You learned how to tattoo at the Lowbow Tattoo Parlour with Matze and Sebastian, many would kill for that opportunity. How did it happen?
Primarily, I was Matzes “apprentice” although it felt more like he was my big brother who showed me how to tattoo. Sebastian was there for me too but acted more as a deputy sheriff, if you want to phrase it like that. I was getting tattooed by Matze since 2012 and brought my own drawings every now and then. Apparently, there was some potential. Even though I was a client, he showed me how to paint aquarelles and how to improve my drawings.
He told me that if I want to learn how to tattoo I need to find a good shop. Of course, only one shop was in line for me. After I made my decision I couldn’t start right away though since both of them didn’t want an apprentice at the time. I stayed persistent and keep asking again and again, also because my girlfriend at the time lived in Berlin and therefore I was there a lot anyway.
In 2014 I was finally able to convince them to a one-week “internship”. One week turned into two and after that, I could come around whenever it was convenient. Back then I was still working in Dresden (Yes, I did get trained in something decent before: industrial mechanic + certified mechanical engineering technician).
In 2015 it felt like I was in the shop every two to three weeks to draw. I quit my job in Dresden in the spring of 2016 and moved to Berlin entirely.
How did you experience your apprenticeship?
It was great! It wasn’t a typical apprenticeship like may others would take place. I had no compulsion or pressure to do anything. There was no compulsory attendance either, as many others have. It was mainly about painting and drawing. Since it was a private studio I had plenty of time for that. I was answered every question that I had and the atmosphere was always great actually. In return, it was hard to find clients. I was lucky enough that many of my friends were willing to get tattooed by me and also travelled to Berlin for it. Every once in a while a few people also contacted me through Instagram.
“I like it when a design looks “vivid” and dynamic.”
What would you say is the most important thing that you’ve learned there or what shaped you the most?
I would say the painting, the tattooing and the interaction with each other.
Was it hard for you to add your own touch?
Good question. I just look into the things I like and the things I fancy doing. I let myself be influenced by tattoos and drawings that I think are cool and blend them to make my own. It’s hard to force “your own touch”, as it will develop over time. Being in different countries did broaden my horizon too. I like it when a design looks “vivid” and dynamic. In the beginning, I was still very much oriented towards Matze and Sebastian and their works, since they were constantly present. If I want to know how to draw a woman’s head they could only show me the way they would do it themselves.
When and why was it time to take to the road?
There was no space in the shop anymore and both of them showed me everything they knew. So I was pretty much kicked out well-intended. From the beginning of 2018, I was, therefore, a free person.
I could have worked in another shop in Berlin, but that would have been too easy. Being on the road and learning from lots of different people is something I was interested in and I was just forced my luck.
The first ⅔ of the year I travelled around Germany and then went to the next best country: Australia.
“I don’t follow the typical rule of being “on the Walz”. Who wants to wear flares all day and always hitchhike?”
Would you like to settle down again someday or do you prefer being on the move?
Of course, it would be nice to have a base, not to mention an own bed. Also, I can’t fully process all the impressions if I am constantly out and about. Therefore one to two guest spots a month is enough new input. With a base, I could also finally start bigger projects, since I wouldn’t constantly be on the move.
What are your hopes and dreams?
I am kind of living my dream already. No one is telling me what to do and I can make my hours as I please. Publishing a book with my paintings is a big goal of mine, but to so I need to paint a little more. I also want to build tattoo machines for a long time, but I am lacking a place to do so as well as the material. Flying somewhere to surf regularly would also be great. I should also practice more with my band again. As you can tell, the last thing I am missing is ideas or goals.