Inkerviews features the work of tattoo artists and collectors, as well as fine artists, in a series of interviews. With an exciting lineup already in place and endless more to come, I hope you will check back often to read about these incredible people and enjoy their visually stunning talents.
I was lucky enough to meet Gina Creazzo a few years ago. We are both tattoo collectors and had both been tattooed by Mike DeVries. Lucky for me, our paths crossed one day and I have enjoyed the pleasure of corresponding with her on a frequent basis ever since.
Gina is as fascinating as she is kind; and as intelligent as she is creative. I am always blown away by the excellent tattoo art that she adds to her skin. With an eye for talent and an ink array of pieces to envy, Gina is passionate about mixing her love of the macabre with her creative vision and individuality.
Not only is she well-versed in tattoo art, she is an artist herself. With a background in digital art, this incredibly talented designer will lure you into her spooky world with the click of a mouse. A visit to her web design site (exileinblonde.com) greets you with the eerie tone that she loves working within. It will captivate and haunt you as you browse through her portfolio. Additionally, her pavornocturnus.net site focuses on Gina’s photo manipulation art.
I am excited to feature Gina here on Inkerviews today and hope you enjoy her intriguing vision of the world. Behind her ghoulish ink collection and design projects, lies a woman with captivating qualities and brains to boot. Join me on a romp through Miss Creazzo’s mind.
How old were you when you got your first tattoo? What intrigued you about owning that first piece of ink?
I believe I was 16 when I received my first tattoo. It was a small Chinese symbol on the inside of my right wrist, meaning "Betrayal." It was the first in a long line of mistakes. :)
At that age, I had no idea what was possible in the tattoo world. I, like so many people still do, thought these were the things you got tattooed. I didn't know that certain artists were creating portraiture work that was instantly recognizable. This kind of talent certainly was not happening, or was evident, in my town. I only learned this recently, after many hours of research.
Can you give us a brief rundown of your amazing tattoo collection?
My left arm is being sleeved by the amazing Paul Acker from Deep Six in Philly. When I originally consulted with Paul I told him I wanted to do a sleeve based on the play Sweeney Todd starring George Hearn and Angela Lansbury. We got two pieces into it, but once Burton's film was released I felt all the originality poor out my skin, and decided to just have Paul tattoo images that were iconic to me in some way. After the first two Sweeney Todd pieces, he did two zombies from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video. Then a portrait of "Gordon" from one of my favorite films "Session 9." I had a few very atrocious pre-existing tattoos that he covered with a skull and a brain. I still have some space left and I am willing to allow Paul's talent to lead the way.
Like I said previously, I had some pretty wretched pre-existing work that I wanted covered immediately. I contacted Darrin White and he did an extensive Herman Munster cover-up on my upper right arm.
I have an in-progress piece by Tim Kern on my right forearm. It is the iconic image of Laura Palmer from "Twin Peaks," dead and wrapped in plastic. I am a huge David Lynch fan, so this piece was something I've wanted to get for quite a long time.
Ron570 tattooed an amazing portrait of Lizzie Borden on my left leg. My fascination with the 1800s, coupled with my captivation with the minds of serial killers, makes understanding why I got Lizzie Borden obvious.
I was extremely lucky to get an appointment with Mike DeVries who did an astonishing Beetlejuice portrait on my right leg at a convention in New Jersey.
Most recently, I was tattooed by Kyle Cotterman while he was guest spotting at 570 Tattooing Co. He started a zombified portrait of my girlfriend, Tiffeny.
Your tattoos and the graphic design work that you do tend to focus on horror-related artwork and themes. How did you first get intrigued with this genre? How does it inspire your work?
Honestly, I am sure it's all emotional. I was always out of place growing up. From a very young age, I knew the bizarre content running through my mind was not running through the minds of my peers. They were talking about boys and planning slumber parties and I was obsessing over death and zombies. I grew up being hypnotized by the horror film genre. Anything bloody, gory or zombie related, I watched over and over. It was a passion that stayed with me throughout the years.
What do you do for a living and how do your co-workers feel about your tattoos?
