I recently went and did a guest spot in Berlin, tattooing at the excellent studio AKA. I had been to Berlin before a few years ago and I have to say, never really loved it like most people seem to. I did feel like I had missed the best of it on previous visits though. This time I stayed in Kreuzberg, right by the canal – 2 minutes from the studio – and I loved it. It was definitely helped by being lucky with the weather too.
I love riding a bike around a city, it is the perfect way to get about and explore somewhere new and I am of the opinion that cars ruin cities. I hired a bike in Berlin and rode around all week, thoroughly enjoying myself. The infrastructure wasn’t perfect but way better than at home in Birmingham, and I prefer riding on bad infrastructure to no infrastructure at all. On the whole cycling seemed normalised, easy and accessible, the proof of which being the amount of bikes with child seats on. When people can ride about with a toddler on their bike like it’s no big deal, a city is doing something right.
The other thing I loved was the amount of green spaces and parks. Birmingham planners take note, we have enough bland “mixed use” developments. We don’t need anymore shops, can we have more trees, grass and public spaces?
All of my customers were lovely and spoke excellent English (especially the guy from England who was on his stag do). Here are some of the tattoos I got to do, followed by some city shots. If you want more, and frankly much better photos of non-tattoo stuff taken on this trip then check out A Birmingham Life, Eleanor accompanied me on the latter half of the trip and has done a more thorough blog about it. I definitely recommend it.
I realised today that I wrote this, saved it as a draft and never posted it, so here it is (unedited except some extra info on the guest spots/conventions):
So, this year is nearly over but next year is already looking exciting. Here are the things I have confirmed so far, if you would like a tattoo from me in any of these places, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info:
London, Feb 6-7th, Into You guest spot (now fully booked)
Berlin, April 21-25th, AKA guest spot. (Some bookings, but still some spaces left)
Leeds, June 6-7th, Leeds tattoo convention. (I will start taking bookings for this about 6 weeks before)
Bristol, June 13-14th, Bristol tattoo convention. (Same info as for Leeds)
I have been very lucky lately and had some really nice work to do. I have had people travel to get tattooed by me from Sweden and Germany; there is no higher compliment as an artist. I also had a break on the West coast of America and was honoured to do some tattoos at Deers Eye Studio in Santa Fe Springs with Eric Gonzales and Chuey Quintanar. Here are just a few of the pieces I have been doing: