In the vibrant world of contemporary art, the tattoo industry has carved out a niche of its own. Once a subculture shrouded in taboo, it has now emerged into mainstream society, becoming a respected art form that merges personal storytelling, style, and identity. Today, the tattoo industry is teeming with talented artists from across the globe, each contributing their unique perspectives and creativity. Amidst this illustrious group stands a Danish name that has left an indelible mark – Amalie Arsinevici.
Amalie Arsinevici, known as @amalieink to her Instagram followers, has sculpted her name into the annals of the tattoo industry, both in her home country and around the world. Now an internationally recognized artist, she began her journey in the humble streets of Denmark, learning the trade under the mentorship of Mark Wosgerau. Over the past twelve years, her skills and styles have evolved, marrying techniques from neo-traditional to dot work and realism into a signature style that speaks volumes about her artistic journey.
Her pursuit of the craft has taken her far from home, tattooing clients in diverse locations such as Costa Rica, Japan, and across Europe. Her work is not just adored by everyday tattoo enthusiasts but is also sought after by leading names within the tattoo community. She’s been the go-to artist for industry heavyweights like Oscar Akermo, Ghinkos, Mads Thill, Mark Wosgerau, Snuffy.NYC, and many more, proving that her tattoo is among the best in the trade.
Recently, we had the privilege to delve deeper into the life and career of this tattoo prodigy. From her early beginnings to her current global recognition, we unravel the journey of Amalie Arsinevici, her client interactions, experiences, and the lessons she’s learned along the way. The interview not only provides insight into her unique process but also unveils the person behind the intricate tattoos – a dedicated artist committed to her craft, driven by her passion, and inspired by the cultures and individuals she’s encountered throughout her career.
Join us as we explore the world of Amalie Arsinevici, a true icon in the tattoo industry, and discover how she is shaping the future of contemporary tattoo art, one intricate design at a time.
Thanks for speaking with us, Amalie! How did you initially start to gain international recognition? Can you share any defining moments in this process?
Over the past five years or so, I’ve had the privilege of drawing a significant number of international clients to the studio where I worked as a resident artist in Denmark. My frequent travels have certainly contributed to this, as many clients I’ve tattooed abroad would often inquire about getting a tattoo in whichever country I happened to be in when they were ready for their next piece.
One studio that has notably boosted my international reputation is Mommy I’m Sorry in Stuttgart, Germany. This studio boasts not only a fantastic overall team but also a remarkable marketing division. Their efforts have amassed an impressive international following, a ripple effect of which has benefited those associated with them, including me.
During my guest spots, I’ve encountered a number of amazing individuals – some quite notable – in the industry. These connections have helped me build an international community of clients and colleagues. This community has truly come to life in a project I’ve co-created with my business partner, Mads Thill, called The Remote Tour. In this venture, we gather a group of exceptional artists – from tattooists to musicians – and immerse ourselves in the Costa Rican rainforest. Here, we create, live, eat, collaborate, and explore together.
Can you share any unique challenges or exciting experiences you’ve encountered while tattooing in different countries?
Whenever I work in a new country, it’s crucial to consider the cultural differences that could surface. For instance, working in Japan was marked by the murky legal standing of tattooing due to its historical ties with gang culture. Beyond that, there were numerous unwritten social norms to interpret. Adapting to these subtleties was a learning curve for me, especially coming from Denmark, where we have a distinctly flat hierarchical structure – quite the contrast to Japan’s respect for seniority.
You’ve worked with clients from all over the world. How does the cultural background of a client influence the design and execution of a tattoo?
Having mentioned Japan, it’s fitting to discuss the demeanor of Japanese clients, who typically show extraordinary trust in expertise and authority. When I presented a design I planned to tattoo, nine times out of ten, they agreed to it without any modifications. Whenever I asked about their preferences, their response would frequently be “omakase,” which translates to “I leave it up to you,” or what some might recognize from sushi restaurants as “chef’s choice.” Their faith in my expertise was palpable, and they believed I knew best.
Contrastingly, in the West, clients often desire more autonomy in the design process. This need could stem from a range of factors – uncertainty, the inclination to micromanage, or more agreeably, a desire to participate personally in crafting a unique piece they’ve envisioned for themselves.
These observations, of course, are generalizations, and there’s a depth and complexity beyond this. However, these are the prominent differences I’ve noticed in my work experiences across Asia and Europe.
Many of your clients are well-known personalities within the industry. How does working with such clients shape your approach and the evolution of your artistry?
I’ve always taken great pride in tattooing fellow artists, as it feels like an affirmation of my technical proficiency as a tattooer. Those who share this craft possess a discerning eye for good tattoo work, so their endorsement of my skills feels particularly validating. It has also enabled me to organically grow my reputation within the industry from the inside out. There’s no better promotion than having talented tattoo artists see your healed work on their friends in the real world and admire it – not just a carefully edited photo on the Internet that anyone could produce with a bit of post-production skill.
This acknowledgement from my peers propels me to strive for flawlessly executed tattoos and maintain a high standard in my work. Consistency has always been paramount to me, irrespective of whether my clients are fellow artists or from any other background – it’s simply fundamental.
You’re known to have clients fly in from different countries specifically to get tattooed by you. How does this level of dedication from your clientele influence your work and commitment to your craft?
Firstly, it’s an incredibly humbling experience, one that fills me with immense gratitude. When clients make such a leap of faith, it motivates me to reciprocate that trust tenfold, ensuring their journey was worthwhile. This commitment is one reason why my rates don’t align with those of the average tattoo artist in Denmark. My work simply requires more time, attention, and effort than the average walk-in tattoo, which has traditionally set the standard for pricing in Denmark.
I’m not merely a livelihood tattooer; my obsession extends far beyond that. I firmly believe that if you’re not passionately invested in tattooing, there are many other professions where you aren’t permanently marking people’s bodies. Tattooing, in my opinion, is a craft that demands deep-seated passion.
What does it mean to you to have established such a prominent reputation in the global tattoo industry?
If I could inform my 15-year-old self – a budding tattoo artist – about the life I lead now, I would be surprised in the most wonderful way. It’s truly a dream. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to engage in something I love every day. The wonder of it never ceases, and I’m committed to ensuring it never will. It’s extraordinary, and I don’t want to become numb to its significance to my overall quality of life, dramatic as that may sound.
Can you share any memorable stories or experiences with your celebrity or high-profile clientele? How have these experiences impacted your career?
My interactions with celebrities have certainly provided some memorable stories, though often, these experiences are impactful through association. The spectrum ranges from being flown out to luxurious hotels to tattoo renowned artists to being verbally accosted by Kanye West. These experiences underscore the fact that celebrities are just people – some become good friends, while others can be rather challenging to deal with. So, these experiences have shaped my career to the extent that I’ve learned not to treat people vastly differently. One key reason for this approach is that courtesy from my end doesn’t guarantee a reciprocation of the same grace.
You’re recognized as one of the top tattoo artists in Denmark and around the globe. What advice do you have for aspiring tattoo artists who look up to you and want to gain similar recognition in this industry?
One crucial piece of advice is to remain kind, assuming that aligns with your personal character. This approach might slow some things down compared to those with a more ruthless attitude, but it can garner you extremely loyal, appreciative clients and co-workers. This dynamic can foster a unique longevity in a business otherwise notorious for a high rate of burnouts.
Technical application is a skill anyone can learn with the right mindset and dedication, provided they possess the physical capability to perform tattooing, of course. However, your attitude toward your work and the love for yourself – cheesy as it may sound – are pivotal to shaping your career and your relationship with yourself within this sphere.