In conversation with tattoo artist KRIS GONZALEZ, from Iskerka Tattoo Studio. We think that it’s about time to get to know our (new) Treehouse residents a bit better. Curious about Kris’s biggest inspiration and favorite … ? You’ll discover it (and more) below.
ROBBERT: What inspired you to become a tattoo artist?
CRISTINA: I just remember drawing my whole life. When my sisters and I misbehaved as children, my mom used to punish us by sending us to our rooms to paint. There are few great painters in my family as well, including my mom.
ROBBERT: How does it work with being a tattoo artist? Is there a special educational program or training? And can you remember tattooing your first artwork?
CRISTINA: My first exposure to tattooing was when my neighbor came back home after an obligatory military duty of three years. He told us that he learned to tattoo and showed us how to make a really primitive machine with a battery and a normal sewing needle, Back then, there were no tattoo studios, and only criminals had tattoos. I loved what he said, offered him my shoulder for a tattoo, and asked him to teach me. My father almost killed me, not only because I got a tattoo, but because I tattooed another girl from the neighborhood. After that we learned how to do it. At that time there were no magazines or internet. I opened my first tattoo studio in Madrid, Spain at the age of 20. I was really lucky to meet a few people who were curious like me and we made it happen.
ROBBERT: You are also making your own furniture. Can you tell us something about your working method? Are there any similarities with your tattoo work?
CRISTINA: Yes. It’s also a product of my curiosity. This is a process of burning wood with electrical currents, creating abstract organic patterns. I make really unique furniture with it, creating amazing designs. One day, I thought, why don’t I fuse my two passions: the burning wood patterns and tattoos.
ROBBERT: Which other artists have influenced you, and how did they affect your thinking, designing process, and career path?
CRISTINA: I think all the artist friends that pass through my life influence me. I like to talk and share experiences. As I said, I never went to tattoo school, because in my day, it didn’t exist. We all learned together, sharing knowledge.
ROBBERT: Now that you have your own studio and are embedded in a community of like-minded peers, how do you think this will affect your work?
CRISTINA: I think this is going to help me grow and learn. Already I'm collaborating with some of the artists here. It’s super fun. All the people here have crazy ideas.
ROBBERT: What if we gave you carte blanche. Who in the world would you love to tattoo and what artwork would you choose?
CRISTINA: I always said that I wanted to tattoo my mom, because she was always angry about the tattoos. Three years ago she gave me that pleasure. I also taught her to do it and she tattooed me as well – with her name.That is one of the best things that ever happened to me in my life.
Want to see more of Kris's work?
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