Name: Caroline Vitelli
Location: today, Geneva Switzerland
How did you get into the industry? Was it hard to find an apprenticeship?
The very first tattoo i made on someone was a ballpoint pen handpoke on my
childhood best friend, it was supposed to be an Icelandic Rune on her arm,
we were very young, and it did feel like empowering, being there
for each other.
In 2003 I did my masters degree in Art and sociology, and this is
where I am from, but I have always tried to split my time between the work
of making art and the art of looking for work, a project nourished by the
idea of the need for practice as a motivating and creative force. Then
some years ago, I was introduced, by an Inuit, to a ancestral technique of
sewing tattoos or skin-stitched. Skin-sewing tattoos are a type of
‘healing tattoo’ – the tattooer introduces into the skin, by means of a
needle, with a thread, which has been greased beforehand and soaked with
soot. After this I began to stitch my own left hand this way, but it
wasn’t practical at all as you have to pinch the skin with the other hand.
Then, I started doing tattoos with a machine as a « fil rouge » to my
previous works. Even if i strongly recommend it, I did not do an
apprenticeship I am an autodidact, but I am very lucky to have been around
and tattooed by very good artists.
How long have you been tattooing?
Seriously, less than 3 years now. And I am learning every day.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by feral nature, literature, love, magic, poetry, animals,
poisonous plants, people, the Chiaroscuro. My head – is filled with a
thousand little tiny creatures working, running, screaming, all the time,
it’s exhausting. Also my mind is full of images, quotes and reference.
Also my dear talented friends, in contemporary art Sandrine Pelletier,
Darby Lagher (Old Hag) and Jean-Luc Verna. Then Rowland S. Howard &
Chopin, Chelsea Wolfe & Steev Lemercier. The painters Francis Bacon,
Lucian Freud. And Keats, Rilke ; the Dada period : Haussmann, Tzara,
Duchamps, Arp, Breton, Eluard, Aragon, Arthur Cravan… Ahh so many. Oh yes
Who are your favourite tattoo artists?
Servadio for his artistic post tattoo practice, Kane Trubenbacher for is
sensibility, Filip Leu, Duncan X and Liam Sparkes, Ryan Jessiman, Matt
McCormick, Rafel Delalande and many more. I am in love with unclean
tattoos. I don’t go crazy over perfect lines, even if I admire some, I
mostly enjoy tattoos who are done with poetry.
How would you describe your tattoo style?
I would like it to be feral, emotional, hurt/wounded, magic, and
If you weren't tattooing what would you be doing?
I’ll be drawing and learning how to be happy and in love in this world.
And I would still be tattooing.
What advice do you have to people considering careers in tattooing?
I think I am not able to give any advice because I don’t have enough
background, but I will say - Passion. Patience and Perseverance is
something that you’ll need at the same time but I don’t pretend to know
all about it.
What are some of the best things you have experienced as a result of your
I’ll say that the best experiences are always the ones coming next.
Where do you currently tattoo?
I am just back from Mei Wah tattoo in Hong Kong, At the moment I am in a
private studio in Geneva Switzerland, in one week I’ll be at Old Habits
tattoo in London,I am moving a lot, so you can follow me on my instagram.