Dec 29 Dec 29 Roblake Omule Interviews, Tattoos Instagram Omule : How would you describe your style? Roblake : I like to find beauty in ugliness, and I would say that my style is rather expressionistic. I’m focusing more on the expression than perfection - it’s my rebellion against my otherwise controlled and systematic thoughts. Omule : Where do you get your inspiration from? Roblake : I get my inspiration from old art and paintings from eras such the renaissance, but also from graffiti and the understanding of shapes and balance in a piece, which the art form of graffiti has taught me. Another thing that graffiti has taught me is the study of what makes the difference between a good developed piece and a rubbish one. The understanding of how a complex piece easily can be interpreted and understood by its viewer is something I’ve always took a lot of inspiration from. And of course old American traditional tattoos. Omule : What is your ideal creative environment? Roblake : A place with no stress, a place where I can find solitude. Omule : Do you have any favorite artists from your industry? Roblake : Yes definitely. If I were to mention three they would be: For starters we have Duncan X, he is someone I look up to a lot and I am very appreciative of his work and what that has done for the art form we know as black work tattooing. Another is Big Henry who I think embraces the beauty in ugliness, which is something I relate strongly to. Lastly we have Ruby Mayq tattooer. I’ve always been a big of the old heavy metal comic books, and to me her work seem to be inspired by that style, and that is something I find very cool. Omule : Favourite place to go on a holiday. Roblake : My favorite place to go is Los Angeles, the city of angels, because I’ve always been a big fan of American culture and “the land of opportunities” has always been a fairytale story to me, it’s the place you can make your dreams come true. Especially LA has a special place in my heart. Omule : Five things you can’t live without. Roblake : My real life doll Alicia Amira, my dog Léon, my phone, my pencils and weed. Omule : Do you have any kind of creative patterns and routines ? Roblake : I usually draw a piece up the day before the clients appointment because I’m constantly evolving as an artist. So let’s say I drew something for a client 2 weeks prior to their booking it might not be how I would draw it the day of the appointment. I like my designs to be in the moment and representing what creative state of mind I had on the day of the booking. Omule : What kind of books and movies do you like? Roblake : I like crime stories and my favorite genre is documentaries. Omule : What superpower would you like to have and why? Roblake : Eternal life. I always wanted to see what the future will look like. Omule : What would be a great achievement for you? Roblake : To have a house with my own swimming pool. It’s always been a dream of mine and I love to swim. Omule : What do you like the most about your work ? Roblake : One thing I care deeply about is that I never comprise on my creative integrity. I develop my style constantly, and at the moment I’m very much into doing tattoos with thinner lines than I used to, but my drawings and style will always remain “Roblake”. Omule : Who is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party? Roblake : Seth Rogen, Zac Effron (cause he’s a hottie), Barack Obama, Marilyn Manson and Pamela Anderson. Omule : What is your favourite kind of project? Roblake : At the moment I’m really into doing hands. It’s one of the most important and visible placements on the body, so it’s obviously also a great honor, and I love to make something that goes well with the shape of the hand. You might even say it goes hand in hand... Omule : Your favorite concerts so far and your favorite bands you didn’t manage to see live but you would love to. Roblake : My fav concert was the first time I saw Marilyn Manson live in Berlin, because he was my biggest idol as a teenager but the most beautiful I’ve been to was the Pink Floyd The Wall concert in Copenhagen. And a concert I would have loved to have been able to experience is Michael Jackson. Omule : Do you have favorite documentaries series , or podcasts. Roblake : My fav documentary is Bowling for Columbine, it was the first Michael Moore documentary I saw and I have loved his work ever since. I also love Forensic Files. Omule : If you had the power, what would you forbid ? Roblake : All kind of religion. It only brings false hope and death and it divides us as humans. Omule : Can you remember some of your earliest influences? Roblake : Without a doubt comic books, cartoons and pop culture. But also artists such as Picasso, Jackson Pollock, James Coon and Marilyn Manson. Omule : Which of your projects has been most important to developing your personal style? Roblake : Honestly I don’t think there’s been a certain project of mine that has influenced my