Interview with tattoo artist Zsófia Bélteczky

The wonderful & talented Zsófia Bélteczky @ Budapest Tattoo Convention 2016.

The wonderful & talented Zsófia Bélteczky @ Budapest Tattoo Convention 2016.

Budapest is the capital and the largest city of Hungary. One of the largest cities in the European Union, the city is famous for its thermal baths, ruin pubs and the Great Synagogue – which is the largest Jewish house of worship in the world outside New York City. In Budapest you can also visit places like Budapest Pinball Museum (“Great for a rainy day!”, according to a review on tripadvisor.com) and the House of Terror Museum. The city has a troubled, yet fascinating history and there are plenty of architectural interesting places to see, but we didn’t go there for that. I brought my friend to Budapest, so that we could check out the Budapest Tattoo Convention 2016.

Budapest Tattoo Convention 2016

Most of the artists at the convention were from Hungary (not a big shock there), but Poland, Germany, USA, Austria, Italy and several other countries were also represented at the convention. The two-day convention took place at Lurdy Haz, a shopping mall and convention centre, but during this short time I made sure to squeeze in an interview with, in my honest opinion, Hungary’s best artist: the beautiful and talented Zsófia Bélteczky.

  1. What got you into tattooing? Do you have any role models or what is your inspiration?
    Art has always been very important to me and I also knew that I wanted to deal with art in my life, in my career and that was the main reason I started tattooing. I started out studying graphic design and had my first encounter with the tattoo industry in these years. I liked it and started to learn it.
  2. Can you describe how you go about creating a tattoo, how you put your unique touch on the design?
    When someone comes to me with an idea, I try to create the best options to her of his body. Because tattooing, for me, it’s like painting, but on the body, so it’s very important how you place the artwork. I try to use a unique design and not make the same tattoo twice. It’s custom work every time. It’s a basic photography or a picture, because my style is photo realistic, but the way I put it together by adding some extra background, create connections or details, makes it unique.
  3. Have you also experimented with different styles of tattooing?
    Yes, yes of course. I always try, but it’s very hard because it’s impossible to make all the ideas in other styles. It depends on the guest, the client, but you can’t express everything in certain styles. For example in old-school style, you can’t express everything with it: you have to use a style that fits the motif. I mean, if somebody wants a portrait of an animal or a person, you can use different styles, but not every style suits it and if somebody wants a landscape I can’t make an old-school landscape, because it wouldn’t fit the motif.
  4. You also tattoo in England and in Germany. Is there a difference between the tattoo culture in Hungary and the rest of Europe?
    I don’t know… In Hungary maybe the people are more open. I haven’t had the chance to work in so many countries except England and Germany, but in Hungary the people give me more freedom and a chance to express myself, they let me create my art instead of telling me exactly what they want. The tattoo will be best when I can create my art – I understand that it’s not always possible with every client and with every request, but you’ll get the best result when you give the artist some artistic freedom. Hungarians seem to trust me more than what the foreigners do.
    Me: If they’ve seen your art, they should trust you!
    Yes, they should, but they might think that I’ve made the art on request from the clients.
  5. What would you give as an advice to someone who doesn’t have a tattoo yet?
    The significance of the tattoo should be more important than the picture itself. Let me use my sister as an example: she always wanted a tattoo, but she didn’t know what to get. She moved to America and we didn’t meet for 1 ½ year and then, when I visited her, we went to the Long Beach Convention together and for us, since we hadn’t seen each other for such a long time, it was a special occasion and she decided to get her first tattoo as a memory.
  6. What do you think a client should expect from you as a tattoo artist and how does a client and a tattoo artist collaborate to make it a successful tattoo?
    I always give it my best to end up with the best result. I expect trust from the client and that they want an artwork from me. I also want the best for them (to make the best tattoo).
  7. What criteria do you think that a tattoo convention shall have to be really successful, both for you as a tattoo artist and for the visitors?
    It should have quality.
  8. TV shows, Internet and especially social networks like Facebook and Instagram has become an extremely widely spread phenomenon recent years. Which positive and negative impacts do you think it has for the future development of the tattoo industry?
    To tell you the truth, there’s no such thing as bad advertising. It’s not good, it’s not bad, this is just how the world is.
  9. How has the tattoo scene in Hungary developed since you first started in the business?
    Very fast, very quick. A fast paced development.
  10. Are tattoos generally accepted in Hungary or can it be difficult for tattooed people to get job/be accepted as a husband/wife etc?
    It’s getting better and better. As little as five years ago I think it was more difficult, but every year there are more and more people wearing tattoos, so it’s getting more accepted and easier.

