Marie Kraus: Officially 10 years, but the first time I held a tattoo machine in my hand was 15 years ago.
Tat2X: What made you decide to become a tattoo artist?
Marie Kraus: Nothing special. In the time I was thinking about what to do for a living one day, I already had been trying to do tattoos for couple of years. And because my biggest hobby was painting and by the time I finished school, tattoos were on the rise in Czech Republic, that was an obvious choice. Tattoo is also a form of painting/drawing but it is an easier way to make a living.
Tat2x: How did you learn the art of tattooing? Did you apprentice?
Marie Kraus: I learned the very basics from a friend I had who already have had some experience. In the time I started, it wasn’t common for the studios in Czech Rep. to accept apprentices. So I usually learned the most at tattoo conventions by looking at experienced artists at work, and much later, six years ago, I got a chance to learn directly from others by working at the studio or being a guest artist in other studios.
Tat2x: Are there any artists tattoos or otherwise that you admire?
Marie Kraus: I used to admire the classical tattoo icons, the biggest names that everyone admires. But today, I see it differently… Today, my biggest inspiration and idols are artists who can maintain their style and quality even after a couple of years but you can still see progress in their work. And it is also importantly people who don’t have the need to always promote themselves, be the coolest and have the most followers. And names? Jessica Mach, Peter Aurisch, Noon, Jeff Palumbo, Lionel, Peter Bobek..Tat2x: Has any individual in particular influenced your career?
Marie Kraus: I am afraid I have to repeat myself, but I guess it is Jessica Mach and Peter Aurisch. After the first time as a guest artist in Nevada Johnny I changed basically everything about my work. The approach to my customers, the way I prepare the designs, but mainly my overall take on the job.
Tat2x: What would you say is your favorite part of the job?
Marie Kraus: That is hard to say, but probably the process of tattooing itself. When I can focus on the creative work,, and when I know I have the complete trust of the customer because he or she liked the design.
Tat2x: How would you describe your style? Is there a style you prefer or enjoy?Marie Kraus: I don’t like to describe my style, because I think it is just the point of view of my customers on what I do and what they like about it and they call it a style. It didn’t come to existence in the fashion of “okay, now I am gonna do something like cubism or geometry,” it was more about me developing as a tattoo artist and the things that influenced me contributed to the things I do today. And I can’t even say I have a favorite style, the things I like and I go to for inspiration are forming my style… So it is quite possible I will start doing something completely different one day.
Tat2x: What’s the most unusual request for a tattoo design you have ever had?
Marie Kraus: One customer asked me to tattoo a bathroom with a bath tub, I thought that was quite funny.
Tat2x: Do you have any advice for aspiring artists tattoo or otherwise?
Marie Kraus: I don’t think I am in a position where I can advise anybody regarding tattoos. I feel like I still have a lot to learn and where to grow. Today, people approach tattoos completely differently compared to the time 10-15 years ago when I started. Back then it was common to tattoo things from a catalog and start slowly with small designs, even though they were not very interesting.
There also wasn’t such a wide range of needles, colors and tattoo machines. It wasn’t easy to learn how to adjust the classic coil machine. Today, it is completely different, you can get a rotary machine that you basically plug in and you can tattoo, you don’t have to adjust anything. Everything is affordable and cheap. You go online, click a couple times and you can have all the apparel at home. You can also find videos online that will show you at least the basics. And last but not least, it is totally common that every artist plans to do something original. Find his or her own style and do original designs from the start.Maybe the only thing that I would recommend to tattoo artists that are starting would be more respect and humbleness for the job… In the time of internet and social media, people often forget this as these media can make a celebrity of someone who is only tattooing for a month and not very well… But that is up to everybody…
Tat2x: What kind of music do you like to listen to?
Marie Kraus: It depends on the mood or even weather… I listen to almost everything from jazz to hip hop. But when it comes to music I listen to when working, I like 80’s music the best. It is the best music for tattooing.
Tat2x: What are your favorite foods?
Marie Kraus: If you asked me as a kid, I would say spaghetti or mashed potatoes. But now, after about 3 years of eating vegan, I must say my taste changed quite a bit… I think my taste is more opened and I am not limited by just one style or cuisine… So I like many things from Italian, Asian or Middle-eastern cuisine.
Tat2x: What do you do to relax when you’re not at the studio?
Marie Kraus: Going out of town is the best relax for me.
Tat2x: Is there anything else we should know about you or your studio?
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