tattoo interview with Endre Szabo | Tattooend London | 19/09/2016

Q: First, tell us something about yourself... Do you have any artistic background? How did you become a tattoo artist?
A: Hi. At first, I’d like to say a big thank you for the skin-artists magazine for this interview.
My name is Endre Szabo I was born in the capital of Hungary, Budapest. I’ve always been interested in drawing and painting since I was a kid. I was 3 years old when I started drawing cartoon characters. I wasn’t in any art college when I was 14 years old because I liked the fact of the passion of drawing and painting not as a must do. Years later, I took part of a 3 months animation course and I fell in love with animation and motion pictures. We were creating the movement of the caracters that was a huge fun every day. I spent 4 years in the animation studio as an animator...but things had changed and I decided to look for another kind of profession. That was tattooing. At first I wasn’t the greatest fan of tattooing so I spent 10 months in a tattoo studio in Budapest and decided to leave. After that decision I’ve became a graphic designer but few months later I felt like I’m a factory worker...that made me make a move again and I was thinking maybe tattooing could give me freedom and passion in the same time...and now here I am.

Q: What kind of art interested you in the beginning?
A: As I mentioned, I was a huge fan of drawing and painting also because of my grand father and my father I really enjoyed sculpturing we mostly used clay or wood. My grand dad helped me use axe and all the tools I’d needed to work with a piece of wood. No serious injury happened so I could became a tattooist.

Q: Many people think that to be a tattoo artist is enough to have good drawing skills, but tattooing is a lot more than just drawing on a paper. What are your thoughts? Is it good to first take a few years and apprentice?
A: What most people doesn’t know about tattooing is the background of this artistic expression...what we called TATTOOING nowadays. Tattooing in the 50’s wasn’t the same as in the present even 15 years ago this industry was far much different. You are right, actually becoming a tattooist not about only the drawing skills but I think that’s the first relevant ability you should have. The tattoo world is changing every week even every day. There are a lot of good artists and talented young guys and I’m very happy to work with them. I think apprenticeship is important for the beginners because you can be a part of creation every day and have a chance to ask questions and practice under supervision. That’s a huge advantage for all those who lucky enough to be an apprentice in a good tattoo studio. I also have an apprentice and I have to say she makes me really proud to see how fast and how much she improves week by week. Her name is Eva. That’s the same thing with my awesome and super talented colleagues Paulina and Szidi. Those girls give me challenge every day and that’s a brilliant thing because I also can learn some things from them.

Q: Do you have any favorite tattoo style?
A: There are many different style exist in tattooing, I think that’s pretty much a good thing because the clients can choose the right artist who can create the best tattoo for them. I’ve chosen a sort of color realism but not the hyper realistic style... I like various styles but what I what I really like in a piece, is the composition. I don’t really care of the style of the tattoo but if it spot on than that’s a cool tattoo for me... although I’m not a big fan of traditional tattoos or old school tattoos... never really done any of them maybe that’s why.

Q: I love the color tattoos, seems like you put some extra time on working on details, which makes every piece very special! How do you cope your basic ideas with final one? Do you draw for each client?
A: I love doing color tattoos and probably that’s my destiny. Also details and textures are my favorite thing to built in a piece and put contrasts and the final high lights. The way I work from beginning to the final. The client come for consultation and they usually have their idea and then we start talking about it. I also ask them about why they want to get this tattoo done. Sometimes that’s the best way for the artist to associate one idea to the other and I must tell you people like that when a tattoo artist can be creative even before the design is not even done. I think communication is very important in our job. When we’ve done with the consultation I start searching for the right references or I can sketch a concept sketch (I’ve done that a lot before we all started to use computers for almost everything) when I have a good collection of references I use Photoshop to create the design.


Q: How people react on the pain when it comes to big projects like back-pieces or sleeves? :) How do you cheer up your clients?
A: Most people who are getting a bigger piece done they usually know that’s gonna hurt. I always tell them we can go with the full day sitting or we can go per hour sessions. For those who has low pain threshold I’d suggest 3-4 hours sessions. I advise them to have some chocolate or sugary drink which help the body cope with the pain. It’s important to let them know during the session they are doing good, even if they know that’s not 100% true haha but some nice words encourage them. And helps to finish the tattoo and in the end of the day they are really proud of themselves, because they were sitting through the session.

Q: Being a tattoo artist, is very busy and responsible job. What keeps you motivated while the busy schedule?
A: My motivation is do your best every day. I know that’s impossible to be on top and put 110% energy in every tattoo you do. But if you’d start a piece on a day my motivation is that one will be my best...that’s not happening every time but I’ll always try haha. If I like a tattoo the next day or the next week I can say I did a good job but you should be your own critic as well and should know what would you differently next time.

Also I’m not booked up more than 1,5-2 months that’s an awesome opportunity to go somewhere and keep yourself away from tattooing for a few days or a week or a month if you can afford that and when you’ll be back you’ll have fresh mind and focus and you can create more quality tattoos.

Q: What's the procedure of getting an appointment? How long clients wait?
A: Procedures are simple if you wanna get an appointment: send us an email to
tell us about your idea if it’s possible attach some reference pictures and book a consultation session with the artist. Consultations are free of charge but if you wanna book a tattoo session you should pay deposit. We respond the emails really fast, so there will be no wasted time. In my studio every artist has different waiting lists but non of them have longer than a month. If you are flexible client and not keen on getting tattooed only Friday or Saturday than you can get an appointment much quicker.

Q: Where are you located?
A: Our studio based in South London, 319 Kennington road, SE11 4QE,
You can easily google it or find us on our Facebook fan page Tattooend
Instagram: endre_tattooend_london
Our email address is

Q: Having the talent you have, I guess I would try anything with my tattoo inks :)) Have you ever thought to start working on something completely different or you want to keep up with your (recognizable) style?
A: It took me a long time to get here where I am now I’ve been tattooing for 14 years and I don’t think I’d choose to do something completely different. What my purpose is to be better in the style I already have (if I have any) and make small changes here and there and do the tattoos a bit better and better.

Q: What would you recommend to the new artists?
A: For those who want to start tattooing????....Hmmm... Don’t even think about it to get involved in this business ... It’s a cruel world hahaha... but seriously I’d recommend only for those who would choose this profession not because of the money but the passion. If you forget where you coming from there will be a huge disappointment. Some ’tattooist’ think they are rock stars and forgot where they were when they started. For the younger generation I’d say practice and work on your artistic skills and get an apprenticeship and listen to the guy who took you as an apprentice. Never pay for your apprenticeship but you should know that’s an unpaid opportunity until you’ll be ready to tattoo someone.

Thank you again for this opportunity to be featured in the skin-artists magazine.