Csaba Mullner

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 4.46.44 PM

TS: How long you’ve been tattooing and how did you get into it?

Csaba: First of all, let me say hello to the readers!
I started tattooing in 1999, but this decision was not inspired by my commitment to drawing or painting, or by a desire to find a job that is related to it, it was rather a sentimentalist decision; which can be explained with a summer, a Croatian island and a girl, and when I arrived home, I was thinking what kind of work I could do there, so that I could move to that place. This is how the idea of tattooing came around, as a seasonal business, but at the end it remained an idea only, just like the girl, who was an illusion, too, but this case determined my career.
My career started afterwards through many countries in this business, without any interruptions, and now I devote myself only to this.

TS: There are many so called portrait/realism tattoo artists these days and it looks like it’s only growing bigger, but your portraits/realism work is a little different than others. How did you get into doing something different? Where does the idea come from?


Csaba: Thank you, I’m glad you see it that way, but I think everybody works in a different way. As for me, I am trying to approach realism not from pictures downloaded from Google, but in most cases I take photos of my models myself. I use a little bit “dirty” colours, which means I always mix colours with a little brown or grey, to eliminate their vivid nature, and that is closer to reality to me. At the end, I like to destroy realism with a little scribble.

TS: Did you have an apprenticeship or were you self-taught? Do you think a traditional apprenticeship is the best way to learn how to tattoo?

Csaba: A very good and well-known tattooer, Zsolt Sárközi helped me at the start, but later, like in all branches of art, it was self-development.
Technique is an important basis for me, but it is not enough on its own. The traditional learning time has already changed, as we have access to the best equipment and technical basis, which shortens this period by several years. I think if somebody has a sense and talent to drawing, and has determination and persistence, he can very quickly become a good tattooer.

TS: Design wise, what do you do to stay motivated and inspired to create your work?

Csaba: These two are closely related, that is why I never plan anything in advance… Making the same thing twice – be it a drawing or a tattoo – makes me lose interest in the picture. I have always improvised, and as I agree to do one piece of work in a day only for this very reason, when the customer arrives onthe first occasion, I build the existing idea on the spot, in a way that he can see it as well, and I design it for him personally. The best way to maintain the inspiration is to give some time for yourself, so that you long for the creation, i.e. you have to do other things, too, in the meantime.

TS: What is it that you like about doing realism tattoos the most? And did you ever try tattooing other styles?

Csaba: I went through lots of styles, basically everything, until I got here. The reason why I ended up here is that I think that realism involves the greatest technique and the biggest challenge, but, once again, this is my own personal opinion. Now I know that I would not do any other style even if I was paid for it, and not only because I do not want to do anything else, but also because I would not be able to do that.

Névteles xaxmn-1
TS: Some people say that the tiny details don’t hold up over time and also that maybe sometimes the lighter colors don’t hold up without the line work and there’s not a heavy amount of black. What do you say to these frequently ask questions to realism tattoos?

Csaba: Yes, this question is often raised, but not among realists, of course. To me, it is the same when somebody would like to do something, but he cannot or does not dare, but, at the same time, laughs at the clothes of the person who actually does it. Contour is not a fence, it will not hold the paint. As years go by, every tattoo wears out and fades in the same way, but the extent of this does not depend on the style, but on the skin of the person who wears the tattoo; how much care is taken of it, if it is exposed to a lot of sunshine, and under any strain. I have already seen a tattoo of several years – I am talking about my own work only – which looked the same, and I have seen faded ones, but as I said, it depends mostly on the person who wears it. I would add from technical point of view – although I do not want to go into the details – that patterns created with smaller, mainly round needles last much longer that patterns made with magnums, probably because the paint is denser.

TS: Who is or are your biggest influence in the tattoo industry?

Csaba: There are plenty of very good tattooers, and I acknowledge the works of all of them, and they have an impact on me. The first one, of course was Zsolt, whom I already mentioned above.

TS: Did you ever take an art class?

Csaba: Luckily not. As I said, this depends on the person’s talent. To me, the school was just a compulsory thing to do, only to meet a certain standard, but in fact you only learn what you choose for yourself, without asking for account. The teachers of art schools probably have different views and do not see things as students, which is natural, because everybody is a separate individual, so the weaker characters are diverted to other directions, and they cannot develop their own artistic style. In my opinion, apart from learning the technique, everybody has to know what he will do with this or what he will use it for.

TS: You have been working and living in many countries in Europe, spreading your art and skills. Is therea reason why traveling and is there a favorite place you like better than others and why?

More of this interview inside Tattoo Society Magazine back issue #46

Leave a Comment