Interview with Sergei Grevtsev | Tattoo Realism | Poland 14/12/2020

  Hello Sergei Grevtsev! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our readers. Please start by telling us something about yourself and how did you end up doing tattoos? Was that like a dream job or it came spontaneously? Hi! Generally, until 2017, I know nothing about tattoos and I haven't noticed anything except inscriptions. So, how come I've decided to become a tattoo artist? By chance. I never thought it could be considered as a profession. I just drew a car on a piece of paper while having lunch and that's how all has started. My brother saw my drawing and a couple of hours later, he called me suggesting that I must try to do it. By the time he had already a couple of tattoos done on himself and had a kind of clue about it. Honestly I was skeptical about it, but still bought some Chinese equipment and made myself a tiny tattoo on my leg, then I tattooed my friend, it came off badly. After this incident I realized that I need to gain the knowledge and also to buy a normal equipment. A couple of months later I bought my first tattoo course in the studio where exactly a month day by day, from morning to evening, I've been torturing an artificial leather and my teacher, as he had to stay with me far into the night. I was eager to learn and spared no effort.

Q: Tell me more about the very first client :) How was the experience?
A: My first client was a friend of the guy who got that very first and unfortunate tattoo :) That was actually my real experience in realism. It seemed to me it came off well, but in fact it was not very different from that first bad work :) Of course, I was a bit nervous before the session, since I wasn't sure exactly what and most importantly, how I'm going to do that.

Q: Tattooing is not an easy skill. Even for the talented people who draw a lot, it requires a lot of patience and dedication to get to a pro level. How much time took you to gain confidence in your work? Did anyone help you?
A: Confidence has appeared relatively recently. I guess at the moment when the works started to come off well, even if I did not have a complete understanding how technically to do it. For the first 1.5 years I got a job in 3 studios, but only the last one gave me the knowledge and the experience. It was Vasily Suvorov's studio. I've been working there for 9 months and after that I went my own path.

Q: I really like the color tattoos in your portfolio. Every tattoo shows your ability to capture details almost to perfection. Really cool. I also like the black and white tattoos. I see perfect balance between the black and white ink. In which technique you find most creative freedom? Do you feel like your clients let you express yourself through your work even though, tattooing is a "service" type of job?
A: For me, more perspective are color tattoos, because I can embody much more of my ideas using colors. Now, when I'm doing grey wash tattoos, that is a piece of cake for me. And of course, I am grateful to each client, because of their trust I have the opportunity to realize myself as an artist. It is especially pleasant when a person trusts you that much so he agrees to all your propositions and amendments in the project.

Q: Progress is really important in every job. Would you try to experiment with different styles some day? I see tattoo realism as predominant.
A: I often try new techniques. I add my ideas and try to combine realism with 2D elements, black abstract lines, interesting backgrounds, etc. I have a lot of ideas and I intend to implement them.

Q: Do you have any favorite artists even outside tattooing you look up to for inspiration?
A: I am inspired by art in general. I can look at a picture, listen to music, read a book without knowing the author. I can't even distinguish poultry from beef, what can I talk about? It's not important for me. I just enjoy the moment.

Q: Clients nowadays are very creative. I see more and more unusual tattoos. The tattoo artists are happy that the clients are interested in more unique designs, so they can express their creativity a lot more. The time when choosing a tattoo from a catalogue is long gone. Which tattoo in your portfolio you consider as most challenging but worth the time type of design? I must say, the skull in fire is a phenomenal work... I almost thought, it's a photo, not a tattoo, bravo!
A: I think my favourite work is a black and white portrait with the tentacles of a cartoon octopus climbing out. It was not difficult to do, but I was really glad that I did it. Now I try to use these tentacles element working in color realism.

Q: During this challenging times of uncertainty, how do you navigate your work with the clients? Are you open for new appointments?
A: This year was really difficult for everybody. We made great effort to open the "Mad Krolik" studio in Warsaw. I had to visit three countries before I got to Poland. After all those difficulties and obstacles I'm working with special enthusiasm now.

Q: Tattooing can be such a great journey of self discovery as a person and as an artist. You learn so much about yourself, your abilities, self discipline and development. Even after a period of recognition to the public and gaining a solid reputation, there's always a room for improvement. Do you agree? If so, what are some of your plans for the near future?
A: There are no limits to perfection, self-knowledge and self-development. I think a person ceases to exist at the moment when he believes that he has reached the maximum and knows everything. I hope my success will motivate me to get better. I have modest plans for the future - I'm going to become a top master and buy a yacht.

Q: Any motivational words for those who are willing to try getting into this business?
A: Nothing is given for nothing. Pull yourself together and work hard every day. Don't make money your main goal. Be hungry for knowledge and don't be afraid to ask questions. Do each tattoo the way you would do it for yourself. Do it, but if you get shit results all the time, then quit and do what you really can.

Best regards,

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Warsaw, Poland Instagram @grevtsev_tattoo
Mr.Sergei Grevtsev Thank you so much for the interview.
Kind regards,
The team