style. However what has influenced my ability to find my personal style the most was years back when I couldn’t find an eraser. Instead of just buying one I saw that as an opportunity to challenge myself, so I remember sitting for hours and hours just practicing how to draw without being able to erase anything. That plays a big role in how I developed my tattoo style, and it’s partly also why I now love doing freehand tattoos. Omule : Would you say that keeping things simple is your strongest skill? Roblake : I wouldn’t consider my art simple at all, in fact it’s very complicated. Even though some of my lines maybe be “simplified” I have spent enormous amount of time and consideration developing exactly that line. I have a lot of consistency to my lines, for example you can find the exact same shape of lines in many different places in one piece. It could be the stripes of the tiger, the claw and the shape of the eye. Those lines are all the same, just used in different methods. So to sum up, to simplify something the process is sometimes very complex. Omule : what’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Roblake : To always be the best version of yourself. Omule : What are some things you can’t do (or hate doing)? Roblake : I’m really bad a changing the sheets on the bed, plus I also hate it, so that’s something. Haha. I also hate “grown up” stuff such as grocery shopping, insurance and what society dictates you to do. Answering this it occurs to me that you might have meant in tattooing... so obviously there are things in tattooing I haven’t done, certain styles if you must, so I wouldn’t say I’m bad at doing those, I have simply never tried. As for what I hate,I don’t feel comfortable talking about what I “hate” in tattooing as I’m, as an artist, all about love. Omule : What would you say to young/aspiring artists, to help them improve and find their way? Roblake : Don’t become a tattoo artist for any other reasons that creating art. If you love creating, and cannot go a day without drawing, then you will be successful. Don’t comprise, but develop your art into tattoos and keep growing as an artist and as a human. Most importantly: be humble. Remember you are standing of the shoulders of all the tattoo artists and history before you. Omule : How much do you think tattoos are a private thing and how much are they a public thing, on show for other people? Roblake : I’m in no way in a position to be the judge of that. Each to their own. I can only speak for myself, and for me it’s a body modification, a self expression and a different way to showcase my artistic interests and personal style. Omule : Since you began tattooing have you noticed changes in the demographic profile of people getting tattooed? Roblake : I definitely notice that more and more people seem to know less about tattoos and unfortunately I have noticed that more and more customers seem to have less “respect” for the art, the tattoo artist and the process. It saddens me. I sometimes wish I would have been able to tattoo just 20 years, even 5-10 years ago. A lot has changed, somehow everyone either wants to become a tattoo artist or think they know everything about the process coming in to an appointment. I think partly it’s instagram that has killed the art form, and that everyone now has a friend who handpoke from home. It makes me cringe and in many ways I think we as a tattoo industry need to protect it to maintain the sacred history. Omule : Is there still a stigma attached to tattoos and tattooing? Roblake : I must admit I don’t even know how to answer that as I mostly surround myself with open minded people. A fun thing I have noticed though is that the stigma and judgment seem to come from people who are either less educated or less involved in any “popular” culture, such as fine dining, clubs, art galleries or what have you. A funny thing I’ve noticed is that I seem to get disrespected and judged when buying a ticket on the train station for instance and on the contrary I get highly respected and thought highly of when I go to fancy restaurants. Omule : And what about techniques? Have techniques changed since you started tattooing? Roblake : If you mean in general then yes, most definitely. There are sooo many new techniques and machines are getting better and better. It’s interesting to see and be a part of the development. Omule : What machines, inks and needles are you currently using? Roblake : I swear by Dan Kubin, and I’m correctly using one of his Sidewinder V4 and the mojo box. I’ve use kwadron needles ever since I started tattooing but I’m also very keen on Blackclaw needles. As for ink I’m using Dynamic Ink and Eternal ink. Omule : Do you like attending Tattoo conventions ? Roblake : Yes and no. It’s nice to see of the artists I’m looking up to from around the world and it’s nice meeting people who are appreciating my work. But I also think it can be a very closed minded environment, funny enough.