An Interview With Korean Tattoo Artist Playground
Instagram-famous tattoo artist Playground specializes in creating tattoos of the size of a pea, and they look incredibly delicate and personal
The coolest thing in the little tattoo universe is currently happening in a tiny little shop on Seoul called Playground Tattoo. And the man pulling everyone into his singular orbit is an absurdly talented artist named Diki, popularly known as Playground, whose fine line work has no business looking as good as it does on human skin. As since this is Little Tattoos and we appreciate cool people with an eye for cute micro tattoos, we reached out to Diki and asked him to talk us a little bit about himself.
Thank you very much for the opportunity of interviewing you. I guess Playground is your artistic name, can you say your name or do you hide it for some reason?
- Hi! I'm Diki from Playground Tattoo based in Seoul, Korea, nice to meet you. It's my pleasure to take part in this interview.
Where does your nickname come from?
Playground tattoo has a very obvious meaning. Whatever you do, you are bound to face a hard time if you get too into that task. Whenever I had a difficult time, I reminisced myself playing at the playground as a child. To the time when I had no worries or concerns. To always work with such mindset, I am currently working as "playground tattoo".
How did you start out?
I did music when I was at school. I saw a tattoo on the arm of one of my favorite band's member. That's when I became interested in tattoos, and naturally decided to become a tattooist.
How long have you been doing this now?
I started in 2005, so it has been 12 years now.
Do you have tattoos? If so, what was your first tattoo?
I have a few. Most of them are done by my students. My first tattoo is the ribbon tattoo on the inner part of my arm.
Are you at a point in your career where you're mentoring other artists?
Can you talk a little bit about your journey to your current style? What kind of stuff did you start out doing?
One of my student asked me one time, "There are so many creative and skillful artists, will I ever be able to be like them just by working hard?".
I answered him "I will show you" without even thinking too much about it, and started playground to test it out. Never thought I would get such a positive reaction from people!
Do you find your work attracts a specific type of clientele?
My clients are mainly women in their 20~30. 99% of my clients are female and 1% are boyfriends of those female clients.
How long does it take you to do one of those big pieces?
I pursue "thin, simple and small" works. It's my rule to not go over 10 minutes while working on any tattoos.
Which percentage of your customers come from abroad?
There are a lot of people coming from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam and around 40% of my works are on foreigners. On somedays I get up to 15 foreigners visiting. I'm going to work in Korea only until next year, and after that I plan to stay mainly overseas.
What’s your actual tattooing process like?
Firstly, I arrange a date via kakaotalk. After that, the process is same as other tattooists.
How do you see your style evolving?
Making simple designs even simpler, small designs smaller, I realized that the smaller and simpler the design is, people pay more attention and concentrate on that design more.
We would like to thank Diki for taking the time to answer our questions.