We recently caught up with ‘Roadkill’ Riley Seniunas and got some colourful feedback from him on a wide range of topics!
Where are you from?
I am from the happiest place on earth, beautiful Prince George B.C – haha, but I’ve been living in Kamloops for the past 12 years and this town is definitely where I call home; I love the desert!
When did you first become interested in art/tattoos?
I always had a passion for art and from a young age I knew one day I would tattoo. Tattoo magazines were my bible and at the age of 15 I decided to take my portfolio comprised of satanic drawings, dead/mutilated people, and naked chicks, to the best tattoo shop in town (at the time); Highlander Tattoo! I asked for an apprenticeship, haha! I didn’t get one from them but I sure learned a lot about the industry. From there I cut my teeth in several different shops before moving to Kamloops.
Who influenced you as an artist, both early in your career and now?
Artistically I was raised by H.R Giger and Paul Booth; I happily brainwashed myself to their work for years. Nowadays, strictly from the tattoo world, I’d say that Jeff Gogue, Tommy Lee Wendtner, Derek Noble, and Justin Hartman are fairly strong influences amongst many.
What would you be doing if you weren’t tattooing?
If I wasn’t tattooing I’d like to think I’d be designing gruesome Halloween masks or traveling with my laser beam collection providing amazeballs lightshows for bands!
Do you practice any other mediums of art?
Yep, I sure do! I feel like most artists these days understand that ya gotta nurture many realms of artistic creation in order to really push the boundaries.
Do you have any crazy stories from your tattooing career?
Ohh hell, if ya don’t have any ridiculous tattoo stories in the bag then you’re just not doing it right, haha! You probably don’t have enough room in this article to hear me ramble on about any one instance, but holy hell does some weird shit happen in this line of work!
Have you tattooed any celebrities?
Just the local ones!
What is your favourite place you’ve travelled to while tattooing?
I love visiting my brothers up in Prince George at The Wandering Panda Tattoo Studio. I’m looking forward to traveling and tattooing a lot more once my kids have grown up, but
for now I’m excited to just tattoo in cities and at conventions within a stone’s throw.
What style of work do your prefer to do? Is there a style you would like to start doing more of?
I’ve been struggling with who I am style wise, and who I think I should be, for years now. Only recently have I accepted that I am artistically schizophrenic and I get a different version of myself for each different client and their piece.
What are your interests and/or hobbies outside of tattooing?
Outside of the fine art realm, when I get some time to spare, there’s nothing I love doing more than jamming insane and debaucherous metal with some brothers, or programming the sexiest satanic disco by myself in the studio!
Do you have a message to anyone who aspires to be a tattoo artist?
Yep, draw your ass off, don’t jump the gun! Shoot for the sun not the horizon.
How do you feel about the huge growth in the tattoo industry over the last few years?
Well, I sure hate how easy and unregulated it is to open a shop these days! And I hate the total loser, lackluster regulations and enforcement that the health board has when it comes to doing
anything beneficial for protecting the citizens of the community they are employed to protect.
Is there anyone you would like to thank or give recognition to?
Above all, everyone should know about my brother-in-arms, and Co-Owner at the Pirate Palace Tattoo Studios, Jack Urquhart. Me n’ this guy have been through hell n’ back over the years and have always ended up on top! He’s your guy if you’re wanting badass, traditional biker realism, haha! That’s his signature
specialty! Other than that, Norm Gardner and his crew at Psychocity Tattoos; they’ve become extended family to me and I’ve got nothing but respect for them. And of course Ryan “Newz” Scarpino and the Dynamic Studios gang are fucking kickass! I look forward to killing many more brain cells with these outstanding individuals.
What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?
Goddamn the future is painful when I think about it. Where will I be, or what I think I may be doing is headache inspiring! If the Russians, zombies or the robot overlords haven’t invaded us by then, I can only imagine I’ll be continuing to strive for my awkward pursuit of the perfect balance between the dark and evil, the sexy and mysterious, and the beauty/brutality in nature.
How do you see the tattoo industry evolving in the future?
Well, all I can hope for is a vision of how I’d like the tattoo industry to evolve. Well, really the evolution is a revival of our craft’s “vintage” and founding philosophies. There is a lot of nobility in the ethics of our forefathers; I really hope that one day the ethics of this trade are put on as much of a pedestal, and widely promoted as much as the hype, glitz, and fake glam, that is pushed in this current moment.
Overall, I worship the tattoo gods, and as long as I make enough blood sacrifice to appease the gods, I know they’ll always reward my efforts and strike down the infidel’s in a fiery righteous glory!!!
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