What year did you start tattooing?
I started tattooing 20 years ago, in 1992.
How did you get into tattooing?
I am Hungarian and lived in Hungary at that time. Hungary is a small post-Communist country in the middle of Europe. Tattooing here used to be a forbidden art during the Communist regime; it was equal to committing crime, therefore, it was cut off from its roots. Its traditions didn’t exist. In 1992, when I entered the military force for obliged service, I was so bored that I kept drawing in my free time and my mates kept coming and asking me to tat- too these drawings for them. This was the point where I got a strong feeling I would want to tat- too, even though I had never even tried it yet.
What was your first shop experience like?
When I started tattooing, I was doing it only with needles—no machines yet. Then a friend of mine made an amateur machine for me out of the engine of a Walkman—so I guess I could say I started with a rotary. A few months later, after buying my first professional rotary, I went to a tattoo studio. Note that the first real Hungarian tattoo studio opened up only in 1989!
Do you have any special training?
No, I learned everything by myself, without a master. In the beginning, skipping through the pages of tattoo magazines, I tried to figure out how the images were done. Around 1995, I realized that I only saw the results of tattoos, but not the progress itself. Because I was very much interested in the process, I started going to tattoo conventions, where I could see and watch every step done. Interestingly, my first training experience was my first seminar I attended in Rome, then in Chicago and London.
What conventions have you worked at? Have you won any awards?
I attended my first tattoo convention in 1996 in Berlin, which was the most noted tattoo convention at that time. Now I visit six to eight conventions annually, mainly in North America and Europe. I have won numerous awards, but it’s been about 10 years now that I’d rather tattoo for the pleasure of my customers instead of the prizes of these events.
How do you describe your style?
I work mainly in fantasy and realism styles; however, I am not specialized only in these areas. I like to try new, different things every day.
What inspires you as an artist?
I’m not the type of artist who wants to realize his own imagination on the skin—rather, I like to realize my customers’ ideas, adding my own technical and artistic knowledge to it. Often it is the customer’s requests and ideas that lead to the final compilation of the design.
What sets you apart from other artists?
This should be judged by the viewers, as I don’t compare myself to others. Around the year of 2000 I got to the point when I stopped buying tattoo magazines, because I wanted to find my own voice without being influenced.
What other mediums do you work in?
I find tattooing an individual branch of art where I am occupied and interested enough that I can completely fulfill myself and my artistic ambitions. Therefore, I don’t work in any other medium in a professional way.
How have you branched out from your usual tattoo style?
In the first eight years of my career I tried myself out in every style. At the end of the 1990s I started to move more and more toward fantasy and realism. I did this because I always found realism and fantasy the technically most difficult styles to create—and I love challenges. But time has indeed proved us, and realism by now has grown out to become its own individual branch of style.
What tattoo artists do you admire most?
From the ’90s I would mention Tin-Tin, Filip Leu, Paul Booth, Aaron Cain, Guy Aitchison, Mario Barth, Bernie Luther—the stars of those years. Since then, things have sped up in the tattoo world and there are so many big names now it’s impossible to list them, but Nikko Hurtado, Dmitriy Samohin, and Randy Engelhard are definitely the biggest ones for me.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
The photos attached to this article show the present, my present. They show the current style I work in now. I would like to keep making similar tattoos; I will certainly change a few things with time, but mainly this is what I like to do now.
Before someone gets a tattoo what advice do you give them?
What I always suggest before starting a session is to be rested, fed, and filled up with vitamin C— which may sound funny, but vitamin C in the system reduces bleeding and helps the skin to be more resistant.
Is there a tattoo that you haven’t done yet that you are dying to do?
After tattooing for 20 years I tattooed all of my dreams; now I realize the dreams of my customers.
You are sponsored by Intenze. Does using their ink help you better your work?
Of course. I love the products of Intenze, and they provide me with things so I can do what I want to do. However, they sponsor me because they know I am one of those artist who can bring out the maximum from their products.