Interview with Kelly Julio
How long have you been tattooing? What inspired you to get into the industry? I started getting serious about tattooing around the end of 2004, after learning a lot from working at a friend’s tattoo studio in Jakarta, Indonesia.
I had and still have a strong passion for drawing, painting and graphic design and knew I wanted to make art part of my career.
What did you do before? Did you study art? I worked in hospitality for a couple of years, but deep down I knew it wasn’t for me and what I was meant to be doing. Although I have never studied art formally, I learned a lot from friends, art books, architectural art, photography as well as from traditional and cultural arts from several countries, especially my own, Indonesia, an infinite resource of inspiration for me.
What do you like most about your work? Tattooing is so much more than just work, more than just a way to make a living. I feel extremely happy when I can translate my customer’s idea or concept into something that they are happy to get inked on their body, which will accompany them throughout their life. I also love the human side of tattooing, being able to talk about everything and anything with my customers, not only about tattooing; sharing thoughts, ideas and learning from them.
How would you describe the style of your work? I am probably best described as an all-rounder, because so many things inspire my work. I want to please my customers by translating their ideas into a tattoo without restricting them.
What is your favorite style of work and your favorite subject to work on? What inspires you? I love color as well as black and grey, I really enjoy working on mandala, geometric and pointillism pieces. I am really inspired by Art Nouveau, traditional ornaments and patterns.
Do you have any planned conventions or guest spots? I am taking part in the Oxford Tattoo Convention on 1st and 2nd of September this year. Next year, I am planning to participate in several tattoo conventions in Europe and the UK.
Be sure to follow Kelly Julio on Facebook to see more of his tattoos and artwork.