interview with Piotr Olejnik | Kalisz, Poland | evil tattoo 25/09/2015

Hello Piotr Olejnik! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our magazine. It's my pleasure to have the opportunity to share some of my thoughts with you. Your art is very inspiring to many people out there, especially the young artists.

Q: How long have you been tattooing? How it all started?
A: An idea of being a tattooist was born already in secondary school. After I left it, I tried to work in many areas, just be able to collect money for equipment. It was over 10 years ago when the knowledge of tattooing was something hardly accessible. I never thought I'd deal with tattooing. In secondary school my friend made me a tattoo, my another friend saw that and constructed a machine. One day he came to me and asked if I could do something on his body. I think that really was the impetus, by which I felt a pleasure of doing this job. Real tattooing started about 10 years ago, when I opened my own studio.

Q: Getting into the tattoo scene nowadays seems so easy, when we have Ebay and we can buy all the equipment and start it all. But it fact, being a great tattoo artist, requires a lot more than just a talent and great supplies. What was the hardest part in getting into the business?

- How did you learn the basic skills of tattooing? Did you have someone to guide you?
A: Indeed, nowadays we've got really easy access to everything. With funds we can buy equipment from lowest to highest quality. But then the young have a big challenge because the quality of work is so high that it take much effort, talent a little bit of luck to enter that stage . Although with every next year there are new names which can surprise you. When I was starting that wasn't so easy. I had to solder and sterilize needless by myself. There were very little firms which offered equipment. To get some knowledge on this topic you had to pay a lot or look for a long time someone who could teach you basic for free. However, I run to the most alone.

Q: You do all styles. From realism to surrealism! To be honest, I love the fact that every tattoo you do is completely different than the other tattoos, every piece is unique. How do you create those designs? Do you use sketchbook, do you draw some sketches before the final design?
A: There are some differences in my tattoos, because I still look for new inspiration. I wouldn't stop on one style, although my favorite is surrealism in which I create most. In regard to projects, I always have several prepared which I show to my clients or after we talk, I try to do the project similar to their own preferences. Of course they have to like the style of my tattooing. It's natural that every tattooist have his own specific style. I can't stand when people bring already made designs and want to multiply them and treat us like xerocopies. I usually don't cooperate with them.

Q: Your color work is impressive. Do you prefer color rather than black & gray tattoos?
A: Definitely I prefer color as you can see on most my works. However, lastly I work a lot with black, just adding some colorful accent. For sure, I never leave color.

Q: Apart from the busy tattoo schedule, you also paint. What medium you find as your favorite?  Do you also do custom artworks for sale?
A: Painting is something very important to me. It is second thing next to tattooing I could do professionally. Unfortunately, because of the busy schedule, I can't devote as much time as I would for painting. Although I try to do that everyday. I show just a bit of my works in public. Definitely they differ from these I've shared. In regard to artists from I take it is for sure Zdzislaw Beksinski. In his works he move us to incredible world of his fascinating imagination. Also it is Tomasz Alan Kopera, the artist from the new generation. With his every next work he surprises more and more. I often use ideas from their artworks in my tattoos. Actually I'm on a stage of building new studio which has got about 60 m2 desired for painting workshop. I'm going to paint minimum 2-3 hours after finished tattooing. All the time I try to cultivate my skills. Maybe with time I separate the week in half for time and possibility to do both things. As to selling, I'll want put up them for auction in some time starting from low bids.

Q: Many of your works feature some dark motives. Do you have any special reason or it's just for fun?
A: Usually when I receive interview proposals and get this question I always laugh. It is hard to explain. I never thought about it. Maybe it's because of horrors I watched as a child. But most rational explanation is that I want my works to have a strong message. Therefore I mostly use this theme.

Q: How much the drawing skills play a big role when it comes to tattooing?
A: About how much drawing skills are transferring to tattooing I experienced on myself. When I was starting tattooing I was in technical school so I surely could do straight line better than something artistic. Seeing a lot of defects in my works I spend enormous amount of my free time just to perfect the drawing skills. You can't be good tattooist without reliably mastered skills. I practice all the time and stil have impression that it could be better.

Q: You live and work in Kalisz, Poland. Tell me more about your tattoo studio and what's the procedure of getting an appointment.
A: From the begging I work in central Poland, Kalisz is medium size city. After ten years since the founding of the studio I decided to do some significant changes. I noted it earlier, I'm on the stage of building a new place which I want maximally to adapt for tattooing and painting. It's two stored, which I want to divide on two parts to be able to do both things without a hoop. The studio is second home to me, so I adapted it to feel good in it and have a comfortable work. Actually, two people are working here, but me. One responsible for client service and technical support and second for piercing, tattooing and laser removing/lightening. With regards to the procedure, when the new studio will be opened I'll try to make close area for mostly comfortable work with clients Registration or any appointment or talks will be able only by earlier contact by phone or email. I want to reach to real fans of tattoo, not average people who wants something very fast.
tel.: +48 660 781 355

Q: You're an award winning artist. Getting your name out on the tattoo conventions isn't just fun as it's important for more improvement in your creative journey. How often do you visit tattoo conventions? Do you have any special moment you want to share with us? ;)
A: This year is one of worst in respect of conventions because of the lack of time and financial contribution for the new studio. I had to resign from something. However from next year I hope I'll begin a convention tour. They are important and necessary element in work of every tattooist. They not even give a promotion and possibility to show up, but chance to progress and inspire and meet plenty of awesome people. In each time when I meet somebody about I could only read is for me wonderful experience. Additionally we've got chances to explore the world and lots of interesting places, which is another portion of inspiration. And meet people, their cultures. I love to do it I believe I'll get back soon.



Q: I know artists are constantly trying to progress. Would you change something in your style, or start working on something completely different? If so, what would that be? heh
A: I try to analyze every artwork from photos I take and search for defects and flaws to be able to fix them. All the time I experiment to exhibit new things to tattoo. With regards to themes, I'd rather stay by actual, but you never know whether I do radical changes.

Q: Any motivational words for the new artists?
A: I still feel like I'm a beginner, so I know how important motivation is. If we don't find motivation in our hearts we could rest on our laurels too fast. Being an artist, one must be aware that much time should be allocated for learning to feel fulfilled in what we do. But exactly in moments like winning something or answering on interviews makes us happy and we feel we did our work well and somebody appreciate us. Nothing goes to waste.

Thanks a lot for the interview, greetings!