Exclusive Interview With Celebrity Tattoo Artist Kristian Vendler
Instagram has revolutionized the way tattoo artists grow their brands, relying on the Facebook-owned social network to showcase their work and build their reputations among their potential customers. There are thousands of talented tattoo artists around the world so to be picked by a celebrity you need to be on top of your game. Learn how this artist became one of the industry’s finest.
- How did you develop your style and how would you describe it?
I have tried almost every style. I spent every day working until I found something that I felt most comfortable with. I took what was, in my opinion, the best part of each style and tried to put them together. There are solid and precise lines, high contrast, soft shades, and composition tailored to match the shape of the body. It is still classic black and grey, but at its best.
- How did you get to work with some of your well known clientele and what was your experience?
It was mostly by referral, but it always starts over social media. If your work is good, it is only a matter of time before it goes viral. One time, I was tattooing football manager Christoph Klusch and the next thing you know his client Javi Martínez called me to say that he wants new pieces for the UEFA Champions League tournament. After that, Lucas Hernández called too and then I ended up spending the whole weekend tattooing them and their close friends. It was a great experience getting to know them personally and growing relationships. A few weeks after that, they won the tournament, became world champions, and those very same tattoos ended up all over TV screens and magazine covers next to a world cup trophy.
- Whoa! That is some story! Let’s go back to your beginnings. Where are you originally from and how did you start tattooing?
I grew up in East Zagreb, a part of Croatia you could say was rough around the edges. This has made a huge impact on me as an artist, but also kept me humble. Where I come from, people like me don’t make it out of the hood so I am very blessed to have this opportunity. The beginning of my tattoo career was very difficult. Nobody wants to get tattooed by you because you don’t have experience. Nobody wants to teach you and you don’t have much money to start so you need to keep your day hustle and practice. No parents, no handouts, a cheap tattoo kit, and thousands of hours under the belt. But to cut to the chase, it’s basically a good old underdog story. This is what made me who I am and I’m pretty sure back there it’s a story that is still talked about. Haha.
- What sets you apart from other artists?
Even from the start, I set high expectations for myself. I didn’t want to be the best artist in the city, I wanted to sit up there with the best in the world. Some call it arrogance; I call it confidence. Regardless of what we do, go the extra mile, and try to be the best at what you do.
The only official instagram account of Kristian Vendler: