We come face to face with Ondrash: a genuine, down to earth, spontaneous guy who is above all an artist.
He has found that tattooing is the best way to express his constantly transforming creativity.
Ondrash, article and photo gallery in Tattoo.1 Tribal #68
Ondrash, can you introduce yourself to the visitors of Ideatattoo.com?
I live in Znojmo (Czech Republic) now with my new family and little daughter Adelka. I’ve finished my studies and I’m thinking about what to do, whether to tattoo or design.
I´m a multimedia and design graduate – in shoe and fashion design. At college I studied the art of wood carving and restoration.
I have opened my own new studio. I share the space with two great tattooists Venda and Katerina. The studio is in the centre of historical Znojmo. It´s a smaller town with a rich history and a lot of attractions for tourists. It´s the home of a fine wine.
The interior of the studio is equipped to make it feel comfotable while obviously keeping everything at the highest level of hygiene, without making it look like a dentist’s studio. People sometimes just call in for coffee and a chat.
How long have you been doing this work?
I´ve been interested in tattooing for eight years now. But all these years I could only tattoo at weekends, because till this May I was studying design. So basically I´ve been tattooing professionally for half a year. Before that it was more guest spots and a compromise – school – free time.
Before people label my work as scribbles, today the compositional and figural art.
Common reaction I get to the predominantly mediated through my customers.
These are mostly humorous stories, the people around them not believe that this is a tattoo but watercolor on the body.
Who taught you?
Are there any tattoo artists that you consider as your mentors or major influences on your career?
I familiarized myself with the tribal ink tattooing by my teacher – a guy in the punk scene, Vladimir Futak from Knockout Tattoo in Prerov. That time he told me you can draw so you can tattoo too. It was fine. I didn´t trust myself very much, although I had been drawing since I was a small boy, I didn´t trust my hand.
It didn´t last long and I had the opportunity to go to New Zealand as a guest spot, where I did 8 months of tattoo school with Pepa Heller , it gave me the right impulse to go into tattooing professionally.
What was the first tattoo you ever did?
My first contact with bodyart was when I was 13, when my friend and I were playing at fencing with pencils and I won so unhappily that my friend had the pencil jabbed in his flat hand. He still has the graphite in his hand today.
What inspires your art?
I like a lot of artists… today when everyone has their own website, I can spend all day long looking for inspiration. There are so many people, I don´t know who I should choose. In any case I paint with watercolours, touch and oil… newly montans
How important are the colours and machines in the creation of a tattoo?
The only thing that is really important for me is that my clients trust me and give me freedom- free hands to work and design. Equipment is secondary stuff but I already have the best on the market for my and my customers’ comfort. I do not want to advertise any company though.
Can you briefly describe your technique?
Some time ago an article came out calling this style Art brut tattoo, like a modern French wave of tattooing and I don´t think I have a problem with that label.
Today watercolour shades and sketched lines are typical for me and I use them as a way to construct the colours. With tattoos I miss the possibility to work fast with colours as I can see them.
Fortunately I met a lot of artists who influenced me during my studies.
Today I´m trying to use oil pastels and colours instead of a pencil for preparing the basis for a tattoo.
I remember years ago, when my friend wanted a ballet-dancer on her leg, I didn´t have enough time for preparing the design and she came while I was sketching basic figures and she said “that’s exactly what I want”… since that time I started to get loose and nothing too static is interesting for me.
Lately I tried grafitti and I don´t understand why I didn´t start earlier… my heart was beating fast all day long…
What do you like best about your job?
Above all it is my freedom and discovering very interesting and creative people who come into my studio for my work.
What are you working on at the moment?
Now I am preparing the next tattoo charity happening “Zkruhu – from the Circle” for kids who need help.
It’s about top tattoo artists and people who will get tattoos by them of symbolic circles, in aid of children with the so-called disease of butterfly wings, It’s a completely unique charity art happening in Europe. This is its third year.
[ * “Butterfly children” is one of the names given to children affected by epidermolysis bullosa, a rare geneic skin disease. It makes the skin extremely fragile and it breaks and blisters with the slightest friction or trauma. – Ed. ]
“You could say that the voluntary damage we have done to our skin tries to alleviate others’ skin damage that is irreversible and currently incurable.”
Last year we made one hundred and twenty tattoo circles in one and we raised around €4300 for kids. I plan to put on this event again in December 2012. This time I’m preparing my exhibition with my paints in a gallery.
What is your philosophy?
I like to draw tattoos directly onto my customer’s skin and they are tailor made… the lines then perfectly fit with their curves. I have no cataloques. The customer tells me what he wants and I draw it for him. I work on one customer a day so I have enough time for him. I always tattoo my own original works if possible. Each customer is original.
I see it very personally, often they are the legacy of my client’s experiences and feelings.
I could tell you the story behind almost every my tattoo I´ve done. My task is the design process and sometimes it is something the client has wanted for a long time.
Ondrash – Tattoo Ondrash
Kollárova 7, 66902 Znojmo (Czech Republic)
web site: www.ondrash.com