interview with Marek Maras Rydzewski | rock & roll, poland 23/10/2014 

Q: How old were you when you first got interested in art? How it all started?
A: I was interested in drawing since I remember. Form my early childhood my father was the one who had a big influence on me and I was always watching him sketching. Next was an art high school in Szczecin, where I was mastering my drawing skills and started getting interested in painting.

Q: When I see your tattoo artworks, I say to myself, I wanna come at your studio and totally let you choose the design! Anything from you would be nice! ;) What kind of art inspired you when you were starting out? Would you say a bit of dark themes?
A: Ohh thank you, that's very nice:) Please come to Poland and I will take care of your skin :) When I started, my major inspiration was Giger’s and Beksinski’s artwork and also photographs form dead people autopsies:)

Q: Do you have any influences, people you simply admire and try to follow their steps?
A: I really admire the works of Victor Portugal, Bob Tyrell, A.D.Pancho and of course Samohin’s and many, others. Very often I wonder how did they got to the level, they are representing now.

Q: How much time took you to learn the process?
A: I spend 8 to10 hours at work every day and that’s how my last two years looked like. It definitely had a big influence on my technique. Besides that, changing my tattoo machines from standard to rotation ones. It really opened new horizons for me.

Q: Something that I find really special about your tattoo works, is your ability to put some fantasy note in almost every tattoo. How do you get inspired? Do you use some reference photos or it's all freehand?
A: I have a lots of ideas in my head from a long time. I’m also inspired by movies, specially horror flicks but also books and sometimes I even borrow some concepts form other artists.

Q: I love the contrasts, the great mix of the inks, the details... Would you say that black & gray tattoos are something you most enjoy?
A: For me black & gray tattoos are much easier to do then the color ones, which are even more difficult then painting with paints, which I love! Besides that I want to be the best in doing B&G and after that I will get with the colored tattoos.

-What kind of inks do you use? What's the secret?
Black one is “Dynamic” and grey is a set from “Intenze".

Q: Nowadays, day of death portraits are really popular. Would you say that we're living in a modern time when we're constantly inventing new styles?
A: I think that every tattoo artist wants to have his own, original style, which he wants to develop in this unique way, and there are lot of tattooist who succeed. Very often you can see a tattoo and instantly you know who’s works is that. One day I also want to accomplish this, but I know there is a lot of work before it happens.

Q: Do you have any "dream" piece that is still undone?
A: Yeah, I have something like this. One day I want to do a “Terminator” theme on full sleeve. I love these movies and those tattoos could be even in color, if only I would get a free hand on the project. I hope that this dream will come true!

Q: Do you have any tattoos on yourself? I bet there are many haha Tell me a bit about your tattoo collection.
A: I have 9 tattoos, form which 3 are going to be covered by new ones. My favorite one is Terminator’s portrait which was made by my friend Tomek Major Dworniak and on the second place there is portrait of Till Lindermann form Rammstein, made by U-Gene. The rest is standard: skulls and stuff like that.

- Would you say tattoos are like a mirror of the personality?
For some people tattoos are definitely mirrors of their personality. For me, not necessarily. If someone wants some cool theme I will just do it for him and that’s their private business what there are making on their skin.

Q: Nowadays, people are coming with lots of cool ideas for tattoo. Have you ever changed someone's mind about a tattoo design/placement?
A: Sometimes you just have to make some changes, because not every idea you can transform into tattoo. Not every good looking concept on paper will look good on skin. That’s why now and then you have to make changes in the project, but always with the client's approval.

Q: Would you say that a true tattoo artist MUST know the supplies he works with, especially how the pigment/the skin will react not just while the tattoo session, but maybe 5 years latter?
A: I think that tattooist should know what particular pigment that he’s using will look in few years on skin and that’s why it’s good to use the best brands. They may be expensive, but for sure they will look great on skin for many years. You can’t do any savings on the materials if you want to be god in what you’re doing.

- How much is important to be open with the clients when it comes to risks, possible complications etc?
If during the conversation with client I get to the conclusion that tattooing is bad for him, it’s good to postpone the session for the sake of client and tattoo. You can’t force anything.

Q: What are the funniest experiences with the customers? haha Especially those, brave enough to sit on the chair for three to five hours ession?
A: I’ve had a client who stand two days for 9 hours! During this sessions I’ve made his whole back and after this tattoo got healed I saw that it was really good. Through the whole process he didn’t said anything about the pain and didn’t even twitched, but every two hours we’ve must take a short break, because he needed to take pain pills. He was my toughest client so far.

Q: Where are you located now?
A: Now I’m working in the Warsaw branch of the „Rock’n’Roll tattoo and piercing”. There are two more tattoo studios in Poland and 3 more in Scotland, so as you see its very good and popular brand in Europe, in which there working only great tattooist and great people:) You can contact with me by my private account on facebook or on studio account on facebook or email.

Q: After all those years of running a busy schedule, what is your biggest challenge?
A: My biggest challenge is to evolve and not to stand in the same spot. In this business if you stop developing yourself, it can end very badly for you.

- What are your plans for the near feature? Would you try to progress even more?
The plan is to, like I’ve mentioned earlier, still develop my skills and try to be as good as I can possibly be. Besides that, I will attend as many guest spots I can to look at other artists at work and learn from them and evolve in my work. Of course important is to meet new people, see new places and participate in every tattoo convention I can go to.

Q: Any advice for the new artists?
A: Don’t bother the failures, ask other tattooists for tips, look at them working, go forward and practice your skills, even if it’s in drawing or painting, it always helps with the art of tattooing.

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