Interview with Sergo Mazur | Neo Traditional | Ukraine 28/10/2022

  Hello Hello Sergo Mazur! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. Please start by telling us something about yourself and your background. Since when you got interested in art? What type of art do you like the most? What made you start tattooing? As long as I can remember, I loved to draw, I drew in kindergarten, drew in school and college. After college and education as software engineer, I finally understood that I wanted to do something creative, but I still didn't know what. At that time, I accidentally came across the TV show "Miami ink", I liked the atmosphere of the tattoo studio and the idea of ​​making money by drawing, that's how I found the answer to my question. It will be 10 years ago.

Q: What's the difference between tattooing the very first person (who trusted you enough) and the very fist client in a studio? Can you recall some of those moments?
A: I remember almost nothing about the feeling. But I remember very well that the first tattoo was a swallow on the leg of my friend with whom I studied. I immediately said that I didn't know anything about tattooing and wanted to try, and he agreed to any result. The swallow came out terrible, and terrible more in the sense of quality rather than the picture. I drew conclusions and the next tattoo was already better.

Q: You're very talented, I bet it was easier and faster to learn tattooing but, how long took you to figure out your creative process and direction?
A: Thank you, but I don't think so. Everything that looks like talent is actually based on a lot of work done. It was not easy for me at all, because there was simply nowhere to get information and I had to learn from my mistakes, not from others. And this is a process that does not stop, I am still learning, I still have a lot to learn and do. It seems to me that I am only at the beginning of my creative journey.

Q: I love neo traditional style and it's like you gave your 100% in mastering it. I absolutely love every piece. Seriously, stunning work Sergo. The tattoos, the prints... all looks amazing. Why neo traditional? What do you like the most about this style?
A: When I started, I probably did everything except realism. Over time, I began to do more traditional tattoos, but I didn't like the small number of details on the traditional flashes, I wanted something more complex, so I started with neo-traditional designs. And it is the complexity of this that attracts me. Because you need to be able to do everything, draw well, make straight lines, dense shading and soft transitions. I don't know in what other style it all fits together.

Q: Will you stick only to neo traditional or you might try something different in the feature? I bet you will be awesome in any other style.
A: Thank you for believing in me :) As I wrote a little earlier, I consider neotrad a direction in tattooing, but everyone has their own style. So, I'll just continue to develop my style, there is still a lot that I want to pass through the prism of my worldview and show everyone how I see it.

Q: Neo traditional is like an update of the good old school style. It is the creative people like you and this new generation that made it happen. I love it. Thank you!! I think there's more playfulness and creative experimentation here, unlike other styles. This is just my opinion. What are your thoughts?
A: Thank you again. I agree with you. Neotrad is a very versatile direction and allows you to realize yourself to the fullest and even a little more. Just compare https://instagram.com/glendalebully and https://instagram.com/piotrgietattooer or https://instagram.com/justinhartmanart and https://instagram.com/javierfranko it's all neotrad, the styles are all very different but at the same time very close.

Q: This sometimes happens, especially if the artist is well know for a particular style and it's very good at it. So you get those people who like all you do so they struggle with choice. So it is like "I want a tattoo, do something, I'll like it anyway" heh for real. Do you have those clients? I guess, I'll be one of them too, I like every tattoo you did, I'm fine with whatever you put on my skin, I know it will be awesome.
A: I only work with such people, which is why it also gives a beautiful result. They just tell me something, for example, I want an eagle or a snake on my hand - I say nothing more to them and start working on it. Because the more frames, the more difficult it is for me to make something really unique. I will gladly do something for you, you give me some idea - I will tattoo it.

Q: Some look simple, but others are a bit complex. How long does it takes to finish the design and then the tattoo on the client especially if it's a big tattoo, like a sleeve or a back piece?
A: It all depends on the detail and size of the sketch. On average, it takes me about an hour and a half to make a linear sketch before a tattoo session. But to draw a print, somewhere 10-15 and it depends on the details. As for tattoos, there is no middle ground either, usually my working day is about 5-6 hours.

Q: I cannot stop looking at the prints. The tattoos are awesome for sure, but the prints are also really cool. I see some of them featured in Sullen Clothing. Just wow! Congratulations! Well deserved exposure. How this happened?
A: When the total quarantine began, I had a lot of free time and I decided to draw something related to Sullen art and that's how they noticed me, then I told them that one day my work will be on their t-shirts and they did it.

- You also have your own merch and patreon where you share useful tips and tricks. How amazing. Bravo! Please share the links here so my audience can purchase some t-shirts and join you on patreon.
Yes, I have a Patreon, I have been running it for more than a year and it seems that I have already told everything, but every month I add something new. I also have video tutorials and my unique brushes, you can find all here: https://linktr.ee/mazurtattoo

Q: Have you thought to participate in some tattoo seminars since teaching is something you enjoy?
A: Yes, I do not mind taking part in seminars, but unfortunately, there has been a war in my country for 8 months, and such events are not possible right now.

Q: I think it would be awesome to publish a book with some interesting characters and cool story lines, it would be interesting to have like a neo trad comic book, just saying.
A: I have never been interested in comics and it would probably be very difficult for me to create something, but it would be interesting to illustrate a ready-made book, for example.

Q: Being a tattoo artist is cool, fun, very interesting, this job will offer a lot of opportunities for growth and good life. Still, tho, tattooing requires a lot of sacrifices, even sleepless nights and a little hustle, especially in the beginning. But one can learn a lot from this journey. It's a beautiful way of self discovery and development. What do you cherish the most?
A: Yes, it is a difficult path. I love to say to my clients something like that - it is very cool to work for yourself, you can work on weekends if you want, you can work at night or on vacation if you want, you can work on lunch, you can work everywhere and everyday. But I cherish the experience I gained along the way, it brought me to where I am and will be the foundation for my new journeys.

Q: Where are you now? Are you available for bookings?
A: Now I'm in Ukraine in Kyiv, I tattoo very little and mostly for my regular clients because it's very difficult to plan something at this time. But I work and draw every day to fill Patreon, create new tutorials, prints and videos for you.

Q: Any motivational words for the people who want to try getting into this business?
A: I have come a long way in tattooing and I can say that there is still more to come. Tattooing and creativity is a marathon, the winner is the one who does not stop. Do something every day. Learn something new. Experiment. Go to the goal step by step and compare yourself with yourself yesterday and who you were a year ago. Watching on your progress will give you the strength to move on and do more.

Mr.Sergo Mazur Thank you for the interview, It really means a lot,
Kind Regards
The Team

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