Tattoo: Skin Illustration

Introduction to the tattoo for illustrators and graphic creators

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Introduction to the tattoo for illustrators and graphic creators


The course has a limit of 20 students

Duration // Schedule

July 2022 (TBC)


Introductory / medium


Dates may be modified and courses may be canceled depending on the evolution of the pandemic.

The tattoo market has been diversifying in recent years and new trends have been added to the traditional stylistic lines. When mixing with professionals from other artistic industries, the world of tattoo has been enriched enormously with the work of authors from design, illustration, lettering, etc. They have generated completely new languages ​​and have propelled the profession towards places that had never been seen before. In this course we want to promote this moment of change by giving the opportunity to these future creators to enter the world of tattooing.

This Summer School's course is structured in three independent modules:

Module 1. Tattoo: Illustration on Skin. It is carried out in Elisava. It is a module that combines theory, development of illustration projects in leather and practices on artificial skin.

Module 2* (optional). Hygienic Sanitary Course. On-line course to be carried out in an approved center. It will not be necessary for those who already have the certificate or an equivalent title that allows the practice of tattooing on human skin. This course is essential for those who intend to enroll in Module 3.

Module 3* (optional). To be carried out in a professional tattoo studio Tattoo practices on human skin of the project or projects developed in module 1. This module cannot be accessed if the module 2 title has not been obtained

*Modules 2 and 3 are optional and are aimed at those students who have never tattooed on human skin and wish to do so. They will be able to enroll once module 1 has started.

  • Learn to develop and carry out an author tattoo project, knowing the keys (theoretical and practical) necessary to make it possible.
  • Understand the origins, historical development and the current moment of tattooing. Learn to respond to an assignment and develop a concept.
  • Obtain the necessary tools to capture a concept as a graphic project and make it as a tattoo on synthetic skin (knowing the technical steps and the necessary materials).
  • Acquire the essential training to make tattoos on human skin (Sanitary Hygienic Course).
  • Acquire the knowledge required to carry out a responsible practice avoiding risks to health.
  • Know the phases and complexity of the realisation of a tattoo from a project in a professional studio.

Module 1

This course will be an introduction to the world of tattooing especially aimed at artists, illustrators, designers who already have a previous knowledge of drawing. We want it to be an experience that offers to know and go through the necessary steps for the development of a tattoo project, from the order to its realisation on synthetic skin.
The course will be structured in 4 phases, a theoretical phase, another related to concept work, and two practices.

Phases Module 1

1st Phase:

In a first session of theoretical introduction we will make a brief tour of the history of the tattoo from its beginnings to the present time. We will be especially interested and the course will deepen in the moment of great change that the tattoo world is living. Nowadays, it is not considered anymore as something "underground" and it is becoming popular, which is causing that more and more artists from other disciplines are entering this world, forming and contributing their style and artistic work. This is causing new aesthetic lines to emerge and therefore a great expansion and opening beyond the traditional lines is taking place.

2nd Phase:

An alleged assignment of a client will be considered, with a particular theme. We will do a "simulation" of what happens when a tattoo artist receives an order and the story behind it. Who is the client, what meaning do you want to give the tattoo, etc. From this assignment, the student will develop the conceptual part. Which symbology he will use, how he will transmit it by staying true to his own style and how he can get the most out of the request. Students of the course will do brainstorming exercises, concept development, sketches, etc.

3rd Phase:

We will see how to technically make our drawing in order to make it "tattooable" in the best possible way. The tattoo, to draw on the skin, is obviously not the same as drawing on paper. The body has volume, the skin is something organic, the drawing must adapt to the anatomy. The materials are different and the good resolution of the inking on the skin and its durability will depend on many factors that we will have to learn and take into account when creating our final artwork. We will accompany the students in this process advising them and helping them to adapt and lead their style to the drawing to tattoo without losing their identity and paying special attention to the enhancement of their way of working and style.

4th Phase:

Once we have the final design, we will teach the student the whole process of tattoo making: necessary materials, needed machinery, how to assemble a working table and the space before tattooing, etc. We will review the type of existing materials, machines, inks, etc. During the second week, the student will have the opportunity to practice as much as necessary on synthetic skin by doing all kinds of exercises that will allow them to become familiar with the materials, machinery and technical protocols.

Module 2

The Sanitary Hygienic Course (mandatory for all those who want to dedicate themselves professionally to practices such as tattooing, micropigmentation or piercing) offers the basic knowledge about the necessary hygiene measures, preparation of the material, disinfection and sterilization techniques of the specific material, measures of sanitary prevention, types of skins, etc.

In this course, the basic notions of the first aid protocol are also offered. The possession of this degree is an essential requirement for those who want to do the (practical) Module 3.

