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Victor Portugal-dgn international competition jury / Poland, Krakow @victorportugal

"Victor Portugal, a renowned tattoo artist and international competition jury member, reveals the challenges he faced when deciding to pursue tattooing as a career. From starting with the typical beginner tattoos like tribal and Maori, to perfecting his unique style over the course of 10 years, Portugal credits his growth to observing and learning from those around him. Today, Portugal is celebrated for his traditional Black and Gray style that withstands the test of time, bringing clients back years later to continue their tattoos. His real prize, he says, is seeing the impact he has had on aspiring tattoo artists who thank him for paving the way in the industry."

What was the most challenging part of becoming a tattoo artist?

I think the most difficult decision was when I decided to dedicate myself 100% to tattooing, which I knew was a difficult decision to leave the job I had at that time and embark on something totally unknown at the time.

What kind of tattoos did you do when you were a beginner? Would you do one again?

The typical of all those who start, tribal, fashionable Maories, Japanese koi, old school, new school, attempt at realism, etc. Of course I would do something like that again, just please not tribal hahahaa

Did someone help you learn the basic skills? How long did it take you to gain confidence in your work?

There were a lot of important people at the beginning, but I think the most important thing was knowing how to observe those who at that time had knowledge that could contribute to my growth. I think that after 10 years I was able to get a style that I improved throughout of the years... and that I still continue polishing

You know, you are a great reference and you have inspired many... how do you feel when tattoo artists share that feeling towards you?, that respect for having marked a path for them...

It is very gratifying to see that people like my work, and especially those who attend my seminars who, after several years, write to you thanking you for the path I have shown them, that is my real prize and not the plastic cups they give out at conventions hahaha...

What do you like the most about this style?

I believe that the traditional Black and Gray (greywash) is one of the styles that lasts the longest over time (obviously if you do it with the right materials and execute it correctly) The most rewarding thing is to see my clients who return after 5 years to continue a sleeve, leg etc. and the tattoo is perfect as if it was done a couple of months ago... that's what I like the most about this style.

Only black and white tattoos? Would you experiment with colored tattoos or a whole new look?

I've experimented a lot, color, opaque grey, I always explore other areas, but I end up going back to what really works for me.

What happens when you have a creative block? How do you get inspired?

The best thing for me is to prevent this blockage from arriving, there are signs before it happens and you have to know how to interpret them, it is generally when you over-demand and saturate yourself and that is when the brain tells you "stop now" and as a defense make a block .... to continue you have to stop, good holidays doing something totally different is my medicine.

Do you draw a lot? To what extent do drawing skills play an important role in tattooing?

Yes, I draw, and I would like to draw more, I would not have done what I did if I had not spent time creating on paper and pencil, I think we are in a moment of lack of creativity and an excess of technical demonstration.

What are the creative media you like? What do you think of digital art?

Paper and graphite in my favorite technique simply because it is the most similar to

when tattooing, also watercolor, acrylic, oil, etc. Digital also, Ipad, Waacom tablet

Do you have a sketchbook with ready-made designs for some clients who like your work?

I have several sketch books, but I always like to talk to the client to see their idea and draw on the skin (freehand) that makes it more interesting because you never know how the design will be.

A tattoo that you consider your best piece not only technically but also creatively?

I don't have one in particular but from 2005-2006 there are several pieces that would define my current style.

Any artist you admire?


How do you see the tattoo scene today compared to just ten years ago? Do you see progress? What would you change?

It's interesting, I think the scene offers many possibilities, I feel lucky to be in this era in which there are incredible materials that allow you to make incredible tattoos, I lived the transition from coils to rotaries, from classic needles to cartridges, how lucky I am not to have to weld more needles hahaha ..!

Tell us if you have plans for the future...

There are always plans, draw more, paint, new pictures, pictures, make music, more vacations

Where can they find you if they want to schedule an appointment for a piece or find out about your seminars etc?

. The best and fastest way to make an appointment is by email I only use social networks to show my work and announce trips, conventions, seminars, guest spots, etc.

Anything you want to say….

. Thank you very much for the opportunity to share my work.



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