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What year did you start tattooing?
I have been tattooing for about 11 years or so.
How did you get into tattooing?
My fascination with tattoos began when I was still a child. I admired my father’s tattoos, which he got when he was in the Russian army. I’ve been drawing since then. The proper tattoo adventure started years later as a young adult, when I was watching my friend as he was tattooing my hand. I decided that this is how I want to express my art, by applying it to skin. Human skin turned out to be a great canvas. At first I wasn’t sure if I needed to attend college or courses, but I was determined to learn how to tattoo. I then began to research how to be a tattoo artist.
Where did you apprentice?
I apprenticed in a tattoo studio in Kaunas, Lithuania. I had to learn many things on my own by watching other artists work, and they’d explain a few different techniques to me. I did my first tattoo on my wrist, which wasn’t the best idea. I spent three years there. After that I started to feel a need to challenge my skills with larger, customized pieces. So I went to Spain and England, and I ended up in Dublin, Ireland, where I’ve been around seven years now, and I’m still learning.
Do you have any special training?
No, I didn’t attend any formal art school. But I grew up with friends who were artists and they were always willing to help me.
What conventions have you worked at? Have you won any awards? What are some of your best convention memories?
Every year I try to organize some time to go for tattoo conventions. I’ve worked at many of them already. I have great memories from all them. From all of them I can separate Paradise Tattoo Gathering, which was my first U.S. convention. It was a small convention, and it was located in a very nice, relaxing place with great seminars. People there were really friendly, and there were some amazing artists I’ve become friends with—so a big hello to all of them! It was really an honor to work there. Awards? I did get quite a few of them at different conventions, most of which were for portraits, though some were for realistic work, and some for color.
How do you describe your style?
I would say it is a mix of realism and painting, and I like it the most. I like the illusion of the tattoo being a painting and being a part of the person’s skin.
What inspires you as an artist?
Two names that come to me now are Gottfried Helnwein and Jeff Gogue. I’m constantly inspired by the artwork of Helnwein—his realism is insane! And Gogue inspires me with his incredible composition within his tattoos, and his color work with highlights is crazy! But I’m also constantly moved and motivated by lots of different
artists and forms of art—constantly. Especially photography, which is a hobby of mine.
What sets you apart from other artists?
As I said previously, I use my photography skills to design a lot of my custom pieces.
What other mediums do you work in?
It’s mainly photography and pencils.
What tattoo artists do you admire most?
I think I have already answered that question when discussing Gottfried Helnwein and Jeff Gogue, but I can actually add a couple of more amazing artists, such as David Corden for his incredibly smooth and unbelievably detailed work, and Alex de Pase for his realistic work and unreal colors.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
I will keep improving what I’m doing now and maybe try to add some more different styles into my work. Experimenting more and creating some more unique pieces is always a goal.
Is there anyone that you would like to tattoo?
Ha ha—yes, I would like to tattoo some cool famous people. You know, like Marilyn Monroe, but it’s a bit too late now, I’m afraid. Or add one to Sylvester Stallone’s body, if there is still some free space left. Before someone gets a tattoo, what advice do you give them? Choose the right artist, appropriate for the tattoo that you want to get done. Don’t mind waiting for the artist whose style you really like. Discuss the ideas.
Is there a tattoo that you haven’t done yet that you are dying to do?
I don’t get that feeling of dying to do something anymore, because every week I get an opportunity to do some really exciting pieces. That charges my batteries, gives me a kick, and does not allow me to get bored of what I do.