First and foremost, introduce yourself to our readers. Who is Charles Huurman?
Hello. I am Charles Huurman. After many things in my life collapsed, I decided to invest all my time and effort into doing things that I really enjoyed no matter the money involved in it, even if that meant being chased by banks forever. Drawing and painting was the only thing I had ever done for fun, but I never thought about it as a career. So I started to believe in it. Once you see the path, messages come to you if you listen. A friend made me realize that by getting into tattooing, I could draw for a living. Then something clicked in my brain, and since that day my path has felt right. And when the path comes from within. Hard work just comes intuitively.
There is something in the eyes and expressions of your drawings that brings out a unique and powerful feeling behind your subjects. What inspires your art?
I found a title that I love and that I think really describes what I look for: “Abstract Realism”.
So my style is to get something real from a photographer and mix it with the abstract. Like oil stains or similar. Reality seems very static vs many abstract paintings feel like energy and movement. Creating realism is full of rules and methods vs the abstract that seems crazy and spontaneous. I love how my brain jumps from the fixed methods of realism to the craziness of the abstract. I also look at tattooing today. And I think there are many good realists. So I basically want to push it to the next level like other inspiring artists. I want to do the reality + much more. I also want to incorporate energy into my work. And flow with the body. The abstract I can deform and use however I want. There are no rules for it. So with it, I can add the extra energy, contrast, and motion I want for my tattoos.
I bought a tattoo machine kit. And I thought it was easy because I could draw. I was in a park telling this to some friends. And one told me he needed a cover-up. I said, yea sure…I ended up paying a professional to fix up the mess I did for free…
Are there any shapes, designs or special techniques that you are really into at the moment?
Faces is a must. I love portraits. But I think a portrait alone is just a reproduction. I want more. That reproduction and creating at the same time, in the same image but, it mainly would be to follow choose your really amazing photograph that you want to reproduce. And then step back, close your eyes a bit so you can only see a bit of the image and then try to follow intuition. After all intuition is the 90% of your brain in subconscious mode telling you what to do. It may sound weird, but it feels good
When you are not tattooing, what other creative projects are you working on?
Charcoal and oil painting. I literally try to tattoo like I paint. By the same methods as an oil painting. First the line area, then dark tones and then soft lear on top of soft lear of different colours. I make my brain work the same way and for me, it works great. Charcoal is more kind of a training my site. It’s much faster and you can do it anywhere. So it’s good for this. I take a page from a magazine with a face on it and try to reproduce it in the fastest time possible. It’s great for airports and planes.
Do you perceive that going to school for art gives you a unique perspective on the world of tattooing?
Actually, I think that you never stop learning. The most of things and skills I train and learn happened after any official art studies I could have. If you search there is always seminars, DVDs…. And loads of information available for anyone at any time. So I don’t think a “school” is necessary. Yes to make learning a day by day tradition for the rest of your life.
What influences do you contribute credit toward your progression as a tattoo artist?
I don’t stop traveling. Basically, I like to go to new places the whole time. Because my reason for so much traveling is to learn and share info. With other artists. Because I always come back with new inspiration. And at the same time, I can’t help thinking: “What else am I missing?”
Tell us about a few of your own tattoos.
90% of my tattoos are just fixes from things I got as soon as I started tattooing. So I really don’t have much to say about that. But recently I had a really good tattoo done. And for me, it has been the first experience of getting for myself a piece of art. A few weeks ago I went to guest in Denmark with the only intention of working beside one of my inspirations and for me by far the best realism tattoo artist in the world (Dimitry Samohin). He knew I was there because of him. And that he was for me very special. I didn’t even say that I wanted to get tattooed by him. He had a cancellation due for a week after I was leaving. And said he wanted to tattoo me. How could I reject… I had to cancel two trips, clients and book new flights back. But It was worth it. He likes to reproduce. And I wanted a portrait to see him do it. He did a cool Kevin Spacey on me. Couldn’t be happier
Who is your favorite musician at the moment and why?
Chambao. She is a Spanish singer and her music is a mix of Flamenco and modern music that just brings happy memories and creates a happiness inside of me just from listening to her music.
Last but certainly not least, do you have any messages for Charles Huurman fans?
Big thanks to anybody who looks or is inspired by my work. Every week they tag me in copies or pieces from new artists who imitate my compositions. And I keep being honoured that I am a reference to some artists. Because I feel the same. I have many things to learn and develop. So it’s wonderful it is a fun path that keeps going on. I wanted to add big thanks to Tattoo.com for this Interview and especially for your participation in the growth of this artistic medium worldwide: Tattooing.