Ukrainian tattoo artist, famous all over the world. The story of Ian Levin.

A unique offering, signature style and hard work. The combination of these three factors ensured Kyiv tattoo artist Ian Levin's worldwide fame.

MC Today asked the most famous tattooist of Ukraine how he managed to succeed in the west, get publications in the world's leading media, how much it costs to open your own tattoo salon and whether you should do it at all.

Ian Levin got his first tattoo in 2007. As a philosophy student at the International Solomon University in Kiev, Ian sketched a sketch during a couple - a clover symbolizing the intertwining of hearts. The boy liked the image and started looking for a tattoo artist to transfer the clover to his neck.

Ian Levin

Levin dropped out of university and took up photography. Soon commercial shoots stopped giving him pleasure, but the number of drawings on Ian's body was growing. Since childhood, the guy managed to draw, and friends were increasingly advised to combine the two hobbies and become a tattoo artist.

Three years after the first tattoo, Ian came to his master, but already as an apprentice. He loved the experiment, Ian recalls, "the medical approach and the creativity."

Abandoning photography, he took up tattooing. The business was now his sole source of income, which meant you couldn't go wrong.

Unique masterful style

Ian Levin's first tattoo parlor, Bone House

"I was lucky enough to show up on the radar of the hangout, and in time to offer not pictures from the Internet, but my own sketches," Levin recalls the beginning of his tattoo artist career. Ian opened his own salon, Bone House, and business was added to his creativity. Then the formula for business success worked: talent, innovation, and a bit of luck.

The new Kyiv studio became one of the first in the CIS with its own handwriting. Levin not simply learned how to make tattoos, he offered the market a new tattoo product - a brand style, in which no one had worked before.

Levine mixed medieval prints, double exposure and optical illusion.

"Fun constructions that cling not to emotions but to minds," he says.

He posted the work on social media. In 2011, few were talking about the importance of digital to business. But the master's Instagram channel was rapidly gaining followers from all over the world.

The most popular modern tattoos

Most often patriotic Ukrainian tattoos can be seen on young guys and girls, although occasionally they can be found in people of quite a venerable age. Ukrainians prefer images that recall something dear, personal and eternal, which is unchangeable throughout life.

Among the most popular designs are the embroidery tattoo on the arm, patterns in the form of the immortal Kobzar, trident or the national flag. As the colors usually use yellow or blue, but for the tattoo embroidery on the arm choose red, black or blue color, which looks beautiful and almost does not fade with time. From time to time you can meet people with stuffed contours of the map of Ukraine or the famous paintings of national artists.

Pro-Ukrainian quotes, sayings, poems and catchphrases are extremely popular. Lines from favorite songs, which are often performed in stylized form, are also widespread.

Collaboration with Western masters

Soon the Ukrainian was noticed by colleagues from California. They were designing temporary tattoos and asked Levin for help. Ian agreed and drew sketches for the joint project. He received a percentage of the profits to this day, although he did not know his California partners personally.

At once the western mass media became interested in the Ukrainian. Buzzfeed included Levin in their list of the world's best tattoo artists. As of today, the publication has been viewed by almost 3 million users.

And the famous British photographer Nick Knight offered to participate in the project for the magazine Garage. The photographer shot seven different photo models, and then asked several tattoo artists to remake the photo in his style.

Levin didn't spend a penny on marketing or PR. "Just the logo," he says jokingly. Levine's fame came from several publications in a narrowly focused Western glossy and a page in social networks.

Levin did not sit idly by in Kiev either. He left Bone House to a partner-assistant, and in 2013 he opened a new salon Λteliernoir. For the next two years Levine worked with large projects without being very visible in public.

Open and closed studios

According to Ian, there are two types of tattoo parlors in Ukraine. The first is open. Such salon tries to involve a lot of masters, which after the order should quickly sketch a sketch and sit down for work. "It's an obvious mass market," Ian says.

Λteliernoir has become the second type of studio - closed. You can't get in there without an appointment, and the craftsman can do a project for a month or longer. Such a salon master opens under himself, takes one client a day and quietly puts the business in the black.

All that is needed for such a studio - chair, tattoo machine, computer and cosmetic repairs. Together - about $ 2 thousand.

