Inked|The Music Issue
Italian tattooer Nicole Zulianello discovered tattooing at any early age, 12 to be exact, and hasn’t looked back since. Today, she’s a heavy hitter in the style of New School and frequently brings to life the characters of Disney, Nickelodeon and anime onto skin. We spoke with Zulianello to learn why she became a skin cartoonist and what advice she’d give to aspiring artists who have a love for New School designs.

Take us through your upbringing and tattooing yourself at 12, then your friends at 16. Now I realize tattooing myself was a very stupid thing to do, but those were the first warnings of what my future would hold. When I came home from school in the afternoon, I took a needle, wrapped it with cotton film, grabbed some ink and got tattooed. Obviously I did everything in secret, because my parents never approved these actions. After a few years my friends saw my tattoos and they wanted them too, so I started doing it for free because it was a pleasure for me and I didn’t have any idea that what I was doing was a job. After another few years, my friend bought a tattoo machine and he let me try it. After tattooing him, he gave me $20 and from that moment I understood that my passion could be my work. So I decided to buy a tattoo machine by asking my mother for some money on loan and from there, I started my journey to become a professional.


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The Music Issue