Ottorino D’Ambra was born on 3 December 1978 in Milan, Italy. A creative child, Otto finished school and studied set design at Accademia di Brera (Academy of Fine Arts). D’Ambra worked as a set designer and interior designer for several years but didn’t limit himself to these modes of design; instead he has branched out into many other artistic fields including tattoos.
From Set Design to Tattoo Design
Constantly exploring the world of art and creativity, D’Ambra branched out into another design style; body art. Unlike many beginner tattoo artist who adopt a classic tattoo style such as American traditional, Otto decided to stay true to his own artistic abilities and style. In 2005, Otto D’Ambra became a tattoo apprentice, learning how to work the tattoo machines and apply ink to skin. For several years he worked at the Italian tattoo studio Trafficanti d’arte before moving to London in 2009.
Otto D’Ambra’s roots in fine art are apparent in his tattoo art. Each design is balanced, crisply presented and contains a clear silhouette. There is a sense of purpose in all of D’Ambra’s tattoo designs; none of the lines appear accidental or misplaced and the contrast created with highlights and shadows adds just enough depth to the design to interest the viewer without detracting from the 2-dimensional nature of the design.
Vintage Illustration Tattoos
Each of Otto D’Ambra’s tattoo designs is an original illustration by the artist, although the technique that he uses in his art is an old one. D’Ambra’s designs wouldn’t be out of place in a manual or magazine from the early 20th century or even earlier. The designs resemble illustrations found in the journals of the naturalists and explorers of the 1700s and 1800s, with a few creative additions by D’Ambra.
Otto D’Ambra often combines subjects and symbols in his designs to create more meaning within the art work. It’s seldom that an object or character appears in the design with a purely decorative purpose; each subject is placed in such a way that they create a statement or react to a statement being made elsewhere in the artwork.
D’Ambra’s tattoo designs reveal a world similar to the steampunk universe. When human characters appear in Otto’s tattoos, they wear fashions from the Edwardian period (early 20th century), and when technology is displayed, it is in the form of cameras, pocket watches and gramophones from this period. One of the few subjects in Otto’s tattoo designs that seems out of place is a television, a technological gadget that appeared in the mid 20th century, much later than any of the other gadgets that Otto uses in his designs.
The natural world holds sway over many of Otto D’Ambra’s tattoo designs. Butterflies, birds, flowers and animals often appear in Otto’s tattoos along with skulls, fish and sea creatures. Between the hand-drawn illustrative effect of D’Ambra’s tattoos and the organic nature of his subjects, Otto D’Ambra’s tattoos have an appealing, antiquated effect that can be enjoyed by book lovers, history buffs and anyone who appreciates great art. Visit Ottorino D’Ambra’s personal website or his facebook page for more tattoo pictures and information about this artist.