The tattoo industry is always rich of people who constantly try to innovate and improve it. One of those people is definitely Adrian Morawski the founder of Viking Ink and several other organizations in the tattoo world. I had the privilige to get to know more about Adrian and his activities trough this interview:
Hi Adrian, for readers who may not be familiar with you, how would you introduce yourself?
Hello, I am Adrian Morawski, founder and CEO of the tattoo ink brand Viking-Ink, as well as other brands in the sector such as “Flavor Tattoo” or “Star-Ink Permanent Make Up“.
Where does your fascination for tattoos come from?
When I was young in this sector, I was a distributor and although I knew the industry, everything was surrounded by a lot of mysticism and secrecy. There was a lot to invent and each artist had to make a lot of their own material, so I decided to get down to work and take the artists quality material with which to work without having to prepare it themselves and with that spirit we are still here 12 years later, investigating and innovating every day.
When did you start to get professionally involved with the world of tattooing?
I have been in this sector for more than 15 years and by now I have done everything. I have been selling at conventions and at street level, as well as traveling around the world to investigate products that were used in other countries. I have always been oriented to put within the reach of professionals and amateurs the support they needed.
How and when did Viking Ink start?
I founded Viking Ink 12 years ago, with the idea of being able to bring quality products to artists like they demanded. In that tattoo industry at that time, there were many shortcomings; the market was the market was going through a great change and I wanted to be part of that change. With a lot of effort, we started to launch locally in some countries and since then we have not stopped growing.
What is really unique about Viking Ink?
One of the things that makes us unique and that I like the most about our family is that we are a small family business of true Vikings. We have never been a great empire or holding company. Instead, we have always been the great family that makes up Viking Ink, working hand in hand and putting the maximum effort in what we d0, despite having to compete against economic giants.
In the end over the years, the reward is the gratitude of the clients who enjoy that attention more personal towards the product. Here what matters is the human value and the affection for what we do, we have never given up in the face of difficulties and we have always worked as a team. That is Viking Ink!
What are your most special products?
Believe it or not, we put all our soul in each product we release. If the product has our brand on it, it is because for us it is the most special of all each time. I can make a special mention of our black ink Black Dynamite, since it has been with us for so many years and has made us known all over the world, but I also invite you to visit our complete catalog on our website www.vikinginkgroup.com.
In which countries is Viking Ink most successful?
Currently we have a lot of presence all over the world. Where we started to expand was in Europe really; we were already selling all over America and in some Asian countries, but in Europe it was where we became known on a large scale as a reference brand.
I know you were in Amsterdam recently, for the “Save the Pigments” conference. What can you tell us about the event and what do you think will actually happen with the proposed ban on some of the pigments?
We have been a sector mistreated by institutions in all countries for many years. Any manufacturer in the country you choose will tell you the same: far from getting involved and generating a system logical with studied measures that protect the sector and the consumer, the institutions have been going from one place to another putting problems without stopping. Zero solutions and not always with the most appropriate protocol for a coherent regulation of this industry that generates so many jobs.
Work and income, according to IBIS World, is a sector that in 2017 already moved more than 1.6 billion dollars a year in the United States alone and it gives the feeling that when they regulate this sector, they do not do so in a way precise and meticulous, if not that they act disproportionately so as not to have to invest in research what should be.
How is your relationship with other ink suppliers in the face of this common problem of pigment bans?
It is a special industry, in reality most manufacturers get along quite well and each one tries to make their best products, but circumstances like these make it even more necessary for us to collaborate and get along properly in order to achieve a practical dialogue with the regulatory institutions.
Political decisions aside, what is the most challenging part of running a tattoo supply business these days?
As in any other company or business, the challenges are inexhaustible and constant. It could be said that it is the basis of this business too. Every day you have to improve the formulas and compositions of your products, invent new ones, do the appropriate marketing and have a good infrastructure, always keep the facilities at the forefront of technology. If to this you add that those are products that are applied on the skin, the challenge at the legal level and at the R&D or investment level, is immeasurable.
If I’m right, you also started the World Tattoo League? What is your vision for this project?
Indeed, Viking Ink is the main organizer of the World Tattoo League. But in reality it is a project that encompasses many brands such as Intenze, Cheyenne, Baum Fest and many more. Is a project that seeks to provide a visualization platform and launching to any professional or brand in the sector, supported by the large firms but guaranteeing the independence and transparency of each user. It’s an effort that some leading or established brands have made to be able to make this sector bigger, stronger and more fun, who does not like a good competition between real talents from all over the world.
Unfortunately, the global situation that has been experienced has not allowed us to launch it in the terms and measures that we would have liked, but little by little as it returns to normality, we will give it the visibility we had planned as the face-to-face events etc.
What is your experience at tattoo conventions as a tattoo supply?
I think that not a year has passed by, since Viking Ink was born, in which we have not traveled the world. Through conventions, we have made hundreds of friends and enjoyed meeting the best professionals alive in the industry. After years, if you look at our calendar of events, you will see that we have never stopped even with the global pandemic. Here at Viking Ink we are always on the move and within reach of the professional who needs us.
Do you have a favorite tattoo convention?
I like them all! It is the set of them, starting each year thinking about the itinerary of trips and experiences that awaits us, I could not enjoy any one in particular without thinking about the next one as well.
Do you have any other projects in the tattoo world that you would like to mention here?
Of course, we are always launching new and interesting products and projects, we are launching an exclusive e-commerce for the tattoo, piercing and micropigmentation sector, so that any seller or manufacturer can sell from there and that any consumer can access the best offers, of the best products, of the best brands. Soon you will be able to access this e-commerce from the web www.vikingink.com.
Anything else you would like to say to our readers?
What are you waiting to join the tattoo community? Come experience a live convention, follow your favorite artists, get tattooed and why not, be the best tattoo artist you can be, whatever you choose. There will always be a Viking ink product on purpose for you.