Our shop manager Laszlo has been eagerly welcoming our customers to Parnell St studio for the past 9 months or so. Our friends in Rock Radio talked to him about what tattoos he likes and what he likes about the tattoo industry.
Gavin: Laszlo you’re very welcome to the show and it’s great to chat to someone from your brilliant company. What I love about Black Hat Tattoo Studio is how international it is. So tell us where are you from?
Laszlo: Thanks Gavin, It’s so nice to be here. I’m from Hungary myself. I first came to Ireland 15 years ago, and I’m happy to stay here.
Gavin: 15 years, wow! And have you been working in the tattoo industry all that time?
Laszlo: Well no, I worked in lots of different places and industries and I only started working with Black Hat eight or nine months ago. So I’m still fresh ink as they say.
Gavin: Oh so you’re still a relative newbie. That’s interesting because we’ve had a few bad years and years out and everything like that. So how did you get into this particular job?
Quote: “I guess I always liked tattoos and the artistry behind it and the whole ink industry. So I was always keen to find a way to interest this side of me and then I managed to get lucky to get this role.”
Laszlo: I guess I always liked tattoos and the artistry behind it and the whole ink industry. So I was always keen to find a way to interest this side of me and then I managed to get lucky to get this role. Now, it’s important to state that I’m not doing tattoos. I’m the Shop Manager, not an artist. But I’m around the artists and learning all about what they do and how they do it. So hopefully, eventually, I will learn more about doing that.
Gavin: Okay, yes, I suppose it is such a journey to do that, and then it’s such a creative industry as well. The one thing I love about it is there is an awful lot of international flavour to the art form. It really is a skill you can bring all around the world. Tell us a little bit about the profile of everyone that works there?
Quote: We have tattoo artists in our studio from all over the world, and plenty of different kinds of people. It’s a great to have a mix
Laszlo: Sure. So, for example we currently have a tattoo artist who came all the way from Mexico. And yes he loves travelling around the world. He can go from studio to studio in different countries so it’s a great opportunity for him and other tattoo artists for sure. And yes, we have many nationalities in our studio like French and Polish, and plenty of different kinds of people too. It’s nice to have a mix.
Gavin: I love it! And I’d say it’s a very happy place to work at the moment because restrictions have been lifted and everybody is back at full tilt. What was it like during lockdown not being able to go in?
Laszlo: Oh, it was terrible to be honest. Pretty much working from home, but thankfully we got through it. And thankfully it’s looking like it’s back to normal now, finally.
Gavin: Great. And tell us a little bit about Hungary. What’s the tattoo scene like there?
Laszlo: It’s kind of pretty similar to what it’s like here – it’s constantly growing. So it’s getting there but slowly. Like here, having a tattoo has become more and more mainstream in the last 10 or 15 years. There’s no specific profile or client type anymore – it’s just popular with everybody.
Gavin: Great. So now things are back to normal, how busy have you been lately? Anyone coming to you with interesting requests that have caught your eye?
Quote: “There was a client who wanted a medusa lately. I loved seeing the design for that. It was on their thigh so it was a big enough piece, and it looked amazing.”
Laszlo: It’s been really busy over the last while alright. There are a lot of tourists here right now in the run up to St Patricks today – and they are all asking for shamrocks. But outside of that there are a lot of clients coming in with some great ideas, like for example there was a client who wanted a medusa lately. I loved seeing the design for that. It was on their thigh so it was a big enough piece, and it looked amazing.
Gavin: Well yes it does sound amazing. And what advice would you have for people who are thinking about getting a tattoo that are listening today?
Quote: “One of the great things about the Black Hat Tattoo is that we will give you a good consultation and make sure you’re ready for a tattoo.”
Laszlo: Well, just to definitely have a good think about it because if you’re getting a tattoo it needs to be a design you’re going to like for at least the next ten years. But of course one of the great things about the Black Hat Tattoo is that we will give you a good consultation and make sure you’re ready for one.
