Client Experience – Sasha Lenskyj – Dragon Sleeve & Snake Ribs
“In few professions you are defined by your body of work. Being a tattooer this directly correlates to price, availability and the esteem that you are held by your peers. It is then a rare opportunity as a client to be a part of someone’s legacy who is regarded as one of the finest in his field – a master tattooer.
After deciding on a Japanese style tattoo, I searched for the best exponent of that style that I could find and access without having to leave the country. The name that kept on returning to the conversation was Kian Forreal. Having looked at his portfolio I was immediately struck by the depth of his backgrounds and the vivid detail of the motifs he constructed.
Having set myself on securing a consult with him I began to wait. This period persisted for 16 months. I then received a call and the meeting was scheduled. At this point in time I was a 32-year-old clear skin. I wasn’t aware of the process tattooing involved. However, for some inexplicable reason I knew it was always something that would be a part of my journey and I would be passionate about.
I arrived on time to the consult, was seated by a staff member and offered a drink. This gave me time to take in the surroundings. The Authentink studio definitely has a great vibe and is a thriving business. The mechanical noise, chatter between the artists and music all attribute to its character. Then I met Kian and it all fell into place. It is his establishment and he is the captain of the ship. The studio is a reflection of his personality, interests and ambition. I didn’t book in after that consult. Instead I rescheduled and on the second time paid my deposit and booked three appointments. Kian wrapped my arm in contact and drew a rough sketch of my tattoo. I then waited.
After 3 more months I was in the chair. Being tattooed is a unique feeling. You work with your pain threshold and witness the summation of your ideas, refined by the tattooer take shape before your eyes. It is a very cool process. During this session and over the months you will spend a lot of time with Kian – this is also very cool. He is worldly, articulate and has many views on a variety of topics that will spark engaging conversation. In a way its almost a teacher – student relationship as he provides you with carefully considered information, discusses his process and at the end of the session I believe that you have gained more than the ink in your arm.
After 6 months my dragon sleeve was complete. I have had it for four years and still receive compliments from a varied assortment of people (I don’t need these but it happens with such regularity that I think it is worth mentioning). I have a classic piece from one of the great Japanese style tattooers. Interestingly, this gives me a deep sense of satisfaction and pride.
Nearly 2 years later I booked another consult. This time I wasn’t placed on a waiting list and was able to see Kian during his next free consult. The second round, everything is more familiar but still as exciting. When I re-entered the studio after a substantial time period and spoke with the other artists I was comforted to see everyone continually improving at their craft. This time around everything is more streamlined and being a part of what Kian is capable of allows you to relax more and inspires confidence that any tattoo you receive will be of an exceptionally high standard.
I have one session to go on my second tattoo – Snake on Ribs. I can confidently say that this is another amazing piece that I am proud to have.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a Japanese style tattoo and don’t live in Japan. This is unequivocally where you want to go. On an objective note:
– The studio is clean, with dedicated artists and a great vibe
– Kian is a master in his field and keeps improving, which is almost inconceivable
– The piece you receive is of the highest quality and its application is taken very seriously by Kian
I have and will continue to recommend Kian to anyone that is seeking the best in Japanese style tattooing.”