Welcome to the 'Apprentice Series' where we speak to some of the most promising Tattoo Apprentices from across the globe. We'll be discussing their journey, ups and downs, apprentice life and tips on scoring an Apprenticeship yourself.
I was born in Romania in 1994 to a Romanian / German family.
We used to live very close to the border of Hungary in a German community, so I grew up with many different cultural traditions.
My family were very creative they were bakers, craftsmen, makers and artists. Nothing was impossible for them we were always building things around our farm. Surrounded by fresh homegrown food and nature, we were living in a beautiful community, our home never had the door locked because everyone was welcome to come and visit us and we were always cooking extra food knowing that some neighbour or family member will join for lunch or dinner anytime.
At the age of 6, I moved to Italy where I found my second home. It hasn’t been easy at the beginning but I’ve always learned to appreciate and see the good around me. Italy is a beautiful country full of history that added so much more to my knowledge and my style.
It’s very important for me to tell where I come from because this is what made me the person I am today.
I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil and growing up I’ve learned to embrace my roots my culture and the countries I’ve visited and to combine all in what now is my tattoo style.
I’ve always been fascinated by all forms of art! for me details are important. From my outfit style to the way my house looks like, everything is well thought as my surroundings really impact my mood. I’m a person that gets bored very easily so I often feel the need of change, trying new things, visiting new places and meeting new people. For example, I work a lot from home and once a month the interior design of my place changes as I repaint the furniture and change the placement, turn around completely each room, my partner only after 8 years of being with me is starting to get used to it haha!
Tell us, where did your incredibly unique style come from?
My style is inspired by Eastern European decoration, colours, textiles and embroidery with a twist.
Did you have to adapt your artwork style for tattooing?
My mom used to be a biker she is a creative, beautiful woman and to be honest she is the person that pushed me into this tattoo business as she always used to tell me “imagine if you could translate your drawings into tattoos?!” So she and my dad bought me a tattoo kit at the age of 15 and that’s when I started to realise that this is what I wanted to do.
How long have you been tattooing on skin and how was your experience doing your first tattoo?
I’ve started tattooing on fake skin or pig skin every day after school.
At 16 years old I spent my summer holidays in Germany and I did a very short Apprenticeship in a studio in Cologne. That was such a beautiful time! I was so excited to be there and be surrounded by artists and learn from them. At that time I was also in art high school where I was studying painting techniques and industrial design. Unfortunately, life is unpredictable and I left school before finishing and I had to put to one side everything about tattooing.
What lead you to the decision to pursue a career in tattooing? How quickly did you find an apprenticeship vacancy?
I started working in hospitality for a long time because it was the easiest way to make money. At age 21 I moved to London to work in fine dining restaurants where I fell in love with food and nature even more. From there it's been another 4 years before being able to go back into the Tattoo Industry again.
For me, it wasn’t easy to get back to creating as art needs a certain tranquility of the mind and time. I couldn’t afford to have that as I was working full time and I had very little time to relax. In 2018 thanks to my partner I was introduced to No Regrets Studio where I currently work and spend time rediscovering my love for art. A few months later one of the artists was looking for an Apprentice and I was in the right place and time to take that position.
Once again 10 years later I found myself surrounded by what I love the most in a beautiful city full of opportunities and I’ve decided to erase everything I’ve learned and start from the beginning. I was very nervous and a bit sad as I was thinking that I could have been already a tattoo artist by now but I didn’t want to give up and I managed to find a full day job 12hrs per day 3 days a week and dedicate the remaining 4 days to practising. I was so happy and proud of myself and I couldn’t believe that it was happening.
Now I’m managing a Tattoo Studio during the morning in Hackney and at 2 pm I move to No Regrets Studio where I spent the rest of the day tattooing.
Since I’ve started I’ve learned so many different skills and techniques and my mind is blown by how much there is to learn about the tattoo world.
I’m working together with great artists each one of them does completely different styles and each of them is giving me great lessons so that I’m able to learn and combine all this knowledge into my own style.
What excites you most about the future of your career?
What excites me the most about the future of my career is that this job is not only about drawing and tattooing but gives me the chance to travel, visit, meet people and create connections. For me, it’s very important to offer a great customer service. The people are what give you the opportunity to have this life. I treat my customers as they are my family and with some of them I’ve found a beautiful connection and friendship. Your customer service is the key to a great career you never know who you’ll tattoo that day, there are so many people and stories around the world so always be kind and karma will always pay you back.
Thanks to all this in 2022 I’ll build a small art community in my hometown of Romania that will share my love for community, nature, art and food all in one space.
What has been the most useful tip/advice you have been given as an apprentice?
The most useful tip I’ve been given as an apprentice is to be patient and trust the process. Another thing is to never let anyone take advantage of you or use you. We’re all humans and no one should be in charge of anyone especially in this job. Everything is possible if there is respect between you and your mentor. Tattooing is one of the most beautiful and privileged jobs it should be fun and part of a relaxing positive environment.
What is the most meaningful design you have created? Or any designs with interesting stories?
When people ask me about what’s my favourite design I did so far I don’t have an answer. Tattoos can be meaningful but they don’t always have to be so, they can be a memory of that moment or simply the appreciation that your customers have for your art and just want to have a design by you, Which I think is the most beautiful and satisfying thing that can happen in this job. Being appreciated as an artist and being able to live because of this is just the most beautiful thing that could happen.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting an apprenticeship?
My advice to someone that thinks to start an apprenticeship is that the world has changed and so is the tattoo industry . Thanks to social media we are our own managers. Everything about our career is in our hands so never be afraid of being out there in the crowd, there are no rules about art always be creative try and find your own uniqueness in what you are and what you love.