Assaad Awad
Interdisciplinary Artist

As an interdisciplinary artist, what was the turning point for the professional tattooing path?


As an artist, I find my life being like a playground, all in black and you go discovering your entourage. This is how I found my new skills and my new interests in art since I was a small kid. I went to university and started graphic design and advertising, after that I had a call to start doing accessories, after that, I had another call while doing my own tattoo. I told the tattoo artist to give me the tattoo gun, and I finished the tip of my tattoo, my medusa. 

I find it very interesting in terms of technique, it’s an internal art with a big responsibility because when you ink people, you are putting your art in them forever.


Geometry is a key aesthetic in your tattoo work, what inspires you?


Actually, I used to hate geometry when I was at school, but then you realize you are leaving inside the geometry world, so everything inspires me because I’m inside of it, it’s like being in the matrix, in the movie, everything around you is inspiring. I find it hard to describe the exact elements that inspire me because it’s more as proportions.


As a university professor, do you think tattooing should become a discipline to be studied with theoretical and methodological contributions?


Tattooing is art as well, like painting, like sculpting, it should be taught at universities because there’s always a weak point in tattoo artists. They don’t have enough “badage intellectuelle” and the history of art and all the art things, and art courses you take at a university are essential first to have a specific path in tattooing.  First to find your own style and second to have the responsibility to treat people as a very expensive canvas.


Have you ever felt a spiritual connection while tattooing?


Depends on the piece. The spiritual trip would start from moment zero when I’m drawing the piece when I’m talking to the client when he’s giving me the feedback, the feeling, the incident he had, the pain or joy he had that kickstarted the thought of having a tattoo. 

The spiritual connection starts there when I start drawing his brief, let’s call it a brief, it’s magical because he might be wanting a tree and we end up doing something else. It’s like the tip of the pyramid, and all the way down is the base of what he actually wants hence I get to discover bit by bit the design the client wants without asking him and when I show it to them, they reply with an “Oh my God! That’s exactly what I wanted I didn’t know that!”


Is tattooing your main focus? If not, what is your main focus right now?


There is no primary focus in my life, teaching is a passion I have, and tattooing is another passion that I have. I’m sure I will be adding more desires along the way. Many people call this to reinvent yourself, but you are not dead to reinvent yourself, you are still here you are just adding, and that’s magic.



If it would be possible to use any liquid as ink. Which one would you use and why?


I use many brands of ink, I still haven’t developed my own ink but there are inks for filling, inks for packing, inks for typography, inks for tiny dot working, and it all depends how the ink reacts inside of the skin.  The ink could spread to fill in the case of packing or not spread at all so the line of the typography will stay thin, or the dot work will remain approximately the same size.


We see more and more research in developing new technologies such as monitoring medical diagnosis or soundwave tattoos. Where do you see the future of the tattoo industry?


I do not believe in incorporating tattoos with the new technology and the modern world, you can always do black light tattoos that glow in the dark, we can always invent soundwaves, do apps, but, tattooing is a ritual, and it should stay like this. It’s as if in the future you will see a hologram priest giving the mass, it won’t be the same, it has to stick to its original purpose.


I can imagine ink that would react to the temperature and would warm you up in case it’s freezing outside, smart ink that would eliminate if necessary or ink that would give your GPS location in case of emergency. That would be of great help for human beings as long as it not esthetically cool, and it has a functioning technology that could help in this matter.


You were based in Madrid for many years. How has been your artistic transition in moving to Beirut?


Beirut is a fascinating place to be, it’s like in the middle of Asia and Europe it has a lovely mixed mentality, it is the most modern in the Arab world regarding thinking and creation, we are Phoenicians, and we know how to deal with things.


We’ve heard Beirut is a charm with many juxtapositions. What is the highlight for you?


It is very charming, it is happening on its own scale. Worldwide there are many Lebanese that occupy many vital jobs and heads of many prominent companies. It all comes back from the idea of being Phoenicians. Phoenicians did the world and the first trading around the world.


You draw gorgeous botanical tattoos. What is your relationship with botany?


I don’t know why I’m very attracted to botanical drawings, it is like the dissection of plants without hurting animals, because I never liked opening up a frog or a small worm, so plants have its own mystery, its own proportion, its own sacred geometry. You can see it from the outside without even cutting the fruit. If you cut the fruit is beautiful, but you can watch the composition of a tree from far then closer to the branch then closer to the leave. From far too closer and closer.


How magic has manifested in your life?


Magic started since I was a kid,  I discovered it when I was doing a theta healing one day, and I could remember from when I was 2, 4, 8 years old.  Magic happened in my life when I had an out of body experience, it might sound bizarre to some people, but it occurred to me, and it changed me without knowing that it changed me. On many occasions, I had magical events that made believe that we live in a matrix, and that might sound very weird for many people but is magical.


Magic is when you find that you are capable of doing anything without even learning it. Is just deciding that you want to do the thing and bit by bit you pick up as if you always did that. As if you reincarnated into your body and you were a carpenter in the past, it just needs this push, this call, this passion. 

That's why I think passion-driven people do so many fascinating things.


Can you tell us what are some books that expand your mind? 


All the books from Ernst Haeckel