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Melek Tastekin Colorado / New York - USA Colorado - West Side Tattoo New York - Guest

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Today we present a young tattoo artist from the city of Ankara, Turkey. Melek studied at the University of Gazi and then decided to dedicate himself to tattooing, going through various styles, including neotraditional, but she did not settle and went further in search of realism and hyperrealism. In 2014, she opened his own store in his native country, fulfilling one of his objectives, but as we have already said, she always wants more and she began his trips through Europe and America to perfect himself and turn his career around. Pioneer of the "neon" style using it with various styles, today it is a strong reference within the industry, a reference that does not stop growing, that has not left its brushes, that continues to study art in general and that is soaked in tattoos daily.

From the city of Colorado - New York opens the doors of her world to show us part of her art and tell us a little about her life

It is clear that art is part of you, how long have you been tattooing? And to art?

Actually, when I was a kid, I grew up with art. I completed my high school and university education on fine arts. For many years, I have been involved in artistic activities such as ceramics, sculpture and painting, and I still have painting works that I do today. I can say that I have been tattooing for almost 10 years, but I have continued my career professionally for 8 years. Towards the end of 2014, I opened my own studio in Turkey and later I improved myself by traveling to many countries in Europe. Currently, I continue to work in many states in the USA, especially in Colorado and New York.

How was that beginning? Did someone help you? Why the tattoo?

My biggest supporter is my husband Efe. While I didn't have the slightest idea about tattooing in my mind, he said that I had been painting very well during the years we met and that I should definitely consider my career in the tattoo industry. And he gifted me my first equipment.

You have gone through various styles, how was the development towards the current one?

Like all my colleagues who have just started this business, I have tattooed in every style. Especially in my early years, I was very interested in neo traditional style. However, in the following years, portrait and realistic works began to attract my attention. I can say that the circumstances led me to this style. Because in those years, there weren't many artists who made portraits and realistic tattoos in Turkey. This was a serious deficit, that's why I focused on realistic works and over time, I started to include my own lines and surreal lines in my designs.

There was a great advance in your career from your beginnings until today. Do you take some time to think about all that you have traveled, your progress and all the changes?

I am sure that success in the career of any artist is not easily achieved. In my career, I have faced many difficulties at this point I have come to. In this process, I received sponsorships from many famous brands that have a very important place in our sector. When I look back on the past, would I still spend the effort I made for these gains? Definitely ! Of course, there were times when I regretted my decisions. It still continues to happen. But, life is shaped by the mistakes we make, the decisions we make and the gains we deserve.

I suppose that getting a tattoo a few years ago is not the same as today with the technological advances that we can find today. What was it like to start with realism at that time?

Certainly the conditions were much more difficult. At first I was using coil machines. They were heavy… Sterilization was not easy. The needles I used was could be problematic. However, as technology progresses and equipment quality increases, of course, this is reflected in the quality of our workmanship. However, for me, the biggest gain in general has been ease of use and sterilization.

What attracts you the most about your style?

Colors! I love getting lost in colors. Sometimes I tattoo in black and gray style and I can breathe a sigh of relief. Faster setup, fewer colors and naturally much shorter time. However, at the end, I return to the colorful world I was in. I especially love to include neon effects at one point in my realistic works. I am one of the first artists to use neon signs, lettering and the bright colors it creates for tattooing. I can say it's a signature of me now. And I really love doing this.

How are you today in your career? Do you feel that difference where your name is already recognized?

I never thought that I had reached the point in my career. When we think about it, some things that go forward can go backwards. When I meet an artist whose name I have never heard of and who is little known, I fall in love with her art when I least expect it. And I'm inspired by it. I am sure that one day she will realize that leap point in her career and I will follow it with pride. I receive invitations to be a jury from many tattoo congresses. Many companies want me to be one of their sponsored artists. I receive invitations from artistic and different organizations and it makes me proud to be appreciated by my colleagues. In short, a career full of success will definitely contribute to your life in a good way.

Do you have challenges ahead? Dreams to fulfill?

I can say that there are many difficulties that I am trying to overcome. I recently settled in America. A new geography and a new culture. I have difficulties from time to time. Unfortunately, the challenges are not limited to geography. Sometimes the people you work with can put you in a difficult situation. They may want to hold you off in a pointless way. If artists who are just starting out in the profession or my colleagues who have been doing this job for many years are reading this interview, I mean people who always want to bring you down, there may be situations that do not develop as you wish. But no one can stand in the way of hard work and good workmanship. And it doesn't change the fact that there are good people around you who support you. Of course I have dreams and they will never end! And I continue on my way by realizing them. I will be collaborating with important brands for the future, but it is too early to explain them right now :) However, I have realized most of my dreams and I continue to do so.

Tell me, how do you adjust to the times, to the trips, to the changes? Do you live in one place and only travel or do you live in a more nomadic way?

I think this is my biggest problem! I travel a lot and at times I feel very tired and drained. When I first came to America, I settled in New York, but the intense pace of the city frankly scared me a little. I currently live in Colorado but very often go to tattooing in New York. I'd say Colorado and New York my main epicenters. Other than that, I often travel to other states. I receive invitations from congresses and try to attend as much as possible. I also have some artist friends whom I love very much and whose friendship I value very much. I like to visit them often and develop projects with them.

Who accompanies you on this path?

My biggest supporter is my husband Efe. We were both very young when we met. We've built our entire career together. He is currently the biggest supporter of my career and work. There is also our close friend Brian, who has always been with us since the first day I came to America and has never left us alone. And with this interview, I had the chance to thank him :) 

Guest spot???

It's like an endless ocean... Opportunity to meet new artists and new cultures. That's why I often like to travel as a guest artist

If someone wants a tattoo of yours, how can they contact you?

The only way to do this would be to make an appointment through my personal website or to email me directly. Unfortunately, it is impossible for me to answer information requests from social media accounts such as Instagram.

How is your year?

As you get used to new experiences, each year passes more comfortably than the previous one. Honestly, I can say that this year has been exhausting for me.

Anything you want to add?

I believe that the only way to success is to work hard and make good friends. Talent is of course important, but it is something that you can gain later. The thing that will make you stand out and make the leap in your career is hard work. I believe in this wholeheartedly and therefore I recommend it to all my artist friends who have just started their career. I have made many good friends throughout my career. I have been greatly appreciated and supported by my sponsors, as well as my family and friends who are my biggest supporters. I am happy to continue on my way with the support of Cheyenne Tattoo Equipment, World Famous Ink and Holder Ink. Thank you very much for doing this interview with.


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