Artists: Piotr Gie
What year did you start tattooing?
I did my first tattoo about five years ago on my friend. We did quite a decent-sized koi fish on his thigh. It wasn’t awfully bad; unfortunately—or luckily—we never finished it. After that tattoo I knew I had a long way ahead of me to get where I am now.
How did you first get into tattooing?
I’ve liked tattoos ever since I was a wee boy. My brother had a few, done at home, and I decided that once I grew up and started earning money, I would get one too. I became good friends with the guys who I was getting tattooed by and they offered me the job to work reception. I spent all my time at the studio, taking photos and making videos of guys tattooing. After about two years behind the desk and doing a few small tattoos I thought to myself, Why not try to make a living out of it?
What brought you to Rock ’n’ Roll Tattoo Studios?
After leaving the studio where it all began, I opened a studio of my own with my pal in our hometown. It didn’t work out the way I imagined it, though. So I made the decision to leave and try somewhere else. I went to guest spot in one small studio in England, and then luckily I got a message from the owner of Rock ’n’ Roll Tattoo and Piercing Scotland, who asked me to work in one of his branches. I checked out who was already working there and I knew I couldn’t miss such a chance. I was very lucky.
What is the tattoo scene like in Scotland?
The Scottish tattoo scene is a big part of the British scene. There are a lot of young and very talented artists working in a variety of different styles. The tattooers themselves seem very nice and friendly, and I didn’t really come across jealousy or any negative competition. There are lots of conventions in the U.K.—some on lower, some on higher standards where you can meet worldwide-known artists. The customers are mad and really open to ideas proposed by the artists, and they aren’t scared to cover big parts of their bodies in ink.
How do you describe your style?
It’s tough to briefly pinpoint the style I work in. It’s mostly neo-traditional, illustration-inspired, even cartoony style. I try for my designs to be unusual, crazy. Mostly I care about getting the “sticker” effect and for the tattoos to be bright and colorful.
What led you to work in a more color neo-traditional style?
I started from doing simple traditional tattoos. With time I started getting into the industry more and more. Everything changed when I got to Rock ’n’ Roll; I met a bunch of really good artists and I saw what a good tattoo really looks like. I would watch the guys work, as well as the guest artists who would visit our studio. I would analyze and practice new tricks. I fell in love with color work. Creating such colorful pieces is positively perceived by the customers who are open to my suggestions.
What tattoo artists do you admire most?
I mostly admire the artists who have found their own path and then stick with it—Mark Halbstark, Davee Blows, Bam, Timmy B., Nathan Evans, and many, many more. I look up to everyone who creates something new and puts a lot of effort and passion into their work.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
I would like to focus on custom, colorful work. I really enjoy tattooing animals; they bring an unlimited source of ideas and suit pretty much everything. I hope that one day I will manage to create a big gallery of animals. To be honest I would be happy to just stick to tattooing them all the time.
What has been one of the strangest pieces you’ve tattooed? Ha, there is that one tattoo. When I heard what I was supposed to draw and tattoo I really got quite surprised. The customer asked me to tattoo a giraffe wearing a pink turtleneck and high heels! What a crazy idea! I love them. It was a challenge and I was really happy with the outcome.