10 Questions for Florian Santus

NAME: My name is Florian Santus

AGE: I am 24

WHERE DO YOU WORK? I work in my private studio in Paris, France

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TATTOOING? I did my first tattoo (on myself) three years ago. I quit my kitchen for a real studio one year and a half ago.

HOW DID YOU BECOME A TATTOOER? I started an apprenticeship in the north of France. I left after four months of intense, hard work ‘cause I didn’t get on anymore with the owner and only tattoo artist over there. Then I went back to Paris and practiced tattooing on friends in my student housing while I wrote my thesis about tattooing, aimed at obtaining a Master’s diploma. As soon as I  graduated I continued to tattoo and started to travel around as much as possible until now.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR AESTHETIC? I do old-school / American traditional tattoos. I try to keep a classic and timeless look, simple and effective with a touch of elegance and folksiness.

WHO/WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES? As a person, one of my biggest influences is my grandfather. He was a craftsman modeler on wood. I spent my childhood holidays in his workshop building some crazy shit. I think he taught me to have taste for handmade and precision work.

HOW HAVE THEY SHAPED YOUR STYLE/CAREER? [My experience with my grandfather is] something that stay[ed with me] and which is really important to me now. I think tattoos are more like a craft work than a real piece of art. Maybe that’s why, concerning the style, I am really influenced by the history of tattoo[ing] itself and its different actors; old-timers like Cap Coleman, Percy Waters and Ben Corday are my favorites. I try to keep this tradition in a modern way. [In] this way I have been shaped undoubtedly by some modern tattoo artist [whose work] I really like. To name few: Bailey Hunter Robinson, Jessica Swaffer, Grez, Jonas Ugly.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE AS A TATTOOER? I don’t think I[’ve had] a big challenge for the moment. I started recently larger scale work [and] it’s a kind of challenge.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR 2015? I started 2015 with a two-month trip [through] Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand. Then I stayed in Paris, having amazing guest artists at the studio from all over the world. I [will] travel this Summer in Europe for some guest spots. I will go to New-York again next fall. Really excited! 

Javier Betancourt