(*Teachers will be responsible for providing the details of a school, registration procedure, timetables and prices where you can take the course and exam in Barcelona to students who want to obtain this degree, during the first week of the course in Elisava).

Module 3

Once modules 1 and 2 have been completed, students who wish to do so can take part in a tattoo studio in Barcelona under the individual supervision of one of the professors.

This module is an opportunity for the student to apply everything learned in the classroom, in a professional work space, thus reaching the complete realization of the project (from the assembly protocol of the work table, materials, the design to tattooing ... until its realization on human skin).

Students will be responsible for providing the person to be tattooed (a person outside the course, a partner or the student's own body are possible options)

The three professors in charge of teaching this course are trained and work in both industries, the artistic (Design, illustration and painting) and the tattoo.

Mariona Cabassa

She has dedicated herself to the illustration for the last 20 years. She has published more than 60 illustrated albums and taken his illustrations to all kinds of products (vinyl, puzzles, wine labels, animations, toys, posters ...).
She has been teaching at different art and design schools in Barcelona for 10 years, as well as running her own creativity and illustration workshops for women.

Two years ago she incorporated the tattoo as another means to work with and the skin as a new support for her work. She currently works in the VOID studio in Barcelona.

Instagram: @theinvisiblecircle
Facebook: The Invisible Circle

Santiago Lombardi

He carries out his academic training at the National University Institute of Art in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze, Italy. For more than 20 years he has been professionally dedicated to the tattoo, alternating this activity with painting and illustration. He has participated in numerous tattoo conventions in Europe and taught courses in Barcelona and Amsterdam. Since 2012 he owns and runs the VOID tattoo studio in the center of Barcelona, ​​where he currently resides.

VOID web:
Instagram: @santiago_lombardi_tattoo
Facebook: Santiago Lombardi Tattoo

José Luis Merino

Graphic designer and illustrator, born in Barcelona, ​​where he studied art at the Eina school.

He is co-director of the Master's Degree in Illustration and Comics for the Elisava school in Barcelona.

She has worked for BMW, Elle Germany, Fast Company, Forbes, Freixenet, Gourmet, GQ UK, Harper's Bazaar USA, Madame Figaro Japan, New York Magazine, The Guardian, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, Town & Country, among others.

His works have been published in The AOI, The Art Directors Club of Europe, American Illutration, Communication Arts, D & AD and in Illustration Now and Illustration Now Fashion by Taschen, and in 200 Best Illustrators by Lürzer's Archive.

He is represented by the agency Kate Larkworthy of New York and Eye Candy of London.

Instagram: @jlmerino

Artists, graphic designers, illustrators, drawers.

People who have already studied art or already have a good drawing base. 

  • COMPULSORY to have already studied art or have a good base of drawing.
  • We will ask for the delivery of a small portfolio of some examples of the previous work of the students (not as a requirement to access the course but to provide professors with the knowledge of the capabilities of each participant)
  • The Sanitary Hygiene course diploma for participation in Module 3.

The student has to bring

All the necessary material (paper, drawing material, etc.) to be able to carry out the project on paper in class (both the sketches and the final artwork)

It is necessary that the student has his own tattoo equipment (machine, power supply, pedal and clipcord). In case the student does not have it, there is a possibility to acquire through the school (with the advice of the teachers in one of the distributors with whom the studio VOID TATTOO BARCELONA works) a basic equipment of recommended quality for a beginner level:

Electromagnetic machine + Power Supply with pedal + clipcord (The price will count with discount of the distributor and it is variable according to the quality of the equipment that is chosen). 

(*On completion of course registrations, teachers will contact students to arrange the purchase of equipment for those who need it.)

All disposable material is included in the price of both Module 1 and Module 3.

VOID Tattoo Studio

Elisava students have a special discount of 25% of the price in the following programmes: ‘Creación y Renderizado de Objetos y Espacios’ and ‘Las Herramientas del Diseñador Gráfico: Crea, Retoca y Presenta con Suite Adobe’.

The students of the summer course ‘Sustainable Materials for Design’ who decide to take the ‘Master’s Degree in Design through New Materials’ will have a discount corresponding to the amount of the summer course in the master’s price.

Discounts before 15 April *

Participation in a course: 100% of the course price is paid.
Participation in two courses: 100% of the first course is paid and the second course has a 15% discount.
Participation in three or more courses: 100% of the first course is paid, the second course has a 15% discount and the third and subsequent courses have a 20% discount.

Discounts for Alumni Bold *

Participation in a course: 15% Alumni Bold discount
Participation in two courses: 15% Alumni Bold discount on the first course and 20% discount on the second course.
Participation in three or more courses: 15% Alumni Bold discount in the first course, 20% discount in the second and third courses and 25% discount in the following courses.

* All discounts will correspond to the amount of the course with the lowest value.

From April 16, only the standard 15% discount will apply for Alumni Bold.

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