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Adrienn Kern - Budapest Hungary

Adrienn Kern is an artist from Hungary, specifically from the city of Budapest. Captivating and imposing, Adrienn, apart from being a photographer and artist in various techniques, is currently a realist tattoo artist. Breaking all barriers and going full steam ahead, she has become a worldwide reference, specializing in full-color realistic tattoos, introducing a play of lights, shadows, and focusing on the details, something that always fascinates her...

Begin by telling us something about yourself and your background. What made you start tattooing?

Hello, everyone. My name is Adrienn Kern, and I live in Budapest. My interest in art has been evident since a very young age. As a child, I always drew, and later, in my teenage years, I always filled my textbooks with sketches and drawings. Once, as a Christmas gift for a school class, I was given several empty sketchbooks so that I would at least draw in them during class and not in the books we studied from. Later, I dedicated myself to painting, something I still do as a hobby when I manage to get some free time. One of my friends asked me why I didn't try tattooing, as I drew and painted a lot; I would definitely be good at it too. Those weren’t my words, though! At that time, I was a photographer, which is what my degree is in, but after that conversation, the idea of tattooing stuck with me. The thought never left me, so I jumped straight into it.

Q: How long have you been tattooing?

A: I've been tattooing for 5 or 6 years, but I definitely feel that in the last 1 or 2 years, I've learned more intensely, thanks to the talented tattoo artists around me.

Q: Even the most talented people with good drawing skills can fail if they don't have the proper knowledge of the tattoo process as a whole. I think learning is excellent and useful, but I know some very talented and hardworking people who spent a lot of time learning on their own. Curiosity didn't kill the cat - here, ah! How did you learn the basic skills? Did anyone help you?

A: I found it easy to get a position in the first salon I worked at because of my drawings and paintings. There, I learned all the basics. However, to this day, I continue to be eager to learn much more about this profession. Fortunately, I can do this because I always have my fellow tattoo artists who help me in this area.

Q: Every beginning is difficult and sometimes requires many sacrifices. How long did it take for you to gain confidence in your work and with your regular clients?

A: The more I learn about the profession, the more confidence I gain in my own work and in how I can create my own design. This happened over the last 2 years, as my goal is to establish my own style in tattoo realism.

Q: What kept you motivated? Did you believe that someday it will all be worth it?

A: For me, art is something that nourishes me and charges me, if I can express it that way. I can express sadness through it. Art is something that no one can take away from me; it will always be with me. Therefore, first and foremost, I always want to express my respect for the things it brings out of me and how it manages to do so. This is what motivates me. If I see that this is worth it, it would also be beneficial to consider it a basis for growth, a confirmation that we must do what we really love, because we will do it with all our hearts.

Q: What was the most challenging part or the obstacles you faced as a beginner? What type of tattoos did you usually do as a beginner?

A: At first, I only did black and grey tattoos, then, after my first color tattoo, one of my tattoo artist friends said I should focus more on this area. I followed this advice and noticed that I was growing and progressing faster than with any other tattoo style. The obstacle I usually face is my lack of confidence in the design and/or the use of color. For a long time, I was afraid to develop freely, fearing that the end result would be horrible. I have managed to forget that since then because the knowledge I gained in the last 1-2 years gives me enough certainty and confidence in myself. If the basics are acquired enough, then the colors should also work, in my opinion.

Q: Tattoo realism! Well, many see it as a challenge because I think it's very difficult to master this style. It allows very little room for any error. Clients expect perfection from the artist. We, the public, admire every piece, especially a great beautiful portrait. What do you like most about this style?

A: During the design process, I love bringing the design to life with highlights or using a bit of color to give it a new feeling or mood. When tattooing, I love focusing on the small details, more on textures, not just replicating it but rather analyzing it as a whole and changing it to my preferences.

Q: You're very talented and creative. I suppose that alone gives you a lot of room for improvement and creative experimentation. Would you try something different in the function? It would be good to see a crazy mix of some hmm neo-traditional with a realistic lemur on top! Haha, just a suggestion.

A: First of all, I want to grow in my own style and deepen my knowledge in it, but I'm open to everything. Very soon, we'll have a collaboration with my colleague, who is an expert in the neo-traditional style. I can't wait to see what comes out of that!

