By Takahiro “Horitaka” Kitamura
I recently had my friend Ben Grillo come visit to hang out and make some tattoos. Most of you may know Ben for his incredibly detailed single-needle masterpieces, and I thought it would be fun to do a little TAM Blog interview with Ben…
HT: How long have you been tattooing?
Ben Grillo: I’ve been tattooing seven-and-a-half years now. I got a late start, I didn’t start tattooing until I was 29. I had my share of crappy jobs before I got to do the best “job” in the world. Maybe it makes me appreciate it better.
HT: When did you start doing the micro-tats?
BG: Those? Probably about five years ago, something like that.
HT: You don’t seem afraid at all… Do you worry about how they will age or heal?
BG: Well, I pretty much warn everybody, the smaller it is, the harder its gonna read, especially the older it gets. That’s just like any tattoo but more-so the smaller it gets. I try to tattoo it in such a way that it will stay sharp and looking good for as long as possible. But no matter what, they’re gonna eventually turn to shit.
HT: Do you think you would not be able to do these if you weren’t also good at portraits?
BG: I actually did these before I started doing portraits.
HT: Do you apply any of the same principles?
BG: Of course, sometimes I do the miniature tattoos like a portrait. It’s just smaller, that’s why they take so long.
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