We had the pleasure of interviewing artist Dino Tomic about his work as an artist. Here, he answers a few questions for us:
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Dino Tomic and I was born in Croatia but I’ve lived in Norway since I was 14. I’ve just turned 25 years old. I have a Bachelors’ degree in arts and I work full time as a tattoo artist in my own shop in Notodden, Norway.
When did you start drawing?
I’ve always liked to draw; when I was small I was always doodling on everything. But at the age of 16-18 I really started focusing on art. From that point on I almost never had a day that I did not draw something. I set myself a goal to do a drawing /painting/tattoo a day… I’ve kept that going now for many years.
Your family portrait series is fantastic. What challenges did you face when drawing these pieces?
Thank you. Well everything was a challenge and that’s a good thing. If you get too comfortable with what you are doing you stop getting better (that’s how I feel) and this is why I’m always up for a challenge. There is no better way to prove your skills than working on a large scale with colour pencils. I also quickly noticed that I would need to mix other media into the project to make it work, like acrylic and dry chalk.
There was a lot of trial and error, but that is the fun part of it. You learn from the mistakes you make, and use them to your advantage.
What did your family think of the pieces?
Well only my Mom and Dad have seen them. My grandparents live in Croatia so they haven’t had a chance to see them yet. Right now I’m working on my last large scale portrait and when it’s done I’ll try to see if I can find a gallery in Croatia that I can send it to so that they have the chance to see it.
Who or what inspires your work?
I have a huge list of artists. But the real inspiration comes from knowing that other artists work as hard as I do. Everyone who has mastered their craft gives me inspiration. Just looking at what people do and knowing how much knowledge and years of hard work goes into it, gives me huge inspiration.
Which is your favourite piece of work and why?
I can’t say which one is my favorite. But the ones I’m most proud of are the large scale family portraits I’m doing. Just the amount of time it takes me to complete them, I get very attached to them and I feel like I’m giving everything I have and more to make them perfect.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in drawing?
Don’t give up. And practice. Set yourself a goal and don’t get distracted. Use YouTube, there is more than enough good videos out there that you can learn everything you need to know.
You’re also a tattoo artist – do you find it easy to translate your drawings into tattoos?
No I don’t. Skin is a medium which is very hard to work on, it has a lot of restrictions. I’m thinking of stopping my tattoo career and I will try to focus on drawings/ paintings.
It is fun, but you need to be very social to work in the tattoo industry, and I like my space and freedom when I’m creating art.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on my grandmother. And this is the last large drawing I was going to do. But I will probably do one self-portrait in the same scale, after I finish my grandmother.
What does the future hold for your art?
But I will say this. It will be the biggest and most demanding project that I’ve created until now. And after I’ve finished it, it will blow people away (or that’s the plan) not just because of how much work I will add into it but also who I will paint.
I’ll take my time and work hard and have a positive mind about it and about what the future will bring.