When did you realise you wanted to do tattoos for a living?
I started about 5 years ago, when a close friend of mine (50svent) began tattooing. I visited him and the guys in the studio and started doing sketches and helping out. Then I asked the boss (Thomas Schuhmacher – Ink Affair) if he could show me all there is about tattooing. After I did the first tattoo on myself, I started doing simple tattoos for free. A couple of months later, I was asked to work with a really talented and inspirational guy (KESone3001 – Alte Liebe). After a long night with good conversation and a few bottles of red wine (a few too much) I decided to work with him. I learned to do tattoos from one of the best artists at that time. That was the moment I knew this is what I want to do to feed my family.
You’re also a street artist. Can we still find some graffiti or tags around the city?
There are a few old ones around the train lines of Hamburg and a few street pieces, but I am really lazy nowadays. Even the legal walls are maybe a few every year. I try to keep it alive but my family and tattooing take the most part of my time. Graffiti is and will always be a big part of my life. It’s like a virus that will always stay in my brain.
Which tattoo are you most proud of, and why?
I’m not proud of even one of my tattoos, I’m just happy to do this job. I’m always happy but never satisfied: trying to be better the next day is what keeps me going every day. But I am proud that I can feed my family and care for my daughter and wife by doing what I do. Working as a tattooer is the best thing that could have happened to me — it gives me all that I was searching for without even knowing what I was searching. It’s so diverse and I learn something new everyday. Working so closely with with people, working on their skin, working with their trust and with my creativity fills me gratefulness. So, I consider it my task to always give 101% — not only for every single customer, but also for my tattoo studio, Tigerstyle, and my partner in crime, Pengi.
Inspired? See Julian in action in his studio Tigerstyle Tattooing in St. Pauli.
Photo credit: Pascal Kerouche