Italian tattoo artist Pierluigi Cretella works as a resident artist at Meatshop Tattoo in Barcelona, Spain. With only a few years of tattooing under his belt, Cretella’s work is beyond impressive.
Pierluigi took the time to talk with us about his career as a tattoo artist, how he got his start, and what he’s most passionate about. Check out our conversation with him below and feast your eyes on his awe-inspiring work along the way!
How long have you been tattooing?
I started tattooing at the beginning of 2013.
Tell us a bit about yourself – what/who inspired you to pursue your career as a tattoo artist?
When I was a kid, I used to disturb my mum all day long. One day, she gave me a paper and pencil and told me to sit down shut up and draw. Both of us were surprised, but that is exactly what I did. This is how I started to enjoy art.
At this point, I started getting my first piercings and tattoos in high school and at that time I realised I liked the atmosphere of the local tattoo studio I’d visit regularly. Then one day, as I looked at a tattoo magazine, I discovered there were artists tattooing geometric stuff. That was amazing to me. Then one day I just bought a tattoo machine and I began trying it out.
What led you to focus on blackwork/geometric tattooing?
I went to a high school of art and it was there I realised I liked architecture and geometry in general. So when I started tattooing, I started with this in mind. Like the geometric-mandala style. Later I began to understand the tribal influence and I liked blackwork and so that’s why I felt like I wanted to incorporate it into my style.
For those who aren’t familiar, can you explain a bit about the significance of geometric design/tattooing?
A lot of people think that all geometric tattoos have meaning maybe because there are lots of symbols coming from sacred geometry. All of the sacred geometry elements have their meaning, but not all of the geometry tattoos are sacred geometry. The majority of the tattoos I do don’t have any meaning, they are there to be aesthetically nice/visually pleasing. The goal is for the tattoo to make those that see it smile.
What is the furthest a client has traveled to get a tattoo from you?
How many tattoos do you have?
Maybe 4. My head, my right leg, my right arm, and my full back piece.
Tell us about your backpiece by @Gerhard. How long did this take? How painful was it? Did you design it?
The experience with Gerhard Wiesbeck has been incredible! He is an amazing artist, but even more an amazing person- one of the more important things for me. I’ve learned many things during the process, and also they gave me the opportunity to work as a guest artist in their shop, which is unbelievable. I am super honoured.
The back has been completed in approximately 30 hours. That’s super fast! I think that when you go to get a tattoo from these kinds of artists, the only way it makes sense is to let them draw everything. What I usually do is to give the artist a couple of references of tattoos they have done that I like and just let them do something similar but different. Considering what he is doing at this moment and what he will enjoy doing. The back fucking hurts.
Most interesting piece you’ve tattooed?
In my opinion, the more interesting projects are the larger ones, so I think the back pieces I’m doing now are the Projects that I found more interesting and challenging.
What is one of your pet peeves as a tattoo artist?
Probably when the client tells you that they trust you 100%, but then you discover that they can’t stop controlling absolutely all aspects of the creative process.
Do you listen to music while you’re tattooing? Who are some of your favorite bands to listen to while you work?
I can’t tattoo without music. I really enjoy it while tattooing. Usually, I listen to rap or rock of the 70’s.
If you could tattoo any person in the world, who would you choose?
Anyone that likes heavy black work, that trusts me, gives me freedom and can handle the pain.
Besides tattooing, what are you passionate about?
Besides tattooing, I like practicing Kick Boxing, reading, good food, and going to trance/hard tek parties.
Tell us about Meatshop tattoo – what’s the vibe like/walk us through what can a client expect when they walk through your doors?
I have been working at Meatshop Tattoo in Barcelona now for almost a year. There’s a very special atmosphere at the shop. You feel very welcome and warm when you enter. As the owner Peter Madsen says, getting tattooed is a changing experience of the body and mind, and I feel the shop works as a beautiful safe place for this to happen. When I spoke with Peter he said his goal was to create a shop that was different from the “normal” tattoo shop, and I really believe he has achieved this. But don’t take my word for it, come have a look for yourself.