Interview with Mark D | Tattoo Surrealism Style | Russia 09/11/2022

  Hello Mark! Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. Please start by telling us something about yourself and your background. Were you like an artistic kid who liked drawing sketches? When the fascination for art first began? Hello, I'm Mark Drushchenko, I'm 26 and I've been tattooing for the last 4.5 years. I lived and grew up in a small Siberian town. I’ve liked drawing since childhood and could spend hours doing this. My parents noticed my enthusiasm quite early so at a young age I went to an art school and eventually it made me doing tattoos.

Q: What type of art do you like the most? Do you have any favorite artists?
A: Surrealism is an art style I like the most (not only in art but also in cinematography, literature and photography) because it’s always creativity, lack of framework and the opportunity to express yourself. Some of my favorite artists are René Magritte, Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dali.

Q: Why tattooing? What do you like about tattooing the most?
A: To be honest, I don’t know why I chose tattooing but it was an informed choice and that’s the fact. I like independence in tattooing, the opportunity to express yourself and collaborate with customers. As a rule, my clients give me fascinating ideas and that's why each work is a challenge.

Q: It's not easy, right? How long it took you to learn the basics and figure out your creative process?
A: Work of a tattoo artist is quite complicated and requires diligence, consideration and precision. I suppose that it takes about 10-12 months to learn the basics and start to make nice tattoos but in terms of the act of creation, as for me, it is constantly self-improvement, analyzing and novelty seeking.

Q: Did anyone help you when you were just starting? What part of becoming a tattoo artist was the most difficult?
A: Yeah, my fellow who owns the first studio where I began my journey as a tattoo artist. He showed me the basics and then we’re developing in one team for some time. The most difficult for me was to start because I had to move to another city and in a new place with no acquaintances, knowledge and incomes. I had to spend all my money to purchase a tattoo machine, cartridges and inks.

Q: You have a very interesting style. I like the complexity in each design, very unique and thought provoking. Philosophical... I love it! How would you call your style?
A: Thanks. In fact, my style is a combination of different styles such as graphics, abstraction, surrealism, linework and geometry. I really like the lack of style boundaries, the opportunity to work freely and use as a basis not only references but create unique pictures and work with a customer's idea and meanings. It's not easy to call this mix in one word but if I try to sum up, I'd say it's surrealism.

Q: So I bet you have really cool clients and you guys talk the ideas before the session. How important is to be open minded and friendly with the clients? How you guys get to agree on the final design idea? Are you the main creator or your clients bring some reference images?
A: I truly think that I feel lucky with my clients. We always get along and have a good time during the session and it doesn't matter where they come from, they're always great people. I believe you must be as open and friendly in communication with customers as possible so that a person loosens up, describes a desired tattoo in detail, its meaning, and trust you. If there's client confidence, the result will be the best, especially in my style where, in my opinion, trust is 99% of success because of the difficulty of composition that I create, there are a bunch of elements and technical details. Each case is unique and, as a rule, it's collaborative work: sometimes there may be reference images from a client and I can use them to make a tattoo, in other cases a customer is limited to the description of the idea, or people choose my available designs or we make a project together by a dialogue and detection of particular request.

Q: Did anyone revealed the meaning of their tattoo?
A: If a tattoo has a meaning, people tend to reveal it so that a design, created by me, closely reflects it.

Q: You really know how to incorporate humans' emotions into art and it doesn't look boring or "already seen" It seems like each piece has a special storyline. Very interesting and symbolic. Are you a graphic designer too? Hah Seriously, do you have any favorite theme or a tattoo you did?
A: Yes, including emotions and meaning into a tattoo is a part of my creative task for each new project and that's what I like. For me, making a design isn't just a selection of photos, first of all it's a creative and intellectual process. Each new work is always a new storyline, new motive and meaning so I can't give a priority to one thing. I can say that it's more pleasant with positive meaning and my favorite tattoo is each next one.

Q: As an artist, I believe it's almost impossible to not relate with the art you create. There's always a little part of you that is a part of the tattoo as well. You might relate with the client's story or the design itself can be very close to you in some other way. I think tattooing is like a giving a gift that was previously meaningful to you, right? The creative process of it all and the energy transfer it's beautiful and memorable, especially for the client. What do you think?
A: I totally agree, the tattoo is always a part of me, my worldview and mindset that I share with my customers and vice versa. People come to me, they like my art, my style and they share a part of their lives, worldview and experience with me, I really appreciate and respect it. As many say, the tattoo is an exchange of energy and it's an unforgettable and useful experience for both a customer and an artist.

Q: You gave 100% in mastering this style. But as a creative and talented person, do you have some of those moments when you think of experimenting with different styles?
A: I constantly think about experimentings and luckily my style allows me to make it quite freely. I often make some experiments with motives, combinations of styles and color solutions. It seems to me that there's not another way, an artist must always be in a journey and creative endeavors.

Q: You travel a lot, I believe that is very important for an artist. Just changing the environment and meeting with people can inspire your next tattoo masterpiece sometimes. Do you work as a guest spot artist? If so what's the best part of it?
A: For me, travel is an opportunity to meet new people, visit new places and get to know new cultures, expand your horizons and go beyond. It's crucial for an artist to feel free and guest spots provide this opportunity.

Q: Where are you now? Are you available for bookings? Please write down your email and studio location.
A: I'm mainly in Moscow, Russia. My email for appointment and communication with customers Feel free to share your ideas.

Q: Being a tattoo artist is cool, fun, 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: Absolutely agree. It's a great journey with its own difficulties, losses and rewards, joy and disappointments. It's a lifestyle I've chosen and I enjoy it every day. It's vital for me.

Q: Any motivational words for the people who want to try getting into this business?
A: Be yourself and do what is necessary in your opinion, don't give up and follow your dreams, you'll do great.
You can find Mark D on Instagram/markd_tattoo

Thank you for the interview Mark D,
Kind Regards,
The Team