Q: Speaking of lemurs... We LOVE the great lemur tattoo you did. It looks fantastic! Sincere compliments, Adrienn! It's done with great precision, has a cool color balance, and is simply adorable. I'm a little jealous of the person who has that tattoo. Haha. How long did it take you to finish that tattoo? Who was the main creator - you or the client?

A: I'm very happy that you like it. My client told me that he dreamt of this design, and that's why he came to me for it. He wanted a ring-tailed lemur with a crown, eating an orange, on an orange background with birds flying. We had a great connection, and I felt that this idea was close to me, so I got excited about the design. I was lucky because even the healed colors were vibrant on my client, so I was looking forward to the final result.

Q: Something I really like about your tattoo style is the use of color. Perfect fusion and great contrasts. It gives the whole design a special and vibrant look. I really like the purple phoenix tattoo. The second favorite, by the way. How important is the knowledge of tattoo inks in color tattoos?

A: There are some types of skin where colors are not as vibrant as usual, and there are some where they are. You just have to accept that. But overall, the technique and the proper use of colors is what makes the final result vivid and vibrant.

Q: So many tattoos, do you have any favorites or let's say a tattoo that you consider a "creative level up" or even technically?

A: My current favorite is Javik from Mass Effect. First, because it healed very well, and second, because fortunately, I had the help and advice of my colleague Ralfy in the design process and even during the tattoo, so I feel it's much "cleaner" than previous ones. I was also able to use his advice in my other tattoos from then on, so I am deeply grateful.

Q: I love your digital illustrations and paintings. Honestly, I can't pick a favorite here; I love them all. Haha, I bet that digital art and Procreate have given a new twist to the entire creative process, especially when it comes to character design. I've seen many great artworks, and as a graphic designer, I really enjoy it. I think it's also a great tool for tattoo artists. At least, a faster way to create the client's design and an erase button that is clearly missing on the canvas, but on the other hand, painting on canvas is touching and special. What do you like more?

A: I feel that I currently have much more closeness with tattooing than with any other type of artistic creation. However, I love painting as a hobby while I would also love to try myself in sculpture and statues. I believe that if one tests themselves in different types of art, together they would develop a better overall creative process.

Q: I've seen some really beautiful paintings, do you sell any of them?

A: I usually sell my paintings, but as I rarely paint, my heart bleeds when I have to let them go. Of course, I don't have any available at the moment; my friends and family ask for them immediately.

Q: How is the tattoo scene today in Budapest, Hungary? Do you see progress?

A: I know many nationally recognized Hungarian tattoo artists who inspire me, even in the realm of the color palette. We are all in the process of contributing something to this profession. Luckily, we receive support from our clients, who are often very open to new ideas and styles, as well as to riskier designs.

Q: I remember the early 2000s and 2010s... tribal tattoos and the cross tattoo with a red rose, that's it! Haha, but look now... so many styles and new artists... it's like we're living in a "Renaissance" period, haha. Do you agree?

A: Fortunately, with social media, many styles and inspiring artworks reach a wider audience, resulting in this profession progressing at a faster pace. This generates unique and beautiful works of art that come to life. I believe the younger generation is bolder as they manage to be more authentic. This also shows in the world of tattooing. I love to see unique pieces and artworks!

Q: We're living in very uncertain times now with the ongoing pandemic. Much uncertainty and stress. How are you? How did all this situation affect you as an artist and as a person? Are you available for bookings? Write your email and the studio location.

A: At the beginning of the pandemic, when we couldn't work, I started painting more, which had a very positive effect, so I try to maintain it until today.

Q: If someone wants your services, where can they find you?

In Hungary, I tattoo at Black Velvet Ink Tattoo salon, and in Germany, I tattoo at HumanINKstinct Tattoostudio.

My email is:

Q: What would you recommend to all the young ones who want to try to get into this business?

A: In my opinion, it's a favorable factor to surround yourself with a group that motivates you every day and inspires you to grow. It can take years to learn all the tips and tricks on your own, compared to having someone show them to you, as this way you can put them into practice immediately.

Ms. Adrienn Kern, thank you very much for the interview, it really means a lot.

Thank you for this honorable opportunity.


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