Gavin: Great. And what about yourself? As you’re now fully immersed now in the world of tattoos, do you have any yourself?
Laszlo: Oh yes plenty. So I have a few portraits here and there. Like we started on my back recently with a japanese traditional portrait. That means they are a depiction of someone’s face, or for example I have one of The Predator from the movie. It’s on my thigh, so it’s pretty big.
Gavin: Wow, how long did that take?
Laszlo: It was a seven-hour session.
Gavin: That’s not bad. I have friends of mine that are thinking about getting a tattoo at the moment they are always wondering how long does it take? Like ‘Does a small one take a minute?’ ‘Does a big one take weeks?’ Because you see on social media, like Instagram especially, that people can spend weeks on a tattoo.
Laszlo: Yes it can happen. For example there’s a client we are expecting soon who’s going to get a full leg sleeve. That will be like a three-day session. So seven hours by three.
Gavin: Wow, the whole sleeve. That’s a big commitment, isn’t it?
Laszlo: Oh for sure it is!
Gavin: And the level of pain, is it as bad as people think it is? There’s an awful lot of myth going around that it’s awfully sore. But it’s not really anymore, is it?
Laszlo: No. It’s not that bad to be honest, but it depends on where you get it. The Predator tattoo wasn’t that sore but I got my palm tattooed recently and it was definitely sorer.
Gavin: That makes sense. So in terms of things like Instagram, do you find it’s really pushing the agenda now in terms of tattoo ideas? Are people coming in showing you pictures of tattoos they want?
Quote: “Tattoo artists like to create their own designs, but sometimes it can happen that they will create a matching tattoo to someone’s else’s picture.”
Laszlo: Yes, so many people are, with lots of reference images as well. Of course, artists like to create their own designs, but sometimes it can happen that they will create a matching tattoo to someone’s else’s picture.
Gavin: Right, and if somebody comes in, and they’re very specific about what they want, what’s the process? Do they sit down with the artist and speak to them about what they’re thinking? Is there a way of drawing it out?
Laszlo: Yes, Let’s say a client wants something big. They will meet with a preferred artist for a consultation. The artist will then draw some ideas up, share them with the client and from there, they will make their decision.
Gavin: Perfect and is that the same way you came to your decision about getting your Predator tattoo?
Laszlo: No, not quite. I knew what I wanted, and that I wanted one. When I was kid I was really into The Predator the movie.
Gavin: Very good – and tattoos, they’re sort of addictive as well, aren’t they? I mean you get one and you want another one. And then you say ‘Sure I may as well get three!’
Laszlo: Yes exactly. I know with myself, I’ll be getting more. Hopefully, I’ll be getting my back tattoo finished soon.
Gavin: Amazing. And when you look at the world of tattoos, what style is the one that catches your eye the most? Like what’s your kind of geek-out kind of tattoo?
Laszlo: That’s a tough question. I like a bit of everything, to be honest.
Gavin: Fair enough. And what’s the vibe like in Black Hat Tattoo at the moment, it must be good? Business is brisk, isn’t it? And the atmosphere?
Quote: “I’d consider Black Hat Tattoo to be an amazing place. Honestly, it doesn’t feel like work. It just feels like a big family. So just come in and see for yourself!”
Laszlo: Yes, as someone who is relatively new, I’d consider it an amazing place. Honestly, it doesn’t feel like work. It just feels like a big family. So just come in and see for yourself. Everyone is professional of course and it’s also just a great atmosphere there. I wouldn’t change a thing in it and I want to continue to stay as long as possible
Gavin: Okay great Laszlo, thanks for coming in today and having a chat. It was really good as always. Finally, what would you say to people who are now thinking about getting a tattoo how can people get in touch with yourselves?
Laszlo: Just simply get in touch with us on Instagram or email us. Or you can give us a phone call. As I was saying, we’re pretty busy, so that’s the best way to get an appointment.
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