We had the good fortune of connecting with Clara Gargano and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Clara, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I started my tattoo business fuor years ago. Not too long ago, you might argue. It was indeed a big decision and a drastic change of rout. I had been studying all my life: after graduating from a BFA in Milan, I decided to study design and communication. I was taking all the steps that would have lead to a career in a communication agency or a design studio. Though after achieving my MSc, after all those long hours spend working at the computer, always indoors, having very little free time, it became obvious that I wanted something different. The main priority was finding a job that would let me be in charge of my time, and something that would allow me to draw. I had a few friends who were already tattooing so I decided to give it a shot. I didn’t like it right away, it’s not a easy thing to do: trying to trace permanently a drawing onto a person who moves and breathes, onto a delicate yet thought surface, which is the skin, with a vibrating needle. But, after years of practice and patience, after tattooing conventions, joys and difficulties, I can now say confidently that abandoning a secure career in a communication studio, to jump into the -at the time- unknown world of tattooing and starting a new business from zero, was the best decision I could take.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Drawing is my passion. It has always been. I took my first drawing classe when I was 5 and from there on I’ve always been studying art and drawing. So we could say that everything I’ve been doing since I was 5 years old got me to where I am today professionally. It was easy to me understanding that I would want to work with my passion. The difficult part was becoming independent and being able to sustain myself just by doing art. I’ve learned that getting to know the people you work for is key, and being open with them, letting them know you ad a person is also important. It also sets you apart from others: nobody has your same story, it shows people where your inspiration comes from, how your art comes to life. Sets the ground for a better work relationship. Drawing can be a form of communication, we talk about ourselves and our history with it. When I draw a tattoo for a client, I’m following their instructions but I’m using my “alphabet” of lines, colors, shapes, to create them specific image. When you get to know your client, they learn this “alphabet”, and they choose your work consciously, because of it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take them back to Milan, cause that’s where I spent some of my best years. We’d take a tour of the city, drink in Navigli at night, or at Arco della Pace. Then I would probably drive up to Como lake and spend there a few days. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Well my main supporters have always been my family and friends. Without the constant encouragement of my parents I wouldn’t have had the confidence nor the knowledge I needed to start my business. Shoutout also to my brother and all the friends who’ve let me tattoo them when I was still a rookie.