interview with U-Gene | tattoo style | voice of ink | poland |18/04/2019

Hello U-Gene! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. It's always a pleasure to share some of my thoughts with creative people, there is so much that can be learned so maybe some of our audience will find this interview inspiring enough to start their journey in this business.

Q: Was it hard to learn how to tattoo? Did anyone help you?
A: Yes, it was hard to learn. My tattoo adventure started in Ukraine ten years ago. There were not many tattoo artists there and then, and it wasn’t easy to gather knowledge. The Internet provided few videos on the equipment. I’ve been drawing since I was a child, and the tattoo artist who made tattoos for me suggested I should try to.

Q: What type of art outside tattooing is your favorite? Are there any artists you feel inspired by?
A: I’m definitely most inspired by painting and graphic arts. I admire Zdzislaw Beksinski, Alfons Mucha, Francisco de Goya and Salvador Dali. I like works of various illustrators, such as Grzegorz Domaradzki and Marcin Bondarowicz. I guess all the artists I value, have had some influence on me and my art. I don’t think I have one single authority here.

Q: You do almost all kinds of tattoo styles. I see many beautiful, detailed designs in your portfolio. How much is important to experiment? How do you create your designs, do you draw some sketches for your clients before the session, or the inspiration comes naturally while tattooing?
A: I experiment only in the project phase, never on the customer’s skin. I rather do my projects based on the customer’s idea. I like combining elements such as architecture, nature, humans. I prepare projects in Photoshop, use photos, and sometimes I draw.

Q: Having a talent is important, but still hard work is required in order to achieve a pro level. How much time took you to feel confident in your job?
A: Being consistent and hard working is more important than being talented. I’ve once heard that everyone can draw, but most people don’t spend enough time on it. I’m very demanding when it comes to myself, that’s why I’m still not satisfied with my works and want to develop in this field. I’m aware of the fact that I’m already experienced and have the knowledge that allows me to experiment with my works. Still, even the best project that was done badly, won’t delight anyone – especially after a few years.

Q: Tattoo realism is probably one of the most popular tattoo styles nowadays. I think it is really difficult to be good at it, many artists are taking the challenge to master it. I like how you put up many interesting designs in one final design tattoo. Very creative. What details you find as most challenging to work on when it comes to realistic portraits?
A: It’s the most popular style, and in fact, tattoo artists who have their own style are rare. There are more and more tattoo artists who combine graphic arts with realism or make only graphics – as far as the idea is concerned, there are many great ideas here. But to do it technically well, and to inject the ink properly so that it lasts for years, requires years of practice and learning from the best. I’m in my experimental phase, came back to colors and mixing styles, but I'm still facing some difficulties – but that’s the best way to develop, isn’t it?

Q: How much the knowledge of tattoo ink plays a big role in the final result? What do you find to be more difficult, color application or working with black and gray ink?
A: I think various things pose various difficulties to people. As I mentioned, it’s really important that a tattoo is made well technically, knowledge of human anatomy is vital, too.

Q: I bet your talent for arts it's like an open window for many opportunities to grow artistically. Do you use any other mediums outside tattooing, such as painting or digital art to get inspired?
A: I paint, currently I’m mostly using acryl and pencil. Lately I’ve started to use oils. When painting, I definitely learn about colors, shades and lines, which has a big influence on my tattoos getting better. I don’t have as much time for it as I’d like to, but that’s exactly what inspires me and makes me relax.

Q: Many, especially the young people believe that being a tattoo artist is such a fun profession, me including, bit I know that it takes a huge responsibility and constant development. But from other hand, it could be a very humble experience to deal with so many people, some are even revealing their life story meanwhile the session, so yes, a unique moment to be part of. What aspect of your work you cherish the most?
A: As in each field, there are people for whom their development isn’t important and they see their job as means of earning money and/or social advancement. You see many photographers, movie makers and hairdressers, but how many of them provide really good quality of their service? I take every customer very seriously, which also means I refuse to make a tattoo when I see that the customer’s idea and/or expectations don’t comply with how I understand the quality of work. I’m aware that the person might like the tattoo despite it all, but I want to add here to the highest standards I have. My sessions last very long (eight hours and more), which entails a lot of talking – especially when a person comes in regularly (e.g. having the sleeve done). It’s not unusual that such acquaintances turn into friendships and/or close relations.

Q: How long your clients usually wait for their appointment? Please let us know how is the procedure. Is it ok for the clients to bring some reference photos?
A: I don’t make appointments for more than three months in advance. I don’t want to do it to myself that I’m booked for three years in advance and have no freedom. Worst case is when I need to cancel or reschedule an appointment because my plans have changed. The customers send me their ideas and photos and I design a tattoo. I present the sketch to the customer on the day the tattoo is supposed to be made, and if he/she doesn’t like something, we change it, but in 99 per cent of the cases, the project is accepted and we can go with.

Q: As an experienced artist, what would you recommend to those who are willing to start tattooing? What's the best approach?
A: First of all, assume it’s not going to be easy. One needs a lot of patience and consistent course of actions. If you’re at the beginning of your career, draw something every day, e.g. small shapes or objects – something you can draw. When you feel confident with small projects on a sheet of paper, invite your friends to tattoo them or offer to make them for free. There’s no better way to learn tattooing than to do it each and every day. All the rest will come.

Please write your contact info and some info if you're attending some tattoo conventions soon so me and my readers can say hello and book an appointment ; )

ON FB Page – Tattoos by U-Gene
On Instagram Page – u_genetattoo
Work in VOICE OF INK , Wroclaw ,Poland
Thanks for the interview,
Kind Regards,
The team