I started portrait painting when I was 13 years old, I never even thought about one day becoming a tattoo artist. I was making tattoos occasionally for friends aka a scratcher, until I migrated to the UK in 2010. It was then I decided to fully merge myself in to this wonderful world of art.
Why did you leave home and decide to move to the UK? Was this influenced by your decision to pursue a career in tattooing?
I migrated to the UK in hopes of getting a better opportunity at becoming a successful painter, but boy I was wrong! Nobody cared about painted portraits in the UK, they’d prefer to just hang a cheap printed photo on the wall instead haha.
You have your own studio, Ink Island in Peterborough, England – what was it like being able to open your own studio?
It’s an amazing feeling to have your own studio. Ink Island is my Island, where I am in my world and in my zone.
Are there any tattoo artists that you admire or look up to?
There are so many amazing young talents emerging everyday, the tattoo art world is really blooming at the moment. I love all of their work, it gives me energy to try harder everyday, Bob Tyrrell and Paul Booth are my heroes of black and grey and Dimitriy Samohin is my hero for his incredible colour realism.
How do you prepare for a tattoo?
I always prepare my stencil the evening before a session, it gives me some calm time to soak up the upcoming tattoo atmosphere
What interests do you have outside of work?
Oh I am just crazy about fly fishing lol, I could spend days hunting Trout. Catch, kiss and release – that’s my meditation.
What was the first tattoo that you ever did?
The first one was suppose to be a pin up girl outline on my friends calf, it turned out more like a bodybuilder, but we both were happy with our first one haha!
What’s the craziest thing someone has asked you to tattoo?
There was one time that I did a very small axe on the inside of the armpit.. no comments. I just did it without asking what the meaning was. That was hilarious.
My favourite pieces from you have to be your eye tattoos. The amount of detail and depth in them is absolutely incredible. Do you have any favourites from you work?
Yes, eyes are the gates of the soul, so they should be deep.
I never like my tattoos entirely…I don’t know why, I just want to make them better, but the Sadhu monk with that beard always brings a smile on my face.
What type of tattoos do you enjoy doing the most?
Naturally I love doing portraits, I love realism, animals, nature, sexy women’s faces and bodies!
If you could get a tattoo from anyone in the industry, who would it be and why?
I would be honored to get a tattoo from Bob Tyrrell and Dmitriy Samohin. It’s like getting an autograph from David Beckham on your t-shirt.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
The best advice was to slow down and take your time to do those details, because everything is in the details!
Is there any advice you would give to someone pursuing this career that you wish you knew when you started, if so what would it be?
My advice for the people who are wanting to become a tattoo artist is to get a proper tattoo apprenticeship. I am self taught and this was a long and stressful way to get where I am now, so please save yourself some nerves and precious time and invest it in to drawing and understanding the art, you can’t be a good mechanic without understanding how the car was built.
Finally, how would someone go around getting a tattoo from you?
Thank you very much for your time, Jurgis!