But Levin was not limited to a measured rhythm. He came to work at 12 noon, and left by midnight. Four days a week he worked with people, two days he drew sketches, and one day he rested.

While the average bill of an average Kyiv salon at the time was $100-200, Levin's prices reached $600-800

Large-scale projects, such as scoring "sleeve", that is to completely cover the tattoo arm or leg, cost $5-6 thousand. In the end, the salary of the master per month was $10 thousand. The clients - the show business stars and media people.

All about Ukrainian tattoos: the Cossack, the Ukrainian coat of arms, the map.

Patriotism is not only a state of mind, but also an actual trend, which penetrated the world of modification in the last couple of years. Including patriotic inscriptions, pictures and texts, for example, arms of Ukraine, a map of the country, Cossacks, are chosen a lot now for tattoos.


  • Sensation of Ukrainian tattoos
  • Types of Ukrainian tattoos
  • Tattoo Kozak
  • Ukrainian coat of arms (Trident)
  • Ukrainian ornaments
  • Write
  • Map of Ukraine
  • Character
  • Also read interesting articles: Tattoo writings in Ukrainian Take a unique look The value of the tattoo depends on the ...

Ukrainian tattoos


Any patriotic ink is a kind of tattoo. Their meaning goes back a long time. By putting certain images on clothing, interior decorations, people told others that they belonged to a certain nation, that every member of this nation "belonged to them". Nowadays Ukrainian symbols also say that, but they also help you to express your love for Motherland.

Patriotic tattoos in Ukrainian subjects make both young boys and girls and people of a rather kid age. For each of these people, such a tattoo will be a symbol of something dear, immutable and inimitable.

patriotic Ukrainian tattoos
Budi-Ki patriotic pictures - zahisni tatuvannya


There are plenty of patriotic tattoos. You can judge by the number of pictures and photos. In this case, there may be both tattoo writings and ornaments, volumetric designs and even tattooing, decorated with motifs of paintings by famous Ukrainian artists.

tattoo coat of arms


Kozak - a national symbol of Ukraine. If a man ventured to nabi Kozak his own hands or breasts, it will mean that he is consistent with the spirit of determination, strong spirit, never give in to his goal. But at the same time, the motives for such a tattoo may be different: a person wants to show that she is one with her people, that every Ukrainian for her - a brother. These are the rits of character possessed by the real Cossacks. Often the tatuvannya is performed with a Cossack, which jumps on horseback or try on the shoulders of the ensign.

kozak tattoo
The person with the tattoo kozak spoiled rishuchosti, strong in spirit, never retreat before its methods.


This nationalist tattoo became the most popular after the Revolution of Guidnosti. The Trident tattoo tells about the fact that a man is devoted to his people, will fight for freedom always and never give up. Tattoo with the coat of arms and trident nabivayut practically on any part of the body, but the most popular version is the hand (so the view of light is immediately understandable to all recipients) or on the chest near the heart (to show how expensive notification of their belonging to the people).

Ukrainian coat of arms tattoo


Ornament - another popular variant for those who want to show their patriotic spirit. This can be a traditional black and white weave, as well as tattoo vyshivanka, tattoo arms with ornaments. You can see by the photo how beautiful such images look.

Ukrainian tattoo ornament


Phrases for tattoos in Ukrainian - a great way to declare the most important. The words of famous national poets and writers (Shevchenko, Frank, Kostenka and others), as well as more modern variants are chosen. The famous tracks from the militarily patriotic group Okean Elzy are a surprise for the detainees, for example.

tattoo Ukrainian inscription


Not often used in the shops and the pictures on his hands, back. It is important that the image was of whole Ukraine before the occupation of its parts. This way people want to show that no matter what, they regard other Ukrainians as their relatives as before and that they only see Ukraine as a whole! You can also often see pictures together with the Cossacks, with the police, with wheat.

tattoo map of Ukraine


Not everyone can be called a Cossack. He is first of all a leader, a mentor of the Zaporizhian Cossacks. It was he who was engaged in rendering spiritual and medical assistance to the wounded. Tatu mistrusters assert that the character is filled with people who are emotional and gregarious.

It does not matter what to choose: the tattoo of the goat, the emblem of Ukraine or the map. In any case, the tattoo on any part of the body demonstrates patriotism and will be happy at an important time.



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