Tattoo studios are ten a penny in London. However there are some new guys in town, and they’re looking to raise the bar in both customer service and talent. Hailing from Hungary, Máté Spanberger and Ákos Keller opened One Day Tattoo, Angel, in September, 2015. Fast forward to November, 2016 and we find the guys already making a name for themselves in the big, bad world of the London tattoo scene.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
How did One Day start?
M: I’ve known Ákos, who is our resident artist for over 20 years, since Kindergarten. We grew up together in Hungary. I knew how good an artist he is and how well he could draw. So I had an idea back in 2011, that it would be great if he was using his talent. That he should do something with it. So we created a clothing brand, with Akos creating the designs and printed them on t-shirts, etc and we began selling them.
I then moved to London and had the idea that Ákos would make a great tattoo artist. He had enough talent to create great tattoos and I believed in his talent and believed he should try it. Moving to London gave me more opportunities, which meant I had money. So with my first payslip I earned in London, I bought a tattoo machine for Ákos and took it home to him. He tried it, liked it. That was 3 years ago and this is the level Ákos has achieved since then.
So Akos, is that what drew you to this profession?
A: Yes I started tattooing in 2013 and I had always loved drawing since my childhood, so when I got the tattoo machine from Máté, it opened the gates and gave me this great opportunity.
How would you describe your tattoo style?
A: I prefer colour tattoos, but now I’m now working on developing my own style, which is based on realism and abstract art.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
A: From my friends and other great artists. They motivate me to stay on my pathway and be better and better day by day.
Any funny or strange stories from your time as a tattooist?
A: Ha I probably shouldn’t say, but I won’t name any names. There as one time when I touched a client with the needle (it was her first tattoo), and she let out a silent fart. It was really quiet, but I heard it.
What’s the story behind the name, One Day Tattoo?
M: I had this idea a long time ago. One Day is a way of representing hope and dreams. People always says “one day I’m going to do this, or I’m going to do that” and often they don’t do whatever it was they planned to do, their dream. So it’s about believing in yourself and believing in your dream and they’ll come true, One Day.
When did you first open the doors to One Day Tattoo?
M: We opened September last year [Sep, 2015], so one year ago.
You’re both originally from Hungary. Why London and why Angel?
M:London is one of the biggest cities, and I have friends here. London is close enough for me to visit family back in Hungary and have all the opportunities which a big city like London can provide. London is also cool because people from all over the world live here. So London is the first step and then we’ll see.
What are your plans for One Day Tattoo?
M: I’d like to expand and build a massive crew of brilliant artists. The next plan would be to open a 2nd studio in Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, so that would be a great opportunity to move between London and Hungary, which will allow me to spend some time at home. But we will see. I’d also like to explore the clothing brand, diversify and incorporate the hope and dreams which One Day Tattoo represents. I’ve got lots of big plans so we will see.
London has hundreds, possibly thousands of Tattoo parlours. Why would I choose One Day? What makes you different?
M: I don’t want to say we are better than other tattoo parlours, but we try to stay unique, cool and true. We always aim for 100% perfection and honesty. We have many customers who come to us to get tattoos fixed, or covered up. Unfortunately there are many tattooists who don’t have the ability required and take on clients. Their arrogance gets in the way, which results in bad tattoos. If we believe we can’t fulfil the clients expectations then we are honest and make sure they understand exactly what they are getting. Some tattooists will just tattoo, which ends in disappointment. We stay real, true.
What would your advice be to someone considering getting a tattoo?
Jump onto google and research. Allow time for the decision. Get in touch with as many artists as you can. Don’t book a tattoo, book a consultation. At One Day, you can book a consultation, it’s free and you can come and talk to all our artists and see their work and then decide who you’d like to be tattooed by. You can make a connection.
Do you think the perception of tattoos and tattooed people has changed? People tend to judge a book by its cover.
M: Yes it’s changed a lot thanks god. Nowadays you can see football players, models, millions of people like Lionel Messi have gotten tattooed. That’s a good advertisement for the industry. It’s an art form and more and more people are seeing tattooing that way. If someone judges someone because they have tattoos then they are living in a very small box.
Sum up One Day Tattoo parlour in one word.
M: In one word? Dreams.
Many thanks to the guys at One Day Tattoo Studio. Keep scrolling for more shots!