Tattoo Artists You Really Should Get to Know: Róbert Borbás

Xavier in Tattoo Artists

Róbert Borbás is one of the best blackwork artists right now. Fall in love with his hauntingly beautiful occult-themed, blackwork tattoos.

Róbert Borbás
Róbert Borbás

This man right here is one of the tattoo artists I personally look up to. That's why I'm stoked to have him here. He's one of the finest contemporary blackwork artists in the scene. Not to mention, he's also a really nice guy. Humble in a way where he knows that there's always room for improvement, even to an artist as skilled as him.

Robert Borbas heart tattoo
Robert Borbas heart tattoo

We found Róbert a very engaging and easygoing guy who clearly works hard for his craft and everything else in between. If plane tickets didn't cost shit, I'd be hanging out at Róbert's newly-opened Rooklet Ink right now, listening to his playlist blasting on the shop stereo while admiring the blackwork art on display.

photo by David Bodnar Photography
photo by David Bodnar Photography

How did you get into tattooing, and how long have you been in the business?

It was quite a sudden and amazing experience, how I got into tattooing. I had a solo art show in Budapest almost four years ago. The owner of DARK ART TATTOO, Zsolt Sarkozi hit me up couple of days before the event and asked me if we could talk a lil' bit after the exhibition. I was like “Holy shit. He is the grandfather of tattooing in Hungary and a living legend in the whole tattoo scene worldwide! So it was obviously an honour that he was gonna attend the show.

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Róbert Borbás tattoo design
Róbert Borbás tattoo design

After a really nice discussion about my stuff and art in general, he asked me, “Would you like to try out yourself in tattooing, of course, at DARK ART?” After eight months of hesitation, I decided to do my first tattoo on my friend who was a tattoo virgin (haha).

And know [as] I’m writing these lines, I’m probably one of the happiest man on earth (haha).

Tattoo by Róbert Borbás
Tattoo by Róbert Borbás

Who or what were your earliest influences?

The list is endless but if I have to name one, [it will be] Todd McFarlane! He is the man! I loooove Spawn and there is no chance someone's gonna come up with a more badass anti­-hero like Spawn.

I’m also a huge Alfonz Mucha fan, his work helped me a lot to improve and push my limits. I [also] really admire John D. Baizley and Jacob Bannon if I have to name some contemporary artists.

Róbert Borbás
Róbert Borbás

What's the best part about being a tattoo artist?

What a hard question. Of course, it has its darker side and difficulties. It’s sometimes stressful and obviously a job that requires heavy responsibility. What I love the most about tattooing [though],  is the progress everyday you could make if you focus enough. Aside from meeting new people, [hearing] new life stories and [meeting] amazing artists from all over the world during guest spots.

tattoo by Róbert Borbás
tattoo by Róbert Borbás

Although I see a lot of jealousy and literal hatred in the scene, I try not to focus onto those parts of the craft. If I did that, I would [only] be a grumpy, selfish bastard doing soulless tats in my basement .

tattoo by Róbert Borbás
tattoo by Róbert Borbás

Personally, how would you describe your art/tattoo style?

Honestly in most of the cases, I do not really know what I'm gonna do in the next part of the tattoo or how I’m gonna solve some composition problems or details. Someone who ever got tattooed by me knows that my sketches are really sketches and have nothing to do with the final result.

tattoo by Róbert Borbás
tattoo by Róbert Borbás

I just try to use the elegance of black ink and the possibility to add fine details without losing them after a couple of years. I still have a lot to learn, but I could see the progress day by day and being surrounded by amazing artists just pushes and inspires me harder.

Long story short, I do not know if I have a specific style or not, I just love to draw.

tattoo by Róbert Borbás
tattoo by Róbert Borbás

Where do you usually look for inspiration?

Literally everywhere—TV series, books, statues, good hangs and talks with my friends, or a nice walk with my dog during the evening. My daily ‘routine’ is also getting inspired even if you are annoyed by someone on the tram or subway. It could be something you could use for a new tattoo. Even a bastard who acts awful around other passengers could be an evil ward or someone who is tortured by a demon (haha).

tattoo by Róbert Borbás
tattoo by Róbert Borbás

We heard that you have a great taste in music. What's on your playlist?

I listen literally every kind of music. Nowadays, I cannot start or end my day without listening the new Cattle Decapitation record. I have worked for those dudes and seeing how far they come is nothing but an honour that i was a little were part of their history.

tattoo by Róbert Borbás
tattoo by Róbert Borbás

Also, I highly recommend the Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes debut LP. It’s fucking badass! In the last couple of days, the main jams at the shop were Graveyard, Apey and the Pea, Anaal Natrkah, The Banner, Between the Buried and Me and more. But honestly I better skip this question. I could write a mile-long list of awesome bands I listened [to] recently (haha).

Photo by Dori Pazonyi
Photo by Dori Pazonyi

Aside from tattooing, what are your other interests?

I used to play in a band, so [I'm interested in] everything drum and music related. I collect vinyls and still jam with some friends, but unfortunately I literally had no time to even buy a pair of drumsticks [these days], so maybe I could focus on a studio project next year.

tattoo by Róbert Borbás
tattoo by Róbert Borbás

I started to get into the occult in general as well so I [also] try to read as much as possible. I feel ashamed that I have the ability of reading but all I do sometimes is nothing but hanging on social media sites and checking lame gifs of cats puking rainbows. Of course that's awesome, but still...

What's one thing you'd tell someone who's determined to pursue tattooing?
PRACTICE! A LOT!
What's one thing you'd tell someone who's determined to pursue tattooing? PRACTICE! A LOT!

What's one thing you'd tell someone who's determined to pursue tattooing?

PRACTICE! A LOT!

tattoo by Róbert Borbás
tattoo by Róbert Borbás

Any future projects or plans for your career as an artist?

I’m in the middle of putting an art book together. It’s a sloooow and hard process, but hopefully it’s worth it and people are gonna like it. Other than that I’m still busy to put the missing parts of the puzzle together named Rooklet Ink. [Check it out here!]

tattoo by Róbert Borbás
tattoo by Róbert Borbás

Tell us about the opening of your shop last month. Congratulations!

It was nothing but the best experience of my life. Altough even one day before the first official opening day I just went to the place and checked if everything was ok, perfectly cleaned up and ready to rock and I felt like, “Shit. What if people are not gonna like this place at all?” Well, the reactions were completely the opposite and I could not be happier since we opened it together with my lovely fiancé, who was always next to me and pushed me to work on it hard, even if sometimes I was not sure if I could make it or not.

Anything else you'd like to add?
IN GRIND WE CRUST!
Anything else you'd like to add? IN GRIND WE CRUST!

Anything else you'd like to add?

IN GRIND WE CRUST!

tattoo by Róbert Borbás
tattoo by Róbert Borbás
tattoo by Róbert Borbás
tattoo by Róbert Borbás
tattoo by Róbert Borbás
tattoo by Róbert Borbás

You may follow Róbert here:

Grindesign Facebook | Grindesign Intagram

Check out his other stuff also!

Fvneral Apparel | Art of Grindesign | Rooklet Ink

Xavier

@Xavier

When she's not writing for Tattoodo, Xavier likes experimenting with art and organizing local music shows. We're kidding, she's probably asleep. Follow her on Instagram @claudia_strife

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