That’s all the time that we had before Zsófia had to get back to creating art on a client’s back. If you want to book an appointment, she works at “The Tattoo Shop” in Budapest and at “Invictus Tattoo” in Berlin (see link section below tthe gallery).

Thanks for taking the time for a chat Zsófia!

Enjoy this gallery with photos of Zsófia and her work:

Thanks to Zsófia Bélteczky for being sporty and saying yes to this interview.
Thanks to Eszter Bélteczky for helping out with translating bits and pieces.
Thanks to Adrienn Judit Náhóczki & Varga Róbert for being great models.

Links:

 

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16 thoughts on “Interview with tattoo artist Zsófia Bélteczky

  1. The tattoos seem like scenes from a life imagined. They are like a development from gaming. I find the idea of having a tattoo of a scene projected from my desires quite a difficult concept to accommodate. I don’t want to mock the people for being victims of fantasy – and it takes guts to walk around like that. I hope you don’t mind me being frank: I am usually more careful with my words but this is pretty much how I feel.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts David. I don’t mind people being honest, I appreciate honesty. Personally I’d love to have some of Zsófia’s work on my body, she’s wildly talented and creative. I’m actually considering travelling to Budapest or Berlin, so that I can get inked by her.

  2. Adrienn has an interesting collection of art. Is that a ‘My Little Pony’ on her left foot? It’s so completely different to what she has on her back – which is completely different to what she has on her front! I appreciate the artistry of photo realism – often mind bogglingly brilliant – but I’ve got to admit to loving a good old-fashioned, bold, black outline! Maybe it’s an age thing, lol! Such a great gallery of photographs. (I especially love the first shot with the female tattooist, female ‘canvas’ and a third female in the foreground.) Attitudes towards tattoos and tattooing have changed almost beyond recognition in the last few decades and this gallery is a fantastic snapshot of a moment in time. Loved this. Xx

    • Thanks a lot for your feedback Kerry. I agree that Adrienn has a nice & interesting collection and yes, that’s a ‘My Little Pony’ on her foot. Personally I don’t have any photo realistic tattoos yet, but I’d love to get some from Zsófia.

  3. Zsófia sounds like such an amazing artist dedicated to her art. Really like how she trusts her clients and her clients trusting her. Not making the same tattoo twice, that really does sound like a bit of a skill and from what I gather, she must have been doing what she’s doing for a while. Great portraits of her, Cardinal. Very beautiful woman.

  4. I read the interview though I am not into skin art. I wanted to see how she managed answering your questions, and I hoped she had clients from Croatia, but we are still rather conservative I am afraid. Although I remember seeing a a tattoo parlor in my neighbourhood. Zsófia is very photogenic. Well done on both accounts!

    • Thanks for taking the time to read the interview Paula. I had no idea that Croatia was rather conservative when it comes to tattoos. It’s possible that she’s had clients from Croatia, but I’ll admit that I didn’t ask about that. 😀

  5. Pingback: Budapest Tattoo Convention 2016 – Cardinal Guzman

    • Thank you Richard. Yes, amazing tattoos. It was a nice convention. As you know I mentioned going to the convention in London later this year, but they have all these stupid rules for taking photos (which type of cameras you’re allowed to bring, no flash, etc, etc), so it’s possible that I’ll head for the convention in Warsaw instead.

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