Back in 2005 my dad suffered a series of unfortunate events which left him paralyzed on his left side. Small, everyday tasks became a feat for him. A personal aide became a necessity. People he did not know seeing him in this situation only added to his anxiety, so we decided it would be more conducive to his recovery if I took over as his aide. Although very overwhelming and stressful at times, it does not follow the typical pattern of a 9-5. It allots me the time I need to really concentrate on whatever project I am currently working on.
Honestly, I am unsure as to how they truly feel about my tattoos. When we are in public my dad constantly makes me feel like I am on display, he shows off my tattoos like he is proud of them; but in private I hear "We know the artwork is amazing, but once you get your hands or neck tattooed, we will disown you. You have enough tattoos, Gina."
You are an extremely talented artist. Can you tell us about your business and what your forte is in the world of graphic design?
Wow, thank you so much for the kind words. My goal is to create completely custom websites that tell a story and that give the visitor a glimpse into who the client is. I want you to feel like you know the client based on the website.
Not too long ago I noticed that if one is looking to have a website built with more of a aberrant inclination there is really nowhere to go. I noticed a huge lacking of designers focused, inspired by, and passionate about the horror genre. After deciding that I would love to take part in carving that niche, Tiffeny and I began to get organized. We are in the process of really developing a brand and attempting to get my work noticed.
What are some projects that you have recently worked on with your design business and what do you have planned for the future?
All of this is very new. I have done multiple manipulations over the last few years, some were commissioned and some were just for fun. I just recently got word that one of my manipulations will be used in a book entitled Misery Loves Company. It should be in stores soon.
The website aspect of it is very new, but I recently designed and built my current website. I originally made it in HTML, then did a complete overhaul into Flash. Also, I just finished a website for the very talented tattoo artist Ron570. You can check it out at: ron570.com. And I currently have a project in the works that should be completed very soon.
I thoroughly enjoy building websites for tattoo artists. They are so creative and artistic, they should have a website that showcases that. I would never want to give them a website that has a template feel to it. Their website should possess the same unique artistic style that their work promulgates. Being a collector myself and sharing a lot of the same interests as them affords me the opportunity to design them a website that we will both be truly proud of. I would love to be known as the web designer for tattoo artists.
I am also in the process of designing templates that are not horror related. I want it to be known that while my heart lies in the horror genre, I am more than capable of doing other themes.
How can readers see more of your portfolio and hire you for a project?
I have two active websites that can be used to contact me:
http://www.exileinblonde.com (focuses more on web design)
http://www.pavornocturnus.net (focuses on my manipulations)
Also, my email is: Gina@exileinblonde.com
What tattoos do you have planned to add to your skin? Which artists will be so lucky to get to do the work?
I have a few pieces that are still in progress, so I plan to finish them up. I will definitely be getting more work from Paul Acker and Ron570.
As far as new pieces, I would love to finally get some work by Joshua Carlton, Nick Baxter and Robert Hernandez.
What are your feelings about the tattoo industry nowadays?
I feel as though the tattoo industry as a whole has grown at rapid rates in rapid succession in recent years. There are many tattoo collectors and incredibly talented tattoo artists that work extremely hard to perpetuate the belief that tattoo art is, and should be, considered fine art. It's both refreshing and exciting to see artists who make sure everything they do can only be cast in a positive light because they are consciously aware of the negative stereotypes that have followed and plagued the industry for years.
It's definitely also becoming more mainstream due, in part to the popularity of shows like "Miami Ink” and “LA Ink." While, that is good in many ways: it showcases the vast variety of intelligent, highly-respected people who wear tattoo art, and has given motivation to potential clients to conduct extensive research and make much more informed and educated decisions. On the other hand, I sincerely feel that the shows mentioned above are also exploiting the industry and casting it in what can be construed as a very dangerous light. There are so many people who attempt to became tattoo artists based solely on the lifestyle. Not because they have talent and/or are passionate about the art form. These same people thrive on the belief that being a tattoo artist is equitable to being a rock star. These are the people that tend to exploit and corrupt the industry. While these types of people have always existed, these shows have given them the ambition to actually attempt it.
What one word best describes you?
What's your favorite sweet treat?
Hmm, my girlfriend's pumpkin pie; and Christmas cookie cut-outs.
Last updated on January 2, 2010 by Jinxi Boo