her wherever she goes.
Angela admits during our chat. Her Acer Switch 10, powered by the latest generation Intel processor technology, really has become her personal assistant, not just for work, but for leisure and entertainment as well.
Where did your passion for tattoos come from?
It was a passion that began a bit by chance. I’ve always drawn since I was a little girl, then I met someone who made me think “I could try this”: my mentor Luca Mamone (a renowned and internationally famous tattoo artist from Rome). He gave me all the advice I could have needed for my work. Luca is also the person who, in one way or another, has really influenced my career path. I have a lot of respect for him. If I had never met him, who knows what I’d be doing now…
What does your family think about your work?
They didn’t take it very well at first. Then, when they saw that a simple passion had turned into a profession, they came to accept it. My father, my most demanding customer, wants a tattoo every time he sees me. The only member of my family who has never had a tattoo is my brother, but never say never.
Which part of your job do you like best?
I really like drawing. In fact, I graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna with a degree in painting. I definitely prefer the “preparation” part of tattooing. I love it when my clients give me free rein creatively, both because I can let my imagination run wild and because, in those situations, I feel like they have complete confidence in me.
Which tattoo artists, Italian or otherwise, inspire you the most?
The source of my inspiration is definitely the first American tattoo artists, from 1900 onwards, as I adore the traditional American style.
What role does technology play in your work and your life, and how important is it?
Technology plays a very important part, especially in my working life. Nowadays it’s impossible to imagine working without technology.
How do you use your Acer Switch 10 2 in 1 with Intel technology?
I use it a lot for browsing images, which I then use as inspiration for my work, or to have a closer look at the drawings that my clients like. The main thing for me is the calendar. I always forget everything, so I prefer to make a note of anything that I have to do, whether it’s a work commitment or a personal appointment.
As I spend a lot of time traveling to different conventions, I use my 2 in 1 to stay in touch with my clients and fans via e-mail or by updating my Facebook page.
What is your favorite thing about your 2 in 1 device?
I find it very useful that, whether I’m in the studio or at home, I can use it comfortably at a desk by using it with the keyboard like a notebook with all the features, then, if I have to get up and go out, I can detach the display and use it like a tablet. This is particularly useful when I have to keep it close by when I’m tattooing and need to check the colors and shades of the design that I’m doing.