Interview with Marek Hali | Realism | Poland 22/06/2022

  Hello Marek Hali! Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers, we really appreciate. Please start by telling us something about your beginiings, and how you got into tattooing.

Q: What inspired you to start tattooing?
A: I think after I got my first tattoo as a teenager I coudn't stop thinking about buying a tattoo machine. The whole process of making tattoo seemed to me so cool and interesting, and because I was drawing a lot, I knew that I could find myself in tattooing. Of course at first it was hard and I haven't thought of tattooing as my potencial future profession. I worked in oil factory and as a costructor worker around that time, also I got into university but I drop of all of that and decided to focus on tattooing, that was a good call.

Q: As a beginner, what type of tattoos you use to do? Who were some of your first clients and how long took you to gain confidence in your work?
A: I had no style, no direction back then, so I did everything that my "cutomer" wanted. My first one I did on my mom, my girlfriend and than some friends and slowly more and more people were coming to get a tattoo. That was back in 2009. While my tattoo journey started, I kept trying to improve my drawing skills especially portraits. The quality got better and my confidence.

Q: I like how you mix two styles into one final design. Really creative! How would you call your style?
A: Realism mix with geometric and hints of abstract I guess.

Q: The portraits are truly something special, especially the colored ones. How much the knowledge of proper ink usage and application plays a key role here?
A: It's a technical part and I think that's what I have been working on for so many years and still trying to improve, sure it plays a big role here but also it's important to understand the process itself, for example portraits, choose the right colors, mix them togheter and just play with them on skin. It's like... my idea and how I'm going to do it, let's call it theory. And when we combine theory with the practical part we get the key in my opinion.

Q: Tell me about the creative process. Do you collaborate with your clients on ideas? Do you allow them to bring some reference images?
A: It takes time for me to make a design. From finding a good reference, through rework it, creating shapes, make a good composition with every element in the project, it takes time. Sometimes I lose myself in layers in Photoshop during designing because there are so many of them. About the customers, I always try to convince them to do it my way. In my own shop I do have full control about bookings so I'm the one who decide about references and mostly the whole design.

Q: I like the triangles and the other shapes as an additional elements in almost every tattoo. Looks really cool.
A: I think I get inspired by much better tattoo artists than me like JayFreestyle, Waler Montero or Dave Paulo. I wanted something more, rather than just put two or three pictures together in photoshop and boom the design is ready. I have bigger challenge in designing and figuring out how to create something diffrent, combine colors, make a cool composition and that's fun! That keeps me going.

Q: The expectation to bring the best results every day and to be creative can become overwhelming sometimes. How do you cheer up or get inspired when you feel a little bit down or tired?
A: I do sport or some activities. It really clears my mind and gives me positive enegry.

 Q: Every time when I hear about a tattoo artist from Poland, I say - Oh he/she must be super talented! Seriously, you guys have a big scene there with so many great, I really great artists. What's your opinion about the local tattoo scene?
A: That's true. There are so many great, world class tattoo artists from Poland. I think we always want to improve our skills. That's why our local scene is very strong in my opinion.

Q: The tattoo awards!! Congratulations! Totally deserved. How much this means to you and keeps you motivated?
A: Well, it is an amazing feeling to win an award at a tattoo convention, of course it motivates me a little, but is not only about awards. The opportunity to work and meet great artists is the best part of it. That's always great fun and big lesson in my case.

Q: Tattooing seem like a very interesting job and many people nowadays are willing to try to learn the process, get their name out there, but many fail to realise that it's actually not that easy. From insane competition to learning the skill... it could take time... right? In few words, give my younger audience some advice.
A: Well, nowdays is much easier to start tattooing. Apprenticeship in tattoo shop, video tutorials on youtube, or just sharing experience on social media by tattooers. Still it is all about focus, hard work and sacrifice.

Thank you so much for the interview Marek