Stratos Zabelis

People - Issue 10

As a kid I was truly amazed by the older guys that were tattooed and weren't “afraid” to expose their tattoos in plain sight. Seventeen years ago, it really took guts to be tattooed. I got my first tattoo done by my cousin when I was sixteen. We had no idea how to put together a tattoo machine, but somehow we managed! And that was it ... I was “stuck” so much with it that it didn't take long to do the second, the third and many more. By the age of eighteen, I had already done quite a few tattoos. A bit before I did my first tattoo, at fifteen, I started as an amateur body piercer. Soon I realized that it is a big and important part of my life. Body piercing has been my full time profession since I was eighteen. I feel lucky to have worked with several major tattoo artists and to have many tattoos done by them. I consider myself a collector of designs. Each artist has his own style and his own theory, I just place them on my body. Almost 70 % of my body is filled with ink and my ultimate goal is to be completely covered. Tattoo is a unique experience and highly addictive.

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Name: Stratos Zabelis
Profession: Body Piercer.
Residence: Petroupolis.

How many tattoos do you have? 

One; a full body one.

Which artist(s) did your tattoos? 

Taki Tsan, Kostas Pliakas from Prive, Dragon (Babis), Louis (Louis tattoo), Luca,Jay from Medusa, Dane from Taki Tsan, Manos from Taki Tsan, ΚΝΚ from Taki Tsan, Panos from Taki Tsan, Rea Taki Tsan, myself.

Which tattoo is your favourite and why? 

(All of them). The ones that I have on my hands, because I like looking at them. I can't pick up one specifically, because each one has a differant value and meaning.

Which tattoo artist do you admire? 

I can't pick easily someone in particular, everyone has elements which I admire, while I also admire many people from abroad.

Which tattoo style do you like best? 

The Realistic one. This is the one I first learned, but now I have started falling in love with Old School.

Do you regret getting any of your tattoos, if so why? 

Yes, one on my back (with religious content) and I'm covering it up.

Have you done a tattoo cover up? 

Yes, a large dragon head on my back which covers the Virgin Mary and Christ.

Have tattoos affected your life? If so, in what way? Of course. 

My feelings are mixed, fortunately in a good way.

Do you have an activity of yours that you would like to mention? 

I am preparing to open a tattoo studio in my neighborhood, Petroupolis.

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HeartbeatInk would like kindly to thank Blow Bar (Lepeniotou 22, Psiri) and Dionissis for the hospitality and the realisation of the photoshoot.

Strato's tattoo studio is called Soul Tattoo Athens, is located in Petroupolis (25is Martiou 109) and will be officially open from Thursday the 13th of March 2014. Professional body piercing seminars will be also taking place, along with implants and microdermals.

Photos by Ino Mei.

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