Photo above by Kamila Burzymowska


Levgen Knysh


How long have you been tattooing and how did you start your tattooing journey?


Hi, I’ve been tattooing for over 13 years. My first tattoo I did in early 2007. I’ve got interested in tattoo culture much earlier, in 2004 but I was as a student and had no available money to spend them for equipment. First few years I was looking for some info about tattoo, styles, and process as well. As you know the Web was not as huge as now and tattoo culture was closed for aliens, so to find something about that culture was pretty difficult.



Do you remember what was the first tattoo you did? If so, tell us what it was and for who.


Yes, I do. A friend of mine got a tattoo in army, 2 more tattoo artists tried to do that look better, then he came to me and asked to touch that up. It was a dragon on the shoulder blade and so dark that I couldn’t to fucked that up. I tried to fix out line and put some color there. I didn’t know about the process a lot. I had one coils tattoo machine and when I changed colors I didn’t know that I can wash needle and tip. for each color I took a new tip and new needle and changed that every 10-15 minutes. But I didn’t stress as I remember, did that like I did a lot of tattoos before.



Please, tell us about your current tattoo style and how it has changed over the years.


I tattoo in illustrated realism style. I call it like that. My first 6-7 years of tattooing I did every style what my clients asked, old school or japanese style, was no matter for me. I did all, with time got to feel that I prefer realistic to other styles, and some friends of mine, tattoo artists as well, said: “Why do you do everything When your realistic tattoo looks really good. You can focus on this style and work more on it.” I agreed with friends and my feeling as well. To change that and explain to all of my clients that I don’t do everything and let tattoo something realistic, was very difficult. But a year later I moved to Poland and started all from the bottom. New clients, new tattoo shop, new style as well.



Does anyone or anything inspire you?


Yes, it does, I can say you that everything what’s going around of me can inspire me as well. Photographers and designers, influencers or watched movies, the new single of favorite singer or people on the street. Last time I unfollowed a lot of tattoo artists on my page and found new pages for inspiration what doesn’t connect to tattoo culture totally.



Are there any tattoo artists who are extremely admirable to you? If so who?


Yes, they are. A lot of different and the biggest part of them don’t tattoo realism. For example, Victor Chil, Alvin, Igor Mitrenga, Timmy B, and more.



Do you have any memorable tattoo story or a customer that has stuck with you through all the time you have been tattooing?


Hmmmmm, pretty difficult to say which one it the brightest. More or less everyone who comes to me has some story behind the idea. I remember some pretty sad stories, but don’t say them. I remember When one girl came to me and wanted to get 13 small hearts in 1cm size and different colors randomed on her body. That one I remember very well.



Is there any art form that fascinates you also except tattooing? Maybe do you have any other passion or something that you really enjoy doing? 


Yes, i do. I love art nature, I mean mountains in winter and I love snowboarding. This is what I really love and spend a lot of time just riding. I’ve done that for over 8 years and visited Giorgia, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, and Poland mountains as well



Do you like visiting or exhibiting at tattoo conventions? Would you recommend any of them?


Yes, I do. I do that with love and a few favorites is Mondial du Tatuage in Paris, Krakow Tattoo fest, and Golden State in Pasadena.



Any artist you planning to get tattooed by? Who has tattooed you already?


Already I’ve tattooed by U-Gene, Thomas Kynst, and some less famous guys. Also would like to get some art by Maya Sapiga, Denis Sivak, Dmitry Samohin, would like to get some traditional Japanese tattoo but didn’t decide about tattoo artists yet.



What are your plans and dreams? If you think about yourself in 10 years, what do you see?


Oh, I see a lot of, but sorry, I’m not gonna say that to anyone right now. That is my small HUGE secret and let you know in an exclusive interview in 5-10 years and I will do that :))))


Thank you for asking and good questions.


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