Photo above by Kamila Burzymowska

 

Guido Schmitz


How long have you been tattooing and how did you start your tattooing journey?

 

This year it marks around 9-10 years before I started tattooing. I´ve grown up influenced by Punkrock Music and Collage Art and once I experienced the art of tattooing (and also got my first tattoo done). I really wanted to be an Artist. But it was hard to find somebody who wanted to train me – or it was just a too high amount of money I had to spend, which I couldn´t afford.

So I changed and decided on a crafts job to be still close to art: I became a Sculpturist and Stonemason. I really loved this job, but after some years of being a professional, I needed a new task in my life and wanted to get back to my real first wish: becoming a tattoo artist.

I´ve never been an apprentice and started like a lot of other artists: on myself and on friends. I worked in three shops and started to do a lot of guest spots to get the chance to work alongside artists, of whom I finally was able to learn from. Just by watching how they create and tattoo.

That´s how the Journey has begun.. more guest spots, more shows, more travels, and I finally left the last shop where I was working in, to open up my own private space.

 


 

Do you remember what was the first tattoo you did? If so, tell us what it was and for who.

 

Yes, I remember that. First Tattoo I´ve done has been on my good mate and guitarist of our Punk/Hardcore band. It was a small anchor on his leg – but in full color. I did it at home and the equipment was borrowed. Sure, I didn´t really know, what to do, but it worked out very well and it got me very motivated. But I failed hardly with my second one. 

 


 

Please, tell us about your current tattoo style and how it has changed over the years.

 

When I started tattooing, I really did everything. All styles are welcome 😀 Just to keep on learning, to try every style, to get better in the essential basics, and finally get an idea in which direction I want to develop. I always liked Collage and Abstract Arts, so I tried to settle and find my Style somewhere in this range. So for me, my style is a mixed abstract style with a kind of illustrated realism in high contrasts paired together with geometric parts and patterns or just chaotic lines and brushes. Trash Avantgarde. ;D

 


 

Does anyone or anything inspire you?

 

You can find inspiration in everything life and our surroundings offer us. Abstract shapes made by nature, crazy architecture, old abstract paintings and sometimes, just details. If you look closer or twice 🙂 Further I do like old abstract paintings and Collage Art from old Punkrock Flyers. 

 


 

Are there any tattoo artists who are extremely admirable to you? If so who?

 

Oh yes, sure. There are a lot of artists which impress me with their works, but it would definitely take too long to name them all to cause the list is long 🙂 Just to give you some names then, I really like the Art of Volko and Simone / Buena Vista Tattoo Club (no one is wondering yet, I guess). The Tattoos of Timur Lysenko are so great also! Julian Siebert is so talented with his massive pieces he pops out every time. Jef Palumbo and his mind-blowing collage art is one of my favorite and so many more…

 


 

Do you have any memorable tattoo story or a customer that has stuck with you through all the time you have been tattooing?

 

Mainly I’m creating and tattooing large scale to (nearly) full body concepts – so there are a lot of clients. I’m lucky about they stick to me and my style. During the process of tattooing itself, especially bigger and longer sessions and even more sessions over a year or two or three, I got very close to several of my clients. It´s a huge amount of trust given to me, to let me create their story and put it under pain into their skin. So that talking about life and life situations comes automatically with it, during spending time together.

 


 

Is there any art form that fascinates you also except tattooing? Maybe do you have any other passion or something that you really enjoy doing? 

 

Sure, I´m still in love with my old job – I love sculpting. Especially with mixed media arts. Combining different materials and put them together to create something. Abstract really is fun to me and always a process of discovering and see something grow. I love it. Oh, and I do like painting 🙂

 


 

Do you like visiting or exhibiting at tattoo conventions? Would you recommend any of them?

 

Over the last four years, I visited a lot of shows worldwide and the last two years have been very busy with 14 to 16 shows a year. And yes, of course, I like it. It’s hard work to me, cause sometimes you arrive with jetlag or even after a long day of travels looking forward to a 2 to 3 day working marathon – evening program mostly included, but I meet always a lot of friends, great artists and lovely people everywhere. And believe me, especially in this Corona Times I even miss the stressy traveling part 😀

I could recommend a lot of shows starting with the big ones such as London, Paris, and Milan, but there are such great events hosted by well-organized people in nearly every country.

I really like the Milan Show. It’s big and crowded and for most of us, the first show to start the year. Like Brussels is (for me) the last one of the year and also crowded and a good time to say “hi” to your friends. Venice is lovely organized and small with a really good collection of artists and always a weekend full of fun. Nepal was definitely an experience, different, and filled with great people. Calgary and Marmaris, where I’ve been last year for the first time have been just amazing. Still so much to mention… but one which is more than a show to me and a lot more and more a matter of the heart is the Goa Tattoo Festival. I´ve been the last 4 years (the show itself marks happening for 5 years) and it has been always a blast. Happening in January, when it´s Wintertime in Germany, I can escape into the warm sun of India. This Show has an incredible vibe and I meet a lot of my best friends and chosen family there. 

 


 

Any artist you planning to get tattooed by? Who has tattooed you already?

 

I got my complete left arm lasered and Neon Judas (David Rinklin) is creating me a new Sleeve. Can´t wait to keep on working next month 🙂 

I started really early getting tattooed; so sadly, I´ve got less free space for really big Projects and need to look for somebody to rework or cover some older parts (and I know, no one really loves that) and yes, I´ve got still space for some gap fillers 😉

I´m lucky to get some Tattoos done by Neon Judas (he also did my rips, oh hell), Timur Lysenko, Roman Abrego, Schumitz (Hardcore Ink), Henni Sternagel (Truemmertattoos), Roberta da Silva …

 


 

What are your plans and dreams? If you think about yourself in 10 years, what do you see?

 

I hope, I am still tattooing and learning, developing my style surrounded by open-minded clients for crazy projects. But will definitely try to take time to get back more into Sculping Arts and Oil paintings.

Best would be, this life happens to me whilst I am living at a beautiful place in this world, surrounded by great human beings, being healthy and enjoying life to the fullest with some nice travels and arts in any shape. 

 


 

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