Interview: Okan Uçkun
İngilizce’ye çeviri: Kemal Saydam
Thanks for having us in your studio on such a lovely day in summer. I go with the first question. How did Orkan Yılan started tattooing and became Bunnykingx? As I know, you were studying animation, how did that happen?
It was my second year at university and I dropped out. I already knew that I was going to fail. After dropping the school, I came to Istanbul and worked as an assistant for Taner Arslan at Magichand Tattoo in Bakırkoy for two months. Then, I came back to Eskişehir and established a studio in my apartment. I kept tattooing there. Meanwhile, I was working at a club and traveling to Kütahya for school. Despite ten years, I was graduated. It was already my seventh year in tattooing. It was meant to be like this.
Have you done anything about animation?
No dude, just a couple of homework and they were terrible. I did them the day before the deadlines.
How did Orkan Yılan become Bunnykingx?
I will explain immediately. Bunnykingx comes from the turtle and rabbit fable. It’s a shitty story but it is simple; we all know this. The rabbit challenges the turtle. They race and the rabbit is pedant because it is fast. The turtle puts some friends of its and wins. When you listen to it as a child, you come to a conclusion like the rabbit deserved it but it’s actually wrong because the turtle cheats the rabbit. At the end of the story, the turtle is crowned which I also found wrong. I’ve had a chip on my shoulders about this since I was a child. So that’s where it comes from. First, it changed like rabbitink or rabbitking. Then one day, Fahrettin Demir pronunced Bunnyking and I liked it. Actually, there was also the conversation about the story on raki table.
What’s the deal with x at the end? Because there is not that name on Instagram?
You had been in Eskişehir for long years. What’s the story of coming to Istanbul?
It was the place where to reach everything easily including pieces of equipment, customers etc. First I started at Shadow Tattoo. I got fired in two months. He found out that I was opening a studio with someone. I opened my studio with a partner in Kadıköy. After Brainers Ink and Karaköy, now I am in my home studio.
Where do you feel happiest?
Definitely the home studio.
Let’s talk about the convention. On the first convention, you were awarded in an unexpected area. Can you tell us about this and the reason why it was unexpected.
Yes, I didn’t expect it at all. I guess one wouldn’t expect such a prize. It was a time when realism was popular and you could see people opened 20-30 colors. I did not have any colors and my pieces of equipment were missing. I made a bird tattoo as a sketch and added red and blue. The piece was awarded. Now, you couldn’t do that.
What equipment do you use?
I have a machine from Burak Uçuk and a few more but I am gonna buy some new things. For example, I don’t have an adaptor.
How do you describe your style? Let’s say we don’t know you. Do you describe yourself in a shape?
I try to make illustrative stuff as much as I can. But when I am asked about my style I love to say it’s illustrative.
How do you work? How do these designs come out?
Firstly, it has to have an idea. I require the examples they like the idea and things start to come out. However, it’s not always easy. Sometimes you get stuck. For instance, the customer might like too many styles at the same time. Frankly speaking, this job goes with trust. I have a lot of people with whom we had that. That’s why I’m happy.
I want to ask about the tattoo industry. It has changed a lot in recent years. How do you find it?
I think it’s fine but there are also drawbacks such as fast consuming and what mass media imposes like you should produce and share more. I was involved in this once. Seeing it pall and my work not satisfying me, I pulled away. In brief, fast consuming kills the taste and the soul of the work. That’s what I think. But of course, it is a business. We have certain concerns and I try to get in harmony accordingly.
What do you think about the tattoo industry in Turkey? How are we doing?
I believe we are industrially fine. People such as Cebecizade Emre, Danny Garcia and people following him use Turkish culture on their tattoos very well.
Who are your favorite tattoo artists from Turkey?
Taner Arslan, Danny Garcia, Hakan Gerçek, Emre Cebeci, Emrah Özhan and Okan Uçkun.
Don’t mention me. It sounds like you don’t want to disgrace 🙂 Finally, Are you happy with being a tattoo artist in Turkey? What is it like to be a tattoo artist in Turkey?
(After a conversation about other jobs and not waking up early and going to work for half an hour, the answer is that it is good.)
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