Joe Ankave


Where are you from?

Originally from Haifa, israel and when I was 19 years old I moved to Tel Aviv (IL) where I am currently living and tattooing.

When did you first become interested in art/tattoos?

When I was 6 years old, I knew I knew I was gonna be a tattoo artist.. it’s kinda weird to say such a thing like that but I was sure this was who I was gonna be. When I was 16 I drew a lot and knew I had to take this passion to the next level… At 18 I got my first machine from China and started to tattoo at home.

Who influenced you as an artist, both early in your career and now?

Shige is the one who inspired me from the first day, I remember seeing a back piece of a Phoenix bird he had done and from that day he has remained my inspiration. I also got tattooed by the greatest Chris Crooks who gave so much motivation to become a better tattooer. Just watching him work gave me so much inspiration… I think we can be inspired by someone, and love their work, but only when you meet them in real life and see them in their element can you get the true sense of who they are.

What would you be doing if you weren’t tattooing?

It’s hard to say; tattooing is my life! Maybe when I’m 60 years old i’ll be a techno DJ…

Do you practice any other mediums of art?

All I do is tattoo and draw!

What is your favourite place you’ve travelled to while tattooing?

Ibiza, hands down! I tattooed there for 6 months; it was completely amazing!

What style of work do your prefer to do? Is there a style you would like to start doing more of?

The style I enjoy the most is neo-traditional Japanese; like animals and flowers. I dabble a bit in realism and neo-traditional as well with nice colourful gradient work.

What are your interests and/or hobbies outside of tattooing/art?

Right now my focus outside of tattooing is on developing an app called – InkUs. This app will solve some issues in the tattoo industry…stay tuned!

Do you have a message to anyone who aspires to be a tattoo artist?

Find a tattooer that you like, his/her work and personality. Be a great apprentice, don’t do trendy tattoos, don’t treat it as just a hobby, invest 100% of yourself into it and work hard every single day!

How do you feel about the huge growth in the tattoo industry in recent years?

This industry is becoming tougher each and every day. There are many great artists producing amazing tattoos and the learning process is much faster now compared to when I start. The competition is at an all-time high, but I’m still out here trying to do my best with each tattoo.

Is there anyone you would like to thank or give recognition to?

I want to say special thanks to Jee Sayalero and Chris Crooks for tattooing me; it was an incredible experience. I’ve been learning a lot from them, they are great artists and great people.

What equipment do you use?

I had been using coils since I started tattooing, but about 6 months ago I fell in love with the Cheyenne pen, which is a pretty amazing machine! I use also only Eternal Ink and Elite needles.

How do you see the tattoo industry evolving in the future?

This is a really a good question! I’m sure there are people out there trying to invent a tattoo machine or robot to replace tattooers! However, a client will never get the same experience with a robot as they will with a human artist…

Contact Joe