Joe Ankave

How long have you been tattooing and what would you say lead you towards your style?
I’m tattooing for 6 years and my main style is neo-Japanese. This kind of style always was more attractive for me than other styles, especially at the time when I started to tattoo there wasn’t so many styles like today. Japanese art has such a huge history with amazing characters, potential concept and beautiful philosophy.

Your IG page says you do Neo-Japanese but I see a few other styles in your work as well so it seems you are pretty open to other styles as well.
That’s actually right, my main style is neo-Japanese but I’m open minded to also do neo-traditional and realism. I like challenge, I like to do different things especially when i have the chance to do something creative.

You do mostly color work but don’t seem to be uncomfortable with black and grey.
I’m not really sure the right word to use is “comfortable” but I actually am comfortable with that. It is much easier for me to do that and much less challenging to do black and grey work. To do a great work of Japanese you must know before how to do black and grey, I just preferred to post color work more than black and grey so people will ask me to tattoo them color work.

Do you get to do any conventions or guest spots at other shops?
I actually got two invitations from LA and San Diego tattoo conventions but i have to see how it’s gonna work.

Anyone in particular have an influence on your style?
Shige is the one I’m getting inspired by the most. He took the classic Japanese to the next step which is called neo-japanese and he is still doing such a great job to develop this “modern” way to an incredible next level. The second one is Chris Crooks who is doing a great job as well and I’m lucky because I had the opportunity to get tattooed by him and he also give me many tips and we had a good time talking about the life of being a tattoo artist.

You’re clearly an animal lover. How many pets do you have?
Currently now i don’t have any.. few years ago i had an amazing opportunity meeting a fox so in my old photos you can see in one that i got kissed by the fox and in the other I took a photo of her licking a tattoo I’ve done, of course it was healed haha!

What do you do in your spare time?
Those days besides tattooing, I’m working on a tattoo app called InkUs – the main purpose of this app is to make this world of tattooing a small globalization and will solve 4 main problems all in one! I’m about to change the way we got use to, to the next level for real! Stay tuned! Besides that, I like to take my time with drawing and to workout.