Interview with tattoo artist Adrienn Kern

 Hello Adrienn Kern! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. Please start by telling us something about yourself and your background. How it all started? Hey everyone. My name is Adrienn Kern and I live in Budapest. My interest in art has already shown in an early age. When I was a child, I was always drawing, then when I was a teenager I always doodled my textbooks full with sketches and drawings. Once, on a school class Christmas gift giving my teacher got me as a secrect Santa, and I was gifted several empty sketchbooks, so at least I would draw in those during class and not in the books that we learned from. Later I picked up painting, something that I still do to this day as a hobby when I have some free time. One of my friends asked why don’t I try out tattooing, since I draw and paint so much, I would definitly be good at that too – their words not mine, ha! At the time I was a photographer, which is what my degree is in, but after that talk with my friend, tattooing was stuck in my mind. The thought didn’t leave me, therefore I jumped right into it.

Q: How long have you been tattooing?
A: I have been tattooing for 5-6 years now, but I definitely feel like the last 1-2 years I could learn much more intensively, thanks to all the other talented tattoo artists that surrounded me.

Q: Even the most talented people who have good drawing skills, can fail if they don't have the proper knowledge of tattooing as a whole process. I think, apprenticeship is great and helpful, but I know some very talented and really hard working people who dedicated so much time to learn on their own. Curiosity didn't kill the cat - here ah! How did you learn the basic skills? Did anyone help you?
A: It was fairly easy for me to get a position in the first studio where I worked at, due to my drawing and paintings. I learned all the basics there, however I do feel that, to this day, I need and want to learn a lot more. Fortunately, to achieve this, I can always count on my tattoo collagues to help in this area.

Q: Every beginning is difficult and it takes a lot of sacrifices sometimes. How long took you to gain confidence and regular clients?
A: The more I learn and know, the more confidence I have in my own work and the way I can make the design on my own. This has been like this for only the past two years and my goal is to develop my own style into tattoo realism.

Q: What kept you motivated? Did you believe that one day it will all be worth it?
A: For me, art is something that fuels and „charges” me up so to say. I can express sadness with it. Nobody can take this away, it will always be with me. Therefore, firstly I always want to express my respect to it, for how and what it can bring out of me. This is what motivates me. If I see that this pays off, it would also be a plus factor that could be a platfrom for growth – a confirmation that we should do what we truly love, because we will do that with our heart.

Q: What was the most challenging part or obstacles you faced as a beginner? What type of tattoos you use to do as a beginner?
A: In the beginning I only did greywash tattoos, then after my first colour tattoo, one of my tattoo friends said I should work more towards this area. I took this advice and saw that I grew and progressed faster than any other style in tattooing. The obstacle that I usually face, is due to my lack of confidence in designig and/or the use of color. For a long time, I didn’t dare to fully „put myself” into the design, fearing that the end would be crappy. I have let this go since then, because the knowledge that I gained in the past 1-2 years gives me enough certainty in myself. If the basics are acquired sufficiently, then the colors should also work out, in my opinion.

Q: Tattoo realism! Oh well, many look at it as a challenge, because I believe it's really hard to master this style. There's very little room for mistakes. The clients expect perfection from the artist. What do you like the most about this style?
A: During the designing process, I love to vivify the design with reflex lights, or use little bit of color to give it a new feel or mood. When tattooing I love to focus on the small details, more on the textures and not copying that, more so analyse it in a whole and rebrand it to my taste.

Q: You're very talented and creative. I guess that on its own gives you a lot of room for improvement and creative experimentation. Would you try to do something different in the feature?
A: Firstly, I want to grow in my own style and deepen my knowledge in it, however I’m open to everything. Soon, we are going to have a collabb with my colleauge, who is an expert in neotraditional style, I cannot wait to see what comes out of it!

Q: We LOVE the big lemur tattoo you did. It looks fantastic! Sincere compliments Adrienn! How long it took you to finish it? Who's idea was it?
A: I’m really glad you like it. The design took around 3 shorter session to complete. My client told me that they dreamt of this design and then they reached out to me. They would have liked a ring tailed lemur with a crown, eating an orange, in an orange background with flying birds. We had really great chemistry and I felt that this idea is close to me, so I already loved the design. I got lucky, because even the healed colors were vibrant on my client, so I looked forward to the end result.

Q: So many tattoos, do you have any favorite?
A: My current favourite is the Javik from Mass Effect one. Firstly, because it healed beutifully, secondly, because I fortunately got a lot of help and advice from my colleague Ralfy in the deisgning process and during the tattooing, therefore I feel like it is much more „cleaner” than the ones before. I got to use his advice in my other tattoos too from that onward, which I am deeply thankful for.

Q: I've seen some really beautiful paintings do you sell some of them?
A: Sometime I sell my paintings, however because I paint rarely, my heart bleeds when I have to let them go. Of course, I don’t have any on my hand at the moment, friends and family immidietly call dibs on them.

Q: How is the tattoo scene today in Budapest, Hungary? Do you see progress?
A: I know a lot of hungarian tattooists who inspire me, even in the color palette world. We are also all in the procedure to give something to this profession and thankfully our clients are usually very open to new ideas and stlyes, as well as to more risky designs too.

Q: I remember the early 2000s and 2010... the tribal tattoos and cross tattoo with a red rose - that's it! Hahah but look now... so many new styles and artists... it's like we are living in some "Renaissance" period haha Do you agree?
A: Thanks to social media, a lot of stlyes and inspirating artworks reach a wider audience, resulting in that, this profession progresses at a pace – more beautiful and unique art works come to life. I think that the younger generation is more bold in a sense, to be themselves and more unique. This is also shown in the world of tattooing, I also love to look at unique artworks more!

Q: Any advice for the new artists?
A: In my opinion, it is very important to surround yourself with a group that motivates you every day, and inspire you to grow. It can take years to learn all the tips and tricks by yourself, in comparison that somebody shows them to you, which you can do immediately.