Interview. Oleg Turyanskiy
On June 9, the iNKPPL Tattoo Magazine's team visited the Moscow studio BUGPIN Tattoo, where took place the first stage of the discussion panel, in which already recognized masters of the Russian tattoo culture Maxim Kislitsyn and Oleg Turyanskiy - shared their thoughts and knowledge about the art of tattooing with beginners and experienced tattoo masters. We took advantage of the moment and had a little conversation with such experienced masters. Today, we present to your attention an interview with Oleg Turyanskiy!
- Hello, Oleg. Let's start from our traditional question: how did it all start for you? How and when did you decide that you will be a tattoist?
- Hello, I am 41 years old, about 16 years I am engaged in tattooing, and I came to this profession rather accidentally than deliberately. Of course, I always drew, from school years the back pages of my notebooks were painted.
I worked in a video rental in 2001 and my frequent customers then seeing how I draw, advised me to try to start doing tattoos. Then it was the dawn of the tattoo in Russia. In Moscow, there were 4 studios in which tattoos were made at a more or less professional level. So, from the advice of completely strangers to me people, I began to think about it and draw designs. Little by little, I came to work as a tattoo artist at a beauty studio. Then it was everywhere and there were no separate tattoo shops, etc. There was a beauty studio where people doing haircuts, epilation and at the same time they doing tattoos (laughs).
- It's probably stupid to ask in which style you started working, but I will :)
- Yes, it was "true salad" (laughs). Then was popular tribal tattoos and Chinese hieroglyphs. It was very fashionable. At now, if you look at people's tattoos, it's not difficult to determine their approximate age and to say when exactly they were made. For example, if a person has everything in "prickly and evil" tribal tattoos, it means that him is about 40 or 35-38 years old. He got a tattoo in the period when everyone was doing the same thing. There was no other, there was no alternative. Then almost wasn't color tattoos, and all people did black ornaments and spiny and evil of tribal tattoos. I also started with it.
A little bit after, we started buying magazines. Then the works of other masters were not yet on the Internet, so we bought magazines. From there, pictures with tattoos were cut out, and then, many hours were spent in trying to figure out how exactly it was technically done. That's where I started.
Later, appeared the color tattoos. I bought myself three colors: yellow, blue and red pigments, besides black. They very proudly stood on my desk about 1,5 year , and I a little bit used them. Summing up, we can say that the first 5 years out of 16, how many I'm engaged in tattooing, can be safely thrown into an garbage can, because it is not a professional activity, but rather a poke from corner to corner. At this time, I was just trying to understand how this is generally done. About 4 years after I started, I tried the professional Magnum needle, which everyone is now doing, without thinking about how it was invented and where it came from.
- Do you remember your first customer?
- Oh, this is a very cool story (laughs). My first client is my own sister. After I got a job in a beauty studio, on the second day, I went to buy equipment. I was lucky, I passed this period of self-made machines and self-sharpening needles of all kinds. My first tattoo machine was Mickey Sharps, Hornet. So, my first client was my sister, because when I bought all the equipment, laid out in the kitchen and began to look attentively, trying to figure out what's what, she said: "Do it to me!".
In the set that I bought was a starting kit for begginers. But I did not even try it on a banana or an apple, I did not do anything. But I had a lot of my own images. She asked me to make one of my scorpions. I was very interested in this, but this is my own sister, and there is no experience at all.
I told her: "All of this is only under your responsibility! If I will mess up - you will not take offense at me!" She agreed, and I terribly spoiled it. Then I did not understand anything at all: what size to do, how to place correctly, in general, all these nuances. Scorpio was small, with small details, so in 2 months it all turned into a blue, shapeless spot. And also I wounded her very much, because I did not know at what depth the needle should enters to skin. I'm doing the tattoo and from her shoulder blood flowed onto the ground. This was my first experience.
- Strong experience! And how did you come to your style?
- Well, I have such a fairly typical approach to my style. At first I copied the works of other artists, other tattooists. In general, everything I liked, I copied one into one. I do not think that I should be shy of it. I just took an image and copied every line of it, trying to represent it as a printer, one into one. Then, over the years, my vision began to appear: here and here I would change, here I would modificate. You look at the work of some already recognized master, but through your own filter, and you understand that you would have added or what you would have removed and how you would adapt it to yourself. With this the small steps you'll come to your vision and then the so-called style will come. I believe that until the end it will never take the final form. It develops day by day. It is impossible to put an end to this question.
- Where do you get inspiration?
- I get inspiration from works of other artists. In general, to be honest, and many masters will agree with me that tattoos are secondary. Most of all I'm inspired by artists and illustrators, I'm not talking now about classical artists. Illustrators inspire, comics, movies. For example, when I watch a movie, whether it's the Warcraft or the Lord of the rings, I always look through the titles and find someone who is responsible for concept art. It's an artist. I type his name in a google, I go to his site, I look and I'm inspired. And on the last place - other tattoo artists.
- What does the word tattoo mean to you?
- For me personally, the tattoo is a cool job.An interesting job, with the ability to travel anywhere, with subsequent earnings. Having such work, I can go, for example, to Brazil, and earn money there. And no more, that's honest. Without any pathos - it's just cool work. Interesting, profitable and with the ability to travel. If I'll say that this is my life and so on - it's all bullshit (laughs).
- Then tell us more about your travels. How often do you leave Moscow?
I tried to count. In the best days of my career, I traveled up to 6 times a year, about once in two months.
- So, when were they, these best days?
- In 2008 I visited 9 different cities in one year. It was wow! It was the year of the first big tattoo convention for me, in Milan. There I received an impulse, and on my return I knew exactly what I need to do. Therefore, conventions and travel, it is very important for our profession. They serve as a switch that allows you to reboot and start thinking again looking at your art differently, with a fresh look. In my opinion, this is the only way to do this, to extract this new energy.
- Then tell me, what do you think about features or differences in the Russian tattoo culture in comparison with the Western one?
- Everything is the same. The only nuance, if you look on a lot of people, then we have more people, who do not trust anyone, who needs total control over each movement of the master. Such control freaks. These kind of people we have a little more than there. In the rest, according to the style, according to the wishes and requests of customers, everything is the same.
- I see. What about the Tattoo Pharma? How did you get acquainted with it's products?
- As for the Tattoo Pharma, I have my personal story about it. My tattoo on the chest, made by Maxim (Kislitsyn). It was the first time I saw the Tattoo Pharma. He gave me a tube, I put it on the tattoo and it was all very well and quickly healed, without any pimples. I had another terrible story about I took care of my sleeve. I do not know if this was my personal allergy, but my tattoo was cover by small red blisters. This time there was nothing like this, everything was heal in 3-4 days. I thought, "Hm, great product - works." I started using the Tattoo Pharma, for myself personally, long time before our personal acquaintance. Also, it may seem stupid, but I really like their minimalistic black design.
- Ok! At final, tell us a little about today's event.
- Today's discussion involves free communication and interactivity. People will come, and for sure they have questions: how we do everything. They will ask, and we will be honest and detailed in our explain. That is such a "question-answer" format. We can argue with each other. I can ask Max about something, he will answer. I have16 years of tattooing, Max have 10. That is, 26 years of experience for two. I think both beginners and experienced masters will be interested to listen and participate in our discussion.
- Thank you, Oleg, for this interesting conversation. We are waiting for the discussion panel!
- Thank you!