How would you describe your style personally and what made you choose this style? Would you say that there’s a connection between the clean outline of traditional designs that can also be found in minimalistic tattooing?
In terms of the technical aspect, my work is based on traditional tattooing. The remaining aspects are a mix of what fascinates me, music, pop culture, what is commonly understood as art and everything else that surrounds me. From when I consciously got into art history (probably when I was around 17), I was interested in it's modern, often conceptual, aspect and I quickly applied those matters into tattooing. Initially, I just wanted to tattoo, no matter the style. Nonetheless, I think I was always drawn to traditional tattooing because it’s a solid and simple structure. And also because traditional tattoos are long-lasting, due to the technical implementations.
He's not only working in the traditional kind of way primarily, but he also learnt to tattoo traditionally: While learning how to tattoo, he experimented with various tattoo styles and never restrained himself to one. As a result, he was able to use his wide spectrum of knowledge, techniques and styles to create his very own characteristic style, making him one of the top tattoo artist nowadays. His focus is not just on learning his craftsmanship in various styles, but also on painting, which allows him to further refine and perfect his skills. All of this, as well as his fascination for all aspects of pop culture, create a classic “Hilton”, such as hundreds of people already wear on their skin.
How did you develop your tattooing style, how did you start? Was it always traditional? If not, what was the turning point that made you work the way you are doing it now?
It all came together naturally, as a result of a blend of different styles. I wanted to learn as many techniques as possible so that the way I apply them into my work is chosen by me as a conscious decision, rather than being limited by my own abilities. After all, the tattoos that I do represent my personality; you can ask all of my friends about that. I am impatient, open to new experiences, disciplined, I like aesthetic things... you can find all this in my works.
Which role does painting play for you and what are your intentions when painting? Is it a way to improve your skills or is it something you do in order to relax?
The paintings I'm currently working on are focused on tattooing. At first, I painted to improve my skills, to simply try out different things on paper beforehand so that I wouldn’t end up in a dilemma while tattooing later on. As I mentioned before, it’s important to me to internalize the widest possible repertoire of artistic skills; things that I can make use of. I currently paint, and mainly paint, because it is undoubtedly my favourite part of this work. The moment when the project is elaborated and designed is the most exciting one. And often the least predictable one too.
Has painting always been a part of your life? How important is it to you now?
Drawing and painting have been part of my life since my early childhood. I painted a lot when I was a teenager and I was already fascinated with tattooing back then. My next conscious step was attending an art school, where I also got my first tattoo (I think I was 17 years old). I studied pedagogy and art criticism at the University of Arts in Poznan and I graduated in Joanna Imielskas’ class. I think it’s interesting to mention that my art projects were completely different then from what I am doing now (by that I mean oil painting and drawing), however, I still see a connection to it.
Do you use digital tools, such as iPads, when drawing or are you more the old-school kind of guy?
I've actually just bought an iPad, as I think it can open new doors for me. However, knowing me, I’ll always be devoted to the old and proving methods of working. On paper, you can see the emotions put into the work, the pressure of the pen, the movement of the brush, as well as the mistakes that have been made - all that can never be replaced by anything else.
Did you have a different job before or did you always know that you wanted to be a tattoo artist? How did you realize the dream that you are living now? Was it all hard work or did you have any connections that helped you to achieve it?
I had a few jobs before I started tattooing and I think that’s why I appreciate what I am doing so much. Previously, I worked in the telecommunication service, in a car wash, in an advertising agency and I even worked as a photographer for a short amount of time. I was painting from back then until today and I treat everything that happens in my life as a lesson, drawing my conclusions and move on. As for tattooing, everything started with my close friend Tomek Demolka. He gave me the opportunity to work in a tattoo shop and you know the rest - always working and constant progression.