What year did you start tattooing?
I started off around five years ago with my first attempts at tattooing. First two or so years I’d tattoo my friends only. Technically speaking those first attempts were 2007, but I’d say I started tattooing on a daily basis two years after that.
How did you get into tattooing?
I’m not 100 percent sure how I got into tattooing. Probably what brought me to it was when I realized how great it is to have people coming to you from different parts of the world wanting some cool custom stuff done. When I started tattooing I was already familiar with the industry. I’ve been a professional piercer and an editor for Tattoofest magazine. Thanks to that I had the opportunity to visit the biggest European conventions, like London, Barcelona, Milan, and Berlin, just to name a few. I think by that time I realized the possibilities that this job offers.
Where did you apprentice?
I was already working at the shop I still work in, but as a piercer. I never had the apprenticeship, at least in the traditional sense. All the people working as tattoo artists at our shop were my friends. They would always share their knowledge and experience with me. I remember I was always interested in how particular things are done. I was also a pretty good observer. I had all I needed; the rest was hard work, persistence, and time.
What conventions have you worked? What are some of your best convention memories?
I’m not that good with remembering stuff. I’ve done a few local Polish conventions with Tattoo Fest. Brussels! I was tattooing there last year and it was more than awesome—looking forward to this year’s show more than anything. I’m not much of a party animal, so I’d rather go for a week on a guest spot than conventions these days.
How do you describe your style?
I’m having trouble with describing my style. I believe it’s all kind of modernism/trashy/abstract. I had people calling it neo–avant garde, and I have no idea what that means but it sounds cool. I’d say it’s all about bold, chunky, marker/brush style outlines, watercolor-ish bold colors, and most importantly, dynamic composition with a hint of craziness. I’m trying to make my stuff pretty, simple, and bold so that it ages nicely.
What inspires you as an artist?
Highlighting one particular thing that inspires me would be impossible. I guess whether I like it or not, I was, and I am, influenced by a lot of different things. It’s more on a subconscious level, I think. There have been so many different styles in art and particular artists that influenced me along the way, and it would be hard to fit them here. The most important thing is to be open enough to be able to find inspiration around you. Sometimes I stop on my way to work and stare at a particularly interesting fallen leaf or a flower. It sounds silly, but you can find so many cool things around; you just have to learn to actually see them. Digging more into it, I realized I’m finding a lot of inspiration in objects. I’m not a huge fan of characters. I love tattooing objects! You can tell a story just by using them.
What sets you apart from other artists?
Firstly, I never really felt so much a part of “tattoo society.” Don’t get me wrong—I’m not disrespecting anybody. It’s just that I never felt like the fact that you do particular things for a living or fun has to make you a blind follower of any given lifestyle, fashion, or way of behaving. I’m a tattooer, but apart from my job that’s the true passion. I’ve also got some hobbies of mine that have nothing to do with art. I’ve got my own opinions about life, religion, music, fashion, etc.
What other mediums do you work in?
I mostly just draw in pencil and different markers or colored pencils on paper. I’m fooling around with watercolors too. Another medium would be vinyl figures—you can do so much cool stuff.
What tattoo artists do you admire most?
Tattoo artists I admire most would be those that can achieve a good level of drawing and composition in their works without sacrificing the cleanliness of the piece, making it bold enough to age nicely at the same time. I try to stay away from getting too inspired by anybody’s work—but in these times when the social network comes into play, it’s all kind of popping out in front of you, so you’re up to date with everybody’s art whether you like it or not. My early inspiration was and still remains: Davee Blows with his bold style, Mark Halbstark from Germany, Sven Groeneveld, Peter Aurisch, Ondrash, and Marie Kraus. They’re all young and restless artists wanting to offer something more than what’s an “acceptable norm.”
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
Tattoos I look forward to doing would be anything—as long as the person who’s going to wear it is open-minded. Usually people give me their full trust, so I can really knock myself out. I don’t have any favorite theme, although I’ve claimed to be an expert in tattooing hearts—and yes, for some unknown reason I will almost always add one somewhere in the composition. My clients usually know what I do, and I’m trying my best to match their expectations while still making it as “Bam” as possible. Lately I’ve been into drawing some weird animal hybrids, so I guess that’s going to have a reflection in my tattoo works soon. There’s not much to add here—I’m just trying to make myself and my customer as happy as can be. That’s the coolest part of this job!
Before someone gets a tattoo what advice do you give them?
Before somebody gets a tattoo there’s one, literally one, important thing to do: Research. Find an artist whose works really suits your taste. That’s how it works; it’s as easy as that. When you find that person whose works appeal to you to a degree that you could get anything from this particular person, you can be sure it’s the right time to get a tattoo done!
Is there a tattoo that you haven’t done yet that you are dying to do?
Something really big, like the whole body big.