You are here


Cole Genovese Talks Shop with Dan Lorenzo

Dan Lorenzo: Do we have enough vowels in our last name between us or what?

neo traditional tattoo, cole genovese tattoo artist

Cole Genovese: [laughs] Yeah I believe we have enough Os and Es to stuff a few cannolis.


What are your favorite mob movies?

Oh the classics...definitely Scarface and Goodfellas. Black Mass, which came out recently, is a great one too; Johnny Depp was phenomenal in that movie.


I know you and some of your family moved to Jersey from Queens when you were little. Do you think if you had stayed in Queens you'd still be a tattoo artist?

I honestly have no idea. Maybe? My godmother planted the idea of tattoos into my head when I was about 4 or 5 years old. She used to take me to this little deli on the corner of my block in Maspeth, and we would get packs of those temporary rose tattoos, like super 90s style tiny roses. She would always put them on her ankle because she was too afraid to get a real one. Ever since then I loved the idea of tattoos. I'm stoked to say that since I became a tattoo artist, she conquered her fear and I gave her a permanent one. I was honored to do it for her, just because that used to be "our thing".


black and grey tattoo, cole genovese tattoo artist

Tell me something about Sacred Soul's owner Patrick that would surprise people.

Oh gosh, [laughs] he's a shuffle machine on the dance floor.


What kind of art influences you in your tattoo work?

All types. Every type of art can and should influence you. Whether you're into the style or not, there's always something you can learn about the process and the craftsmanship behind it. For me, I have really been into pointillism and blackwork lately. It might sound weird, but for me there's something almost meditative about tattooing a whole bunch of little dots.


I see you do a lot of nice color work, but also some cool black and grey. Which is easier for you?

Thanks! I wouldn't say one is easier than the other; I enjoy both styles equally. I mean, I just enjoy tattooing in general, which is how it should be. You always have to have fun with it. If you're in a crappy mood, that's gonna show through in your work. Yes, some pieces are more challenging than others, but that's how you progress, right?


Right! Next question: Coil or rotary?

I prefer coils to line with, and rotaries to shade. I've found my clients are split right down the middle between coils and rotaries. Half enjoy the buzz of the coils, and half prefer the quietness of the rotary. Rotaries are definitely lighter in weight, which helps a ton with long session work.

cole genovese tattoo artist, lion tattoo


What machines are you currently working with?

I currently have two awesome Star Wars coil machines from Amoeba Designs, a Yoda liner and a Darth Vader shader; one Baphomet coil liner from Infinite Irons; and a blue FK Iron Spektra Halo rotary. I love my Halo because I can change out the stroke, so it's super versatile. I can use it for soft black and gray one day and then super bold color traditional the next day.


What about ink?

I use a lot of Fusion and Eternal. Those are the two I use the most. Their viscosity is great. I've gotten sample bottles from other companies in the past, but they were either too thick or too watery. I use Waverly for my black and grey work. Their Bluebird Black is great for soft black and grey, I'm a fan.

floral tattoos, cole genovese tattoo

For more of Cole Genovese's work, find her on Instagram and at Sacred Souls Ink in Denville, NJ.