Home Tattoo Artistry Interview with Alena Zozulenko: It All Comes With Experience

Interview with Alena Zozulenko: It All Comes With Experience

by белый

Alena Zozulenko is a fantastic tattoo artist that specialized in creative fineline artwork. She’s also a master at using surrealism and dotwork to create her stunning pieces that are generally inspired either by organic elements, such as flowers and animals, or by fantastic elements. 

From New York, Alena is currently a resident artist at Dot. Creative Group. She doesn’t really believe in talent, but she does believe in hard work.She believes that if you work hard, you will get ahead sooner or later. After a year and a half in the U.S., she realized that she had chosen the right place to continue her career.

Interview with Alena Zozulenko: It All Comes With Experience

Alena emphasized several times during our conversation: if a person wants to progress and grow in the tattoo industry, the U.S. is perhaps the best place to be.

First of all, because human work is highly valued here. It doesn’t matter what field you’re in or what position you’re in.

Secondly, the tattoo business in the U.S. is gaining momentum every year – new talented tattoo artists are appearing, new studios are opening, and the existing ones are expanding their network. Alena now works for Dot Create Group, which is also looking for new facilities. There are many clients, and the demand is growing.

“You can book a session with me on the studio’s website. It also often happens that people find my personal Instagram account, contact me via Direct, and ask me to give them a tattoo. In this case, I still do the booking in the studio. There are formalities that need to be followed – confirming the client’s age, filling out consent forms, and so on. Instagram, of course, helps promote my work, and recently I started TikTok – I create content in English and talk about tattooing. It’s a double benefit – I get to answer my clients’ FAQs and keep practicing my English.”

Alena has also mastered a neural network. Artificial intelligence helps create the basis of a future design. A. Zozulenko admits that she never copies patterns found on the Internet. Each of her tattoos is truly her own, with unique elements. So why the neural network? The point is that sometimes there are a lot of similar requests, and you keep drawing roughly the same subjects. Of course, you lose your focus. This is a common problem for many creative people. Tattoo artists are no exception.

Interview with Alena Zozulenko: It All Comes With Experience

“I make a few queries, and the neural network gives me graphic designs. It is very important to make the right query, although even this does not save you from various oddities. Artificial intelligence has come a long way, but it’s still far from perfect. There are many mistakes. However, a neural network can still come up with an interesting, inspiring idea for a design. A stylized dragon or snake that I have drawn thousands of times has a new interpretation. Then I refine the pattern, add some of my own details, think through the concept. And that speeds up the process a lot because I make several designs for each client so that we can choose the right one together.”

Alena pays a lot of attention to the equipment and consumables. Most of them are U.S. brands that A. Zozulenko actively used even before coming to the U.S. She says that her work has become easier now. Familiar brands are now literally within reach. Besides, in the U.S., manufacturers actively cooperate with tattoo studios, offering them the opportunity to try their equipment and inks to receive honest feedback. Alena is currently working with Hustle Butter, the largest U.S. brand of tattoo care products. Thanks to a sponsorship contract with this company, A. Zozulenko participated in the largest tattoo convention. The trip to California took place last fall.

See also
How I became a tattoo artist: Interview with Francesco Curia

Interview with Alena Zozulenko: It All Comes With Experience

“Hustle Butter holds two major conventions every year, one on the West Coast and one on the East Coast. The next one is in May. The company invites tattoo artists who work with the brand and provides each of them with a place to work. It’s one of the biggest conventions I’ve ever been to. The scale is impressive. I can’t say that I had a chance to see everything because I worked three days in a row. But, of course, I had time to talk to brand representatives and other tattoo artists. I really like that I see more and more talented individuals at big tattoo conventions, including those from Russia and the CIS. No offense, but the level of our artists’ work is very high. And I’m glad that they are in demand here in the U.S., that they can fulfill themselves here and continue to develop.”

Seeing how interested and enthusiastic Alena is about the nuances of her profession, I often wondered why she doesn’t teach. Of course, we talked about it. A. Zozulenko said that she has no problems with sharing her knowledge with others, but she wouldn’t offer a separate course. She wants to learn and discover a lot herself. On the other hand, if she sees someone interested in the profession, Alena is always ready to help.

Interview with Alena Zozulenko: It All Comes With Experience

“Many people want to learn how to create beautiful tattoos. People often come to me with this request. Although I don’t give classes, I can choose someone more or less capable from the crowd. First, I ask for a portfolio. Some people don’t have one at all – that’s a no-go. If I see an interesting portfolio, if I see that the person is doing something unusual, I can give them a specific task. If all goes well, they can try their hand at using a tattoo machine. But even at that stage, many people fall by the wayside. They often think they will create masterpieces from the first few minutes. Of course, this is a big mistake.”

Not everyone realizes that being a tattoo artist is really hard work. A lot in this profession depends not only on your own desire but also on your willingness to put in a lot of effort 24/7, says Alena. For some projects, you need a lot of time and careful preparation. But she is convinced that everything comes with experience. According to her own calculations, it takes about two years for a beginner to feel relatively confident in the profession, assuming that self-education is the best form of education.

Related Content

Best Tattoo Stencil Printers

How much should a Tattoo Design cost?

Top 5 Tattoo Cartridge Needles to Buy Online

You may also like