Antikki: Artist Profile
In order to help spread a little more LOVE through these difficult times, we’ve invited 5 artists, local and international, to create a piece of visual art based on the theme of LOVE. A return to the multi-media creativity witnessed during the Super Weird Happenings – the formula reworked to create an online countercultural ecosystem for a socially distant world.
The contributions have all been incredible and in the weeks leading up to the release of ‘The Love EP’ featuring brand new mixes of The Emanations from Soul Clap, we’re profiling each of the 5 artists individually.
Andrianna Moulinos, also known as Antikki, is a tattoo artist and illustrator based in Bristol. She is also involved in festivals as a decor artist and has worked as a visual artist within carnival. The core inspiration for her artwork comes from her experience within music and club culture and her strong connection with dance. She feels that dancing is a form of expression that connects people together, bringing a powerful sense of community and well-being. The ritual of dance has occurred for thousands of years but instead of it being around fires, we now dance with our tribes around sound systems! Andrianna wants her work to remind people how important the arts truly is by connecting us to our roots.
We asked Andrianna a few questions to find out a bit more about her craft, character and community…
Can you tell us anything about the artwork you’ve created? Or would you prefer it to speak for itself?
I wanted the message of the artwork to be loud and clear that it’s about love and connection! The style of the embracing people are my Antikki trademark that I repeat throughout my artwork in different forms. The process behind it is a mix of handmade and digital collage. I painted the shapes onto paper and scanned them into the computer, then I made them into a collage on Photoshop. The colour theory and textures came after which was the fun part!
Were you illustrating or tattooing first?
I studied Art and Design so drawing has always been fundamental to me. However, my style became more refined and illustrative when I started tattooing. I began to think more like a designer once I started designing tattoos for people.
Do the two practises inform each other?
I believe that drawing is a skill that you are gifted with whereas tattooing is a craft that anyone can learn. However, drawing is the most essential practice for tattooing because it’s where you achieve most of your skill. My creativity, focus and precision comes from drawing, whereas tattooing is about stamina and discipline. My tattoo’s consist completely of dotwork which I also practice in my illustrations, but you really see the beauty of this technique when it is planted in the skin.
Did you intend to learn about the handpoke tattoo technique before travelling to Nepal and India, or was it something you encountered by chance?
I wanted to be a tattoo artist from the age of 13. My first encounter with handpoke was when I was 15 at a tattoo convention in Manchester. The stall was set up on the floor and there was a very ceremonial presence about it. When I arrived in Nepal at 21, I met people who were travelling with a craft as a way of supporting themselves. I made friends with nomadic tattooers who gave me the confidence to just go for it. So when I went to Kathmandu’s tattoo convention and bought all the equipment I needed. I started with handpoke because it was the most accessible for me to try at the time. I fell in love with the craft the more I practiced and I decided to pursue it once I realised I could have a career doing handpoke. Six months later when I arrived in India, my mission was to build up my experience and portfolio while I travelled through the country. As if by magic, the first day I arrived I bumped into a tattoo artist I had met in Nepal who was one of my biggest inspirations. I was lucky enough to become his student.
What first sparked your interest in the symbolism and art of indigenous cultures?
My love for indigenous art comes from my desire to travel and experience different cultures. The most significant memory I have of connecting with symbols was when I received a tattoo from my teacher in Nepal. It is on my forearm so I see it every day. The design is filled with tiny symbols and you can read it like a book. The more you look, the deeper the story becomes. What I love about symbolism is that it is a universal language that everyone can understand. When I show my tattoo to other people, they interpret the symbols how they connect with them and ultimately this becomes their own personal story.
Your artwork speaks about the importance of dancing for community and wellbeing. Do you think this global break from the dancefloor will help people make that connection more within themselves?
I think the shutdown of events and the longing to have a good party has made us realise how fortunate we were to be able to do those things. It certainly has made me more appreciative of all the good times I’ve shared with friends at festivals and club nights. I will be so much more grateful for the future moments when we can come together again on the dance floor.
How has your local creative community been affected this year?
My family and friends have really struggled from losing their careers in events. It has massively affected not only their income but their mental health because these people are involved in the industry for the love and spirit it brings to our community.
Have you had to adapt your own artistic practise amidst all these changes?
Over lockdown I had the opportunity to adapt into using different art forms which was really exciting to experiment with new mediums. I built a website with an online shop and started selling handmade prints, patches, t-shirts and I even started upcycling and decorating old lamps!
What do you think is the best way people can ‘Spread A Little Love’ in this scary and confusing world?
I think it’s important to show kindness and remember that no two people’s experience of a situation is the same. We should not be too quick to judge when we have no idea what the other person is going through. Even just a simple smile at someone across the street can brighten a person’s day.