Beppe: First tattoo shop was my tattoo shop, Ink Addiction. I know it sounds weird in some ways, but where I live there was no way to get a proper apprenticeship. It’s such a small town and nobody would give me any help.
The only way you could learn how to tattoo was to figure it out yourself. So what I did was to open a tattoo shop and do tattoos that, at that point, I was able to do. I tried not to tattoo anything that I couldn’t draw or that I was not comfortable doing. Basically I was doing kanjis and small tribals for a pretty long time and accepting more fun, different tattoos little by little, avoiding what I wasn’t able to do.
Jeff: Did you have tattoos at that point?
Beppe: of course I had tattoos. I got tattooed by this guy from Verona that was the only one available and then I went to London to get tattooed. I got my sleeve done by Alex Binnie. After that, as soon as I could afford to travel to the USA, I started getting tattooed by the people that I was inspired by like Scott Sylvia,Theo Mindell, Jef Whitehead.
Jeff: When did you travel to the USA for the first time?
Beppe: It was 96. I went to check out as many tattoo shop as I could. I went to New York, L.A. and then San Francisco. I remember that I stopped by Primal Urge to try to meet you and Scott but you guys weren’t there. I didn’t get tattooed that time. I came back in ’99 for Y2K and I got tattooed by Scott that time at 222. That time I got to meet Freddy at Temple and Theo Mindell at Spider Murphy’s.
Jeff: How did you meet Theo?
Beppe: That same trip I decided to go check out Spider Murphy’s because I saw some of Theo’s tattoos in a magazine, so I went to San Rafael and we became best friends right away…pretty rad.
Jeff : when was the first time that Theo came to visit you?
Beppe: The year after he came to Europe for the Munich convention. We hung out there for the weekend and then went to Verona for a few days.
Jeff: A lot of people met you through Theo, right?
Beppe: Yes! I think the year after I came to San Rafael to work at Spider Murphy’s is when I got to know more people that were friends with Theo.
Tim: I think I got to know you that same year or the year after, when you were doing a guest spot at American Graffiti in Sacramento. I remember that you asked me to tattoo a tiger on you, that was probably 2001.
Beppe: Yeah, exactly 10 years later. We met that year while I was getting tattooed by Whitehead and hanging out at Tattoo City…
(From the full article as seen in the upcoming Tattoo Artist Magazine #25)
Beppe can be found at Ink Addiction in Verona, Italy.