If you love microrealism, you’re going to love Yeono's work. Her gift is to capture the essence of your pet or your favorite animation and turn it into an inked masterpiece.
Yeono is originally from South Korean and work at the 10kf_hollywood in Hollywood, California. She also tours regularly so you might find her visiting other countries. Keep an eye on her Instagram to be the first to know about future tours.
Interchanging between realism and an illustrative style, she makes sure her work is unique, and tailored to the client's vision.
Let’s get to know her a little more and how her tattoo career has been developing.
So Yeono, tell us a little bit about your story and what drew you to tattoos in the first place.
When I was young, I was not interested in drawing. When I was 17, my mother wanted to get a small tattoo. In the middle of looking for tattoo photos together with my mother, I got to see a back piece tattoo by a Japanese famous tattooist.
At that time, the only tattoos I knew were a butterfly and Chinese characters on my mother’s body. As soon as I saw the tattoo work, I marveled at it. As I instantly wanted to create that kind of tattoos, I made up my mind to become a tattooist.
This was one of the decisions that changed everything in my life.
And can you tell us a little bit about your path to becoming an artist?
To become a great tattooist, it would be necessary to be equipped with various skills such as artistic ability, great health, and communication skills. Because clients have to live with the tattoo for lifetime, a tattooist should be equipped with a drawing ability to draw a great tattoo.
And as an act of drawing on skin with a needle, a tattooist should be fully aware of knowledge about hygiene and skin for the safety of clients.
And a tattooist needs communication skills for effective dialogues with clients by carefully listening to their ideas. A tattooist should be able to fully understand their ideas and also to cooperate with them.
And great tattoos and designs require great concentration, so a tattooist needs to have great psychological and physical strength.
Today you have a very defined style. How was it at the start of your career? Did you tattoo anything your clients asked you?
I learnt tattoo from a Korean tattooist who performed Japanese-style tattoos. He taught me the basics and techniques of picture and tattoo.
I did new school & Japanese-style tattoos for several years. After that, I started feeling interested in black & gray tattoos, so I studied about pencil drawing. Currently, I am mostly working on small-size realistic tattoos and pet tattoos.
What would you say is for you the most challenging part of being a tattooist?
In the past, a tattoo studio was a counter-culture place. Before people got familiar with tattoo, it was almost-unknown underground arts. That is why there were many misunderstandings of tattoo artists. After tattoo becomes the main stream, the tattoo artists grab attention than ever.
Still, many people have the negative perception of tattoo.
Tattoo is an excellent means and arts of self-expression. I hope such old misunderstandings disappear one day.
What’s a funny story that happened to you with a client (or in the studio)
When I got in an elevator of my friend’s apartment building, I was welcomed by a dog that was already in the elevator. The dog was really kind and so cute. As soon as I saw the dog’s owner to say hello, I realized he was my client. The dog that welcomed me was the one I drew. We were all surprised and felt pleased to meet with each other.
How do you see your art developing in the future?
Instead of hoping to become a certain type of tattooist, I would like to continuously work as an artist as long as my health permits.
My other dream is to become a hyper-realistic artist working on a canvas after developing my tattoo art into fine art. I want to strengthen my position as an expert in my field. And I want to have my own work for a long time without going backward as I get old.
Do you have any ongoing / future projects you’d like to share with the readers?
Even though it is very difficult to draw a small-size realistic tattoo on skin, I like to draw a small tattoo as a challenge.
If there are some people who want this challenge, I would like to inspire them by sharing my own methods with them. So, I have a plan to open an online class on my own signature realism techniques I have mastered so far.
If you could say something to all your potential / future clients, what would it be?
Thank you so much for loving and supporting my tattoo. I will always do my best to provide the best tattoos to many clients who visit me. And I look forward to having your continuous support in the future.
Make sure to follow Yeono on Instagram @tattooist_yeono and show your love for her art.
Did you enjoy this interview? And who would you like to see next? Request your favorite artists via [email protected]