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A Talk with Foret about Her Microrealistic Tattoos

Foret, a Seoul-based tattoo artist specialized in microrealism, shares insights on her professional journey, unique style, and the pursuit of artistic integrity.

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Interview with Foret

In the vibrant heart of Seoul, a city renowned for its dynamic blend of tradition and modernity, resides Foret, a 27-year-old prodigy in the world of tattoo artistry. With six years of experience under her belt, Foret has carved out a niche for herself in the intricate and demanding realm of microrealistic tattoos. Her skillful hands have crafted tattoos for more than a thousand clients, each piece a testament to her exceptional artistry and precision. Operating out of Nando Studio, Foret has not only honed her craft but also cultivated a unique style that sets her apart in Seoul's competitive miniature tattoo scene. In this interview, we delve into the journey of this remarkable artist, exploring the depths of her creativity and the path that led her to where she stands today in the world of tattooing.

What initially drew you to the world of tattooing, and at what point did you decide to pursue it professionally?

While studying visual design in college, I found myself surrounded by friends adorned with a variety of tattoos, sparking my curiosity in the art form. This interest grew stronger, leading me to take a sabbatical from school in 2018 to immerse myself in learning the craft of tattooing.

Microrealism is a highly detailed art form. What challenges do you face in this specialization, and what makes it rewarding for you?

It requires extensive experience and dedicated practice to masterfully execute small, detailed tattoos. Nowadays, I'm focused on deepening my knowledge of varying skin types that my clients have. Despite reaching a considerable level of expertise, a hint of nervousness always accompanies me. During my work, I often find myself holding my breath, fully immersed in the process. Yet, the immense pride I feel upon completing a clean, high-quality tattoo is unmatched.

Who or what are your major artistic influences, especially in the realm of microrealistic tattooing?

My tattooing journey began under the mentorship of Nando, a Korean tattoo artist renowned for his expertise in small, detailed designs. Intrigued by this meticulous art form, I reached out to him to learn. Over three years of apprenticeship, I not only honed my skills but also developed my current style, deeply influenced by the techniques and nuances I absorbed from Nando.

Tattoo artist Foret

How has your style evolved over the six years of your career, and what have been the key factors influencing this evolution?

In the initial three years, I found myself in a period of exploration, feeling somewhat unfulfilled with my emerging tattooing style. I engaged extensively in line work, aspiring to translate my drawings into tattoos with equal precision and detail. Realizing the need to enhance my skills, I sought guidance at Nando’s studio, where his influence significantly shaped my approach. From the onset of my tattooing career, I've been driven by the ethos that hard work and responsibility are paramount in this art form, a commitment I've upheld unwaveringly.

What have been the most challenging and the most rewarding aspects of your career in tattooing so far?

Undoubtedly, the most challenging scenarios arise when I'm tasked with a cover-up tattoo. These projects inherently come with greater constraints compared to other tattoos, as you might be aware. However, I find these tasks immensely rewarding. The joy and satisfaction on my clients' faces when a cover-up is skillfully executed are unforgettable experiences that continually inspire my work.

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How do you think working in Seoul, particularly in Nando Studio, has shaped your career and artistic approach?

Nando Studio, a certified tattoo establishment, has been a nurturing ground for many talented tattoo artists. It's a melting pot of diverse styles, fostered by altruistic artists who thrive in its positive environment. This enriching atmosphere has not only propelled my artistic growth but has also contributed significantly to my personal development.

With around 1000 clients so far, how do you approach understanding and meeting each client's unique vision?

Fortunately, most of my clients seek tattoos that resonate with my style. When they present their ideas, I use them as a reference, infusing these concepts with my artistic flair. This collaborative process often leads to the creation of new and unique styles, born from engaging dialogues with my customers.

Foret in action

Could you describe your creative process from the moment a client approaches you with an idea to the completion of the tattoo?

Typically, clients interested in my work initiate contact. I prioritize finalizing and presenting all designs well before the scheduled tattoo session, which necessitates extensive communication. To accurately capture the client's vision, I gather a variety of relevant materials and present 2-3 design options for them to choose from. On the day of the appointment, we discuss the exact placement and size of the tattoo, ensuring that we're prepared to begin the session immediately.

Can you share a story about one of your most memorable tattoo projects and why it stands out to you?

When I glimpsed an old tattoo on a friend, a playful thought crossed my mind: 'I can do better than that.' Haha! That was the spark. As I delved into learning tattooing, my aspiration was to redesign that tattoo with my own art. It became a small, personal goal. As my skills in tattooing evolved, I eventually took on the challenge of covering up my friend's tattoo. I remember finishing that session drenched in sweat, a testament to how nervous I was. The cover-up tattoo I crafted then remains a piece of work I'm particularly fond of and proud of to this day.

Looking forward, what are your aspirations or goals for your career? Are there any new directions or techniques you're eager to explore?

Lately, this question echoes frequently in conversations and in my own thoughts. For me, the paramount goal is striking a balance between the commercial and artistic aspects of tattooing, while also maintaining a sound mental state. Being in good health is essential, as it directly influences the quality of my designs and the outcomes of my work. Currently, I'm not seeking to explore new directions or techniques. Instead, my focus is more introspective – contemplating what I truly desire and how to shape my life around those aspirations. I'm still on a journey to find those answers.


For more of her work, visit her profile.

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