What, another new feature? Yep - in these busy times, quite often all we (on both sides) have time for is rapid fire questions. This issue - Zoltan Krizsan picks up the baton...
Hey, Zoltan, tell us about your background.
"My name is Zoltán Krizsán. I am just a simple guy. I have got a little son so I am a proud father. His name is Levente. I am married. My beautiful wife’s name is Anikó. I am a tattoo artist from Szolnok in Hungary. I own a little tattoo studio which is my second love."
When, where and how did you cut your teeth?
"Just like many other artists I started making tattoos at home. That was about 15 years ago. The beginning was hard, but I was persistent because my aim was to become better and better. Then, years later I opened my own studio in Szolnok. Today I am still not fully satisfied with my work, just like I was 14-15 years ago. Being always dissatisfied was important in my past and up to now because it always improves the quality of my art."
How do you picture yourself in the tattoo circles?
"It’s a difficult, but also a simple question. My first priority in life is my family’s happiness. Next in line is my work which fulfils me because I can be creative. I am happiest when there is a lot of work because it encourages my search for new ideas in work and life. I think I have got two tasks. I have to work hard and live as a gentleman."
Do you have any favourite artists?
"My favourite artist is István Sándorfi. Unfortunately, he died a few years ago but he was incredible. I can’t find the right words to express how much I admire his artwork. You must go and check his work at www.fosaw.com"
In your opinion, what makes a good tattoo?
"Drawing, drawing and drawing. And when you are finished with it, you can’t be satisfied because only God can create perfect things. I think a good tattoo should include the client’s and the artist’s feelings, too. In my opinion, the tattoo artist is a modern shaman who changes the client’s life a little bit. Some famous artists forget the roots and they work without humbleness. This way their tattoos are without soul. Talent is one thing, but soul and meaning in a work are important to me."
There’s been a huge emergence of gifted young tattoo artists from Eastern Europe in the past couple of years, how do you explain that?
"I think tattoo art needs something fresh and Eastern guys love working hard. They are humble and try to look at their works objectively. It’s important not to lie to yourself about quality."
How are tattoos perceived in Eastern Europe by society, especially as far as big tattoo pieces are concerned?
"People in Eastern Europe are a little bit different. They love big tattoos but generally, society is a bit more conservative than in the West. My clients are great. They love tattoos, huge and small - with one thing in common, top-quality. Life of eastern people is hard. They don’t have much money so they have to work hard to make ends meet. But still they always stay hopeful. I love their mentality and their great ideas for tattoos."
What have you got lined up for the future?
"I’m working on a huge project in Hungary – organising a tattoo contest for professional artists. It’s a crazy idea, but I imagine four elimination rounds and a final round with one winner of the €10,000 prize money. There can be only one, just like in the movie Highlander!
Another project of mine is called “Tattoo Holiday”. During your stay in my hometown you don’t only get a great tattoo, but I also show you some sights of Hungary – oh, and by the time you read this, I will just have come back from Tattoo Jam!"