Kim Fuller 2017-05-20 05:19:01
FRESH INK Polish expat Piotr Kopytek is a needle-wielding ninja at Blue Heron Tattoo in Frisco. KOPYTEK, 48, has been in Summit for around eight years and says he never tires of the area’s adventure and beauty. He still takes pictures of the mountains daily—and frequently inks them onto visitors. If you’re looking for it, he says, inspiration can be found anywhere. What do you love about being a tattoo artist? The freedom of creating custom pieces of art for each customer. Part of that is learning and researching a lot of different subjects to create a certain look, feel or story. People have so many ideas that they want to turn into tattoo work that there is no choice but to study and learn from it. What is your favorite tattoo on yourself, and how will it look when you are old? I think my favorite tattoo on myself are Micronesian dolphin designs, as it ages I think it will look better— lived in and still strong because of its simplicity. Are there any tattoos you wish people wouldn’t get? I wish people would stop tattooing and getting tattooed anything that symbolizes hate. That’s something that is very hard for me to understand. Other than that I see the problem with people not getting their tattoo laid out the way it should be. For example, a lot of people want upside-down tattoos, which go against the natural flow of your body. What’s the most challenging part of your work? Explaining to customers that not every design or idea will work as a tattoo. At times customers want designs that are way too busy. With first tattoos in particular, somebody may want too much meaning and (too many) elements represented in their tattoo. This can lead to an overcomplicated design that becomes hard to read and then, 20 years later, they end up with a blurry tattoo. Are there certain styles, designs or themes that you enjoy working on more than others? I’m strongly drawn to Buddhist images and Tibetan culture and art. How do you keep growing and diversifying your work? I do a lot of painting and drawing, soon adding wood carving to that list. Researching tattooed cultures is always very beneficial. I take a lot of pictures, collect art books from all over the globe, buy art from other tattooers and study tattooing in its various forms around the world, like Ukiyo-e from Japan, paintings from China and Tibet and Polynesian tattooing.
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