Derek Zielinski from Glass Heart Tattooing talks about his strong faith, his life’s motivation and his line work ability
PLAINS — Derek Zielinski is an artist on the pursuit of something great – great art, great conversations and a meaningful existence.
In the business for nearly 11 years, tattooing has become an extension of Derek’s vision and personal motto – to help people change their lives, the way he changed his.
Derek started his life in Rhode Island and Florida, before settling down and becoming a North Eastern Pennsylvania transplant roughly eight years ago.
“I moved up here when I met my wife, Michelle,” he said. “I’m not from here originally, so I don’t necessarily agree with the ‘this place sucks’ attitude that’s common around here. There’s so much to do. Get off your behind and get outside!”
He’s bounced around in the NEPA tattoo scene at various locations before settling down last October and opening a shop of his own – Glass Heart Tattooing — on Carey Street in Plains.
“We’ve been open for a few months and it’s been outstanding,” he said. “I love the atmosphere we have here at the shop. It’s a very open, understanding, creative environment.”
Zielinski’s shop is an outward testament to his bold personality – custom paintings of Zielinski’s wife and pets hang on the walls, alongside commissioned artwork, and open-format tattoo booths.
“Honestly, my life’s motivation is my wife and my son, Dylan,” he added. “I live to take care of them, but I’m also inspired by the conscious lifestyle we chose to adopt.”
Zielinski is referencing his faith, as well as his decision to follow veganism and become involved as an animal rights activist.
“My faith in God, it’s not my gavel to judge anyone or anything, it’s just a prominent part of who I am and how I choose to live my life,” he said. “If you’re in the shop, often times we have our three big conversations – food, faith and tattoos.”
Zielinski has been a vegan since he and his wife found out they were expecting a child, over six years ago.
“It’s a decision to live by a whole food, healthy lifestyle approach,” he added. “I want my son to be conscious of what he consumes and how.”
Zielinski, when behind the needle, is known for his linework and lettering, which carries over to all aspects of his art.
“As an artist, I have no specific niche and hope to cover all genres to create art specific to my clients’ needs,” he said. “But I hold my linework abilities high, simply because I feel they are fundamental in tattooing.”
Derek’s shop, Glass Heart Tattooing, is currently accepting appointments and he hopes to meet new clients and share his life and art with the people of Wilkes-Barre and beyond.
“When you find stuff worth living for, you feel compelled to share it,” he said.
Rachel Holly is a correspondent for Weekender. Reach Weekender at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who: Derek Zielinski, 33
Where: Glass Heart Tattooing, Plains
How long have you been tattooing: About 11 years
Signature Style: New-Traditional and Portraiture
What inspires you?: “My lifestyle and my faith.”
Most known for: Clean linework, illustrative pieces, saturated color
Follow him: On Instagram @derek_zielinski_artist