A Candid Interview with Swani – Tattoo Artist from South Korea

In our tattoo artists interview series, this time we talked with Swani, who is a growing tattoo artist from South Korea.

1. What inspired you to become a tattoo artist and when did you start it as a career?

I started learning tattooing in 2014. While studying fine arts in France, I developed a desire to create art on the human body.

2. How many tattoos do you have on your body and what’s your favorite one?

I probably have over 50 tattoos, but I haven’t counted exactly. My favorite tattoo is the hannya on my toe. However, it was the most painful one.

Sanya Favorite Tattoo

3. Which is your favorite client tattoo, what was the story behind it, and how much time it took?

Perhaps my favorite piece among my works is the ornamentation and butterflies I tattooed along the side of a female client’s torso. I did it as a guest artist in a different city in Korea, working on it for three consecutive days. It took more than 20 hours.

Swani Client Tattoo

4. What do you do in your free time when not tattooing people?

I go to the gym as a hobby, and these days, I’m learning and training for boxing.

5. Why do you think people get a tattoo, even though it’s a painful process?

I believe it becomes a memory of that moment. The reasons for getting a tattoo may vary, but I hope it becomes a lasting memory in a single moment. It is also a rite of passage, enduring the pain to gain the experience.

6. What are different styles of tattoos do you make?

I like both Oriental and ornamental styles. I want something that falls in between, combining patterns and Oriental elements. I have so many things I want to do that it’s hard to describe, but I enjoy creating designs and prefer larger projects that can utilize the entire body.

7. Where do you see the future of Tattoos?

Soon, I think we are heading into an era where not only the art industry but also fashion, music, and tattoos will rely on AI and robots. Like AI painting and music. However, within that era, I think there will be greater value in humans actively contributing to work.

8. Where do you see yourself in next 5 years?

I want to go to a place where I can express myself a bit more freely. Wherever that place may be, I aim for a significant change in my life within the next 5 years.

9. If you get a choice, which celebrity would you like to Tattoo and any specific design?

I haven’t thought about it specifically, and I can’t pinpoint anyone, but if given the opportunity, I’d like to tattoo on the body of a runway model. I want to approach it more aesthetically.

10. Please share your social handles and how to reach out to get a tattoo? 

I only use Instagram, and my handle is @swanissober. I usually take reservations through email at [email protected].

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