With the patience and artistry of a true craftsman, Blame Max creates incredible pieces with a tried and true ancient practice: hand poke tattooing. One of the oldest forms of human expression, Blame Max continues to evolve and flourish this art form. His portfolio is full of illustrative tattoos that are clean, bold, and sweetly poetic.
Where did you grow up and when did you notice you were interested in art?
Can you talk about leaving the Ukraine and learning to tattoo in Austria?
I spent a year in refugee camps, they turned my application down and I got deported back to Poland. My deportation is a whole different story, I’ve decided to skip on it or it’d turn this interview into a book. I got handed over to border guards who told me that they could deport me to Ukraine or let me try to seek refuge in Poland once again, but they also warned me, that it wouldn’t work, because no Ukrainian got granted asylum, and that I’d have to wait on a verdict for another half a year. According to the EU law, war doesn’t make you eligible for asylum, quite the opposite, you’re supposed to stay and fight for your country. Unless, on top of that, you’re being discriminated based on your race or religion. So, as long as your application is being processed, you can live in a refugee camp or organize something on your own. You’re not allowed to work, a reminder: the process takes about half a year, but you get an allowance of €140 a month. If you work illegally, you get deported. €140 excluding rent and food it’s nothing you’d get too crazy about. I paid for a €100 dorm and started looking for a way to make money without leaving it. My friends decided I should start tattooing on them, they even paid for needles and ink! So, I did not practice in Austria :) And over that six month period I found a legal loophole, got myself a permanent residence card, and I don’t have to go back!
What do you love about tattooing? How has the tattoo community enriched your life?
Beyond art and tattoos, what are you really passionate about? What can you not live without? What would you be doing if you weren’t tattooing?