Murran Billi is one of Europe’s masters of the black-and-gray discipline. But before he achieved professional fame, Billi started out studying the classics—using oils, charcoal, and traditional graphic design.

In 2000, at the age of 28, Murran began tattooing. Finally building up the courage and confidence to leave permanent marks on peoples’ skin, he gradually began crafting a style that’s earned him some much deserved recognition.

It’s a style that’s a return to the basics. Anatomy. Bone structure. Murran likes to drill down to the essence of the art to create tattoos that touch on realism while adding a modern, renaissance touch. For inspiration, Murran turns to Jess Yen, Nikko Hurtado, Boris, and Carlos Torres.