The black and gray artist has been making international Instagram headlines with his ink.
A couple of months ago, a photo of an incredible Action Bronson portrait took over the tattoo world's Instagram accounts. The artist — known only as Mister Troshin — was clearly a master of black and gray tattooing who much of the American public was unfamiliar with.
As it turns out, the man behind the ink was relatively new Russian tattoo wizard Dmitriy Troshin, one of the country's many bright up-and-coming artists (but one of the few focused primarily on colorless work). Although the Bronsolini portrait may be one of the first pieces that crossed over into the mainstream social media eye, Troshin has actually been knocking out his unique brand of fine line black and gray realism for years now. He's one of the few young tattooers who still believes in single-needle pieces — tattoos created either entirely or primarily by a lone thin liner needle rather than a fatter tip generally used for shading — which has helped him earn the respect of some of tattooing's most established names around the world.
With Troshin just about set to wrap up his first visit to sunny Southern California, Myspace caught up with the international artist to talk about tattooing around the world, that famous Action Bronson piece, and what it was like to finally come to America and meet some of the people he's always looked up to.
With tattoo culture being so different in Russia compared to America, how did you even first get interested in tattooing for a career?
I was never interested in tattooing before about five or six years ago. That was when I saw some really amazing tattoos from guys like Franco Vescovi, Carlos Torres, and Jose Lopez. I was always interested in pencil drawing, so I decided to try it. Before the only tattoos that I knew were old school color pieces, and it wasn't so interesting for me. This style is great and I love it.
How does tattooing in Russia compare to tattooing in America? Are there specific problems you see back home that you haven't noticed in the shops you've seen out here?
The main problem in Russia is respect from clients to tattoo artists. Here, tattoo artists are much more respected people. The clients respect you, and everyone wants your vision and your style. In Russia, it's like you're in a store or in the market. You have to do what the client wants. It's changing right now, so it's much better than it was a few years ago, but it's still not like it is here.
What has it been like for you to come out to California and meet the black and gray artists who are responsible for you getting interested in tattooing like Franco Vescovi and Carlos Torres?
It's great because just a few years ago all of those guys were idols for me. I didn't think I could come here and meet them, so I'm happy to be here and meet everyone. It's a great opportunity for me. I'm just happy to be here and I hope to be back soon.
How does the tattoo industry in Russia match up to the artists here in America? Is it as popular there as it is here?
It's very popular. It's crazy popular right now. We have very long waiting lists in Russia. It may be much more than it is here or anywhere else. We have a lot of crazy color artists for color realistic, but not so many black and gray artists. But it's getting better and better every year.
You recently had a portrait tattoo of Action Bronson go viral on social media. What was it like to see your work pop up on so many popular tattooing pages, and how does that affect your life off of social media?
It's cool. I have more followers on Instagram from every popular tattoo that everybody reposts on Instagram and Facebook, so it's good for me.