Get Inked the Russian Way: A Glimpse into Russia's Premier Tattoo Festival

An Exclusive Interview with Olga Nazimova, Founder and Organizer.

The Moscow Tattoo Festival, a celebrated event in the Russian ink scene, has evolved into a vibrant showcase of creativity, diversity, and innovation within the tattoo industry. In an exclusive interview with Olga Nazimova, the festival’s visionary founder, we delve into the origins, developments, and distinctive features that set this festival apart.


The Genesis of the Moscow Tattoo Festival

The festival’s inception traces back to 2002 in St. Petersburg, where a group of friends—a tattoo artist, an advertising specialist, and a bar owner—envisioned an event dedicated to tattoos. Over the years, the festival has grown in popularity, incorporating foreign exhibitors in 2006 and expanding to Moscow in 2017. From extreme body art to custom bike exhibitions, the festival has consistently pushed boundaries, becoming a hallmark event in Russia.

Moscow Edition: A Growing Phenomenon

Since its Moscow debut in 2017, the festival has witnessed remarkable growth. With an initial participation of 35-40 artists, it now boasts an average of 185-200 tattoo artists. The festival aims not only to cater to professionals but also to engage a broader audience, featuring an extensive music program with diverse genres to create a truly immersive experience.

Setting Moscow Tattoo Festival Apart

What distinguishes the Moscow Tattoo Festival from other events worldwide? According to Olga, the presence of a professional platform stands out. The festival pioneered a pro conference within its framework, now in its 17th edition. Unlike many European conventions, the Moscow Tattoo Festival encourages participation in competitions beyond booth purchasers, creating an inclusive platform for artists across Russia.

Evolving Goals: Elevating Tattoo Standards

Initially focused on changing societal perceptions of tattoos, the festival’s current goal is to raise the standards of tattoo artistry and the tattoos themselves. Through conferences, masterclasses, and collaborations with industry specialists, the festival aims to foster continuous improvement, ensuring that both artists and their creations reach new heights of excellence.

Participants and Visitors: A Diverse Tapestry

The festival attracts a diverse audience, including tattoo industry professionals, models with extensive ink, and enthusiasts seeking their perfect tattoo artist. Over the years, the festival has hosted renowned artists from around the world, creating a global melting pot of talent and styles.

The 2024 Festival: No Limits to Creativity

Unlike previous thematic events, the 2024 festival will embrace diversity across tattoo styles. While themes may emerge in specific nominations, the overarching aim is to unite the best representatives from various tattoo directions, fostering creativity without restricting artists to a single thematic area.

Global Trends and Russian Specifics

Olga identifies complete freedom in style choices as a major global trend. In Russia, a unique trend is emerging with a rise in tattoos featuring Russian motifs, from fairy tale elements to patriotic symbols. The festival hopes to strengthen ties with the global tattoo community, fostering collaboration and industry development.

What's New in 2024: Expanding Horizons

Looking ahead to 2024, the festival plans to increase the number of nominations and introduce new categories, including Oriental and Neo-Oriental tattoos. Excitingly, a Social Media Management (SMM) award will evaluate artists’ online presence, with the main prize being a car. Another innovative category, superskin, will showcase tattoos on artificial skin.

Recommendations for First-time Attendees

For first-time festivalgoers, Olga emphasizes the professional nature of the event, encouraging artists to prepare in advance for the tattoo contest and conference. Models and enthusiasts should seize the opportunity to interact with industry leaders, explore diverse tattoo styles, and perhaps secure a memorable tattoo on the spot. The Moscow Tattoo Festival promises an unforgettable experience for all, blending creativity, education, and a celebration of the art of ink. As the festival continues to evolve, it remains a beacon for tattoo enthusiasts, artists, and professionals worldwide.

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His favorite tattoo subjects include pop culture, anime, fantasy, movies, and series themes. Leonardo enjoys bringing his clients’ beloved characters and stories to life through his artwork, making each piece a personalized masterpiece.

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