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Vinny Kapelewski

Artist Interview


Artist of the Month


Vinny Kapelewski

Vinny Kapelewski

Flash sets are available now at Pleasurable Piercings:

Loud and Fast Tattoo Set
2 sets are available.

Call for info and ask for Adam 973-238-0305

BAW: What or who inspired you to want to become a
Tattoo Artist?
VK: I never had any inspirations to make me want to tattoo.
It just kind of happened from me being around my friends who all had tattoos on them. In the late 80's while discovering some of the tattoo magazines for the first time, it totally began to draw me in looking at work that I thought could not be done on skin. From people like Marcus P. and Guy A.
So I wouldn't say I was inspired but more of being drawn in by suspicion and knowing I can draw well for my age at the time. I figured I just needed to put the two together and I was already half way there.

BAW: Who are your influences and who do you trust with your own ink?
VK: My influences are all the people's work I see every month in every magazine. Good or Bad it all has an effect on me to make me go in different directions and to try different things. My influences are not just tattoo related they are everything around me cars, shoes, billboards, movies, food, music and everyday life. Everything begins to come into play when you are an artist in any field. The people I trust with my ink are the people with good portfolios what else is there to trust.

Do you have a particular artist you would be interested in working with or meeting?
VK: I've met most of the artists I would want to work with and taking in seminars of their work so if I had to work with anyone of them it would have to be Guy Atchison. For his open-minded professionalism. He listened and talked to everyone however long it took, he was really cool.

BAW: What is your favorite style of work?
VK: I don't know if I have a favorite style. I am one of those guys who does it all. I am just into big clean solid powdery looking things. If you know what that is. If you see my work and it looks like that, that is what I am talking about.

BAW: Tell us about the first tattoo you gave?
VK: The first tattoo I gave was a little piece of black tribal squiggle thing. I made a stencil from one of those cheesy hectograph pencils you got in one of those starter kits. It went on good on, but after the first wipe the whole design wiped off with it. I can still remember my first few lines, I was so scared I forgot to breath. I was doing a line and at the end of the line I would blow out what air was left like if you to be holding your breath for a long time. Pretty funny huh?

BAW: What is your most memorable / outrageous tattoo given and why?
VK: I don't know if any of my tattoos are outrageous, sure there are some of my personal favorites but that would be unfair to some of my clients don't know you think. Most memorable could be the purple gargoyle guy on a client's arm. Everyone liked that one and had a huge response on the jewel butterfly. As far as flash designs, two pieces from my first set are the most popular. The devil head Pez dispenser and the Irish Claddah ring. I got tons of mail from other people and artists wanting to get copies, get them tattooed, wanting shirts and etc. So you never know what people will like or dislike until it hits the public eye.

Have you ever inked anyone famous and what type of work did you do on them?
VK: No, no one famous yet!

BAW: What could you say was or is your greatest technical challenge in the business?
VK: The greatest technical challenge for me so far is in the business, you have a huge obligation to come through and meet people and work out their ideas from start to finish. That is a big deal for me, it is a lot of responsibility on an artist. To meet people and to bond with them on a professional level everyday to feel creative and to produce quality tattoos is a big technical challenge.

BAW: Is there a part of the body you won't Tattoo and why?
: I will tattoo any part of the body under the right circumstances.

BAW: Do you support supply co. that sell to the public?
VK: It is a hard question for me to say if I support supply co. that sell to the public. On one side of the coin you have a tattoo industry in a tremendous growth period right now. Companies are selling more products than ever before and more companies are popping up everyday. I must receive ten catalogues ever few months by new companies. I don't have any answers for companies selling to customers who have no idea what they are doing or getting into. But how else is a business or industry like tattooing going to grow to a national acceptance level like any other industry, that is question we all have to ask ourselves. Because on a scale from 1 - 10 tattooing is maybe a 2 as far as money & business it generates. On the other side of the coin ten years ago kids were people of any age didn't even know what a machine looked like let alone where to get one. I think it is a matter of only the strong survive. My heart goes out to all those people who are getting into this business everyday. This tattoo explosion over the last ten years brought out some incredible skin art by talented people. The quality of our work as jumped ten fold since 1990 and just think if you couldn't get equipment by some of these companies these great people might be at work at gas stations or pizza joints…so you decide.

BAW: Do you feel that there now should be mandatory schooling for soon to be tattoo artists?
VK: Yes definitely some kind of schooling or exams of some sort or monitoring of people's work today. You'd go into shops and people who just picked up a machine 4 months ago are tattooing. That's horrible for everyone. But you can't blame them you have to look at the owners who let this go on, letting people run their shops who haven't any experience, it makes tattoos in general look bad and everyone knows the situation.

BAW: Do you feel Tattooing has changed over the years, and if so why?
VK: Tattooing has definitely changed over the last 10 to 15 years drastically because obviously it is mainstream now and into 2000. Everything is finally moving forward for tattoos right now mainly because of the young crowd embracing tattoos….that is the future. In 30 years you are going to have politicians with tats, so how bad could it be, not to mention the quality of technology of the work and equipment is going through the roof.

BAW: Do you think it is important to do as many conventions and shows as possible and if you do attend do you make it a point to attend guest lectures and seminars?
VK: I really don't think it is important to work as many conventions, but it is important to attend conventions and seminars. I have probable attended every seminar except a few and all were great learning experiences. I have also worked my fair share of conventions, but I don't pursue a lot of conventions like a lot of artists do today. I am just not a convention artist, when I do a show, I do it more for the people, to meet them and to answer any questions they may have. To show and talk to people about my work and theirs.

BAW: Do you support artists that can not technically draw but can trace and shade a tattoo stencil?
VK: It is a controversial question to answer, but in my opinion I support anyone who is honestly tried to do his best. Everyone can't be Guy Atchison of tattoos. That is what makes good people good and great people great. People don't criticize bands that do nothing but cover songs, it is the same thing, everyone can't be Metallica.

BAW: What advise can you give to someone who is starting or looking to get into the tattoo business?
VK: The advice I have to anyone starting out is, believe in yourself and ignore everyone else. Starting out in the field is critical and can be the beginning of the end. People in this business are mad fucking shady, jealous and would do anything to side track you to make you go down the wrong path. If you are lucky and get an apprenticeship by someone who really cares go full on with it. Ask yourself where is this person going with his work, do you like his work, would you get work from this person. If not don't bother learning on your own, don't expect to get anything handed to you. If you want it bad enough you get it eventually. Everything takes time, it took me 5 years of trial and error before I felt comfortable to do custom work, and I never rush anything. I ignore any jerk off with a rude comment that is what you have to do. It is so easy to become discouraged at first and the first question you must ask yourself is, Is this a hobby or a career and never ever stop trying to be the best.

BAW: Please share any other comments or views or questions to the public you might have.
VK: I would like to thank everyone for their support over the years. I have had such a great response it will take time for me to reply back, but please be patient if I haven't written anyone back I will. Even the negative fan mail is cool. I am open to anyone's comments and I will even reply. You can't please everyone. But all the good out weights the bad. All the exposure this year has been great. It has made me touch base with a lot of people in the industry that I haven't seen in a long time. Thanks to the Body Art Web for allowing me to voice my opinions and show my work after all that's what it all comes down to.


Vinny Kapelewski

East Brunswick, NJ

Phone: (732) 698-2411
Please call for an appointment.



I am currently working at and doing guest spots are the following:

Sinister Ink
East Brunswick

Pleasurable Piercing Shop
aka Silk City
Hawthorne, NJ


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