Q: Where do you work? Where are you based in?
I’m on the road a lot, but I could probably consider Berlin, Germany as my base, I work there several times a year for a few weeks to a few months at a time, usually during the warmer months (March – November). In the near future I am probably going to be working more in Rome, Italy as well (since my partner is from there).
In the past few years I have also often worked in San Francisco, CA, and in Brooklyn, NY, USA, however, with the current pandemic situation, I am not planing a trip to the US any time soon. I intend to stay in Europe for now.
I always post my location and guest spot dates on my Travel Dates page. You can find more information there.
If you would like to vote for your city as a potential guest spot location for me, vote at WeAreCoal.com.
Q: How can I get an appointment and what’s the best way to contact you?
If they are open, there will be a link to a Google Form that you will need to fill in. It will have all the information about pricing, available flash designs, etc.
I will go through all the forms and select the projects to work on and contact you.
If my bookings are closed, you can sign up to my newsletter to be notified when they open and which locations I’m planning to work at.
Q: It’s my first tattoo, what do I need to know?
I have many first-timers and I am happy to guide you through the process.!
First of all, I would suggest to trust your intuition. “Don’t use your mind, think with your belly”, says my dear friend and incredible tattoo artist Brücius.
A few things to be aware of:
– the simpler, the better. Many clients tend to fall into the trap of wanting to incorporate too many elements into one design, which usually just makes it confusing and aesthetically unappealing. I understand if you want to incorporate a lot of meaning or even several meanings into your tattoo, and that can be done in a more abstract way. For example, instead of making a portrait of your mother, with her name, birth date and zodiac sign underneath, we could come up with a design that would represent the love that you have for her or your unique relationship with just one main element, maybe a flower, an animal, a plant, an object she owns, something that at first glance would not be so obvious.
– bigger is better. Over the years, the tattoo ink tends to spread under the skin, so any lines that are too close together will most likely at some point start to melt into each other. For that reason I always recommend going a little bigger and also considering the placement, so that the tattoo works with the body and doesn’t look like a sticker. That is my own preference and opinion.
– it’s ok to have doubts. Sometimes you will be absolutely clear and certain on what you want and other times you might be unclear and doubtful. This is where intuition comes in. Feel into it, don’t think about it too much. If it really doesn’t feel right, don’t do it, but if you have some fears mixed with excitement, mixed with doubts, but you know you really want it even though you don’t know why, then I’d say: Go for it. Very often, the meaning reveals itself weeks, months, years after the tattoo is made.
For the tattoo process itself, let me know that it is your first tattoo in your Google Form and during the consultation and I will let you know of anything else that would be important for you to know.
Q: Do you have flash or ready-made designs/ wanna-do’s?
Yes, I usually create a set of pre-made designs that you can choose from. I usually book 50% custom designs (where I will make a custom drawing from each client) and 50% flash designs (where the client can pick their favourite out of the designs I have available).
If you would like to be informed about flash designs when they are availble, I share my designs through my Newsletter and often post them on my IG Stories.
Q: Do I need to have a ready design/drawing or will you draw one for me?
All of my tattoo designs are drawn by me and I always make a drawing specifically for the client, unless it’s a wanna-do/flash (pre-drawn design), in which case the client chooses one that they truly resonate with.
I sometimes enjoy recreating a drawing or a sketch that was made by another artist (not tattoo artist) that might have a similar style like mine, preferably with their permission if they are still alive.
So no, you don’t have to have any drawing or sketch. You can have a very concrete vision or a very open and vague idea and we will work from there.
Q: How much does it hurt? Do you use numbing creams?
Some people are naturally more tolerant, others more sensitive, just like some body parts (forearm, upper arm, shoulder, thighs) are less painful and others (knee, elbow, armpit, inner side of the knee and elbow, neck, wrist, feet, hands, head, belly, middle of the chest, ribs) are more sensitive. Yet, all of this can vary. Women can also experience different pain tolerance levels depending on the time of their moon/ menstruation cycle.
I do not generally use numbing creams or sprays because in my style of tattooing they don’t work as well, since I almost only pass one time in each area and don’t keep going over and over, which is how they work best (in an open wound).
If it is a big project or very sensitive area, I might apply something to help the client.
Q: How much does the tattoo cost?
I charge different rates depending on the country, the currency and the studio where I work.
The price depends on the size, detail, technique and location of the tattoo and duration of the tattoo session.
Once my bookings are open, I will send you all the information and can give you a price estimate.
Q: What do I need to know before the tattoo session?
Check with yourself about any allergies you might have and inform the tattoo artist before the session or in the email if it’s a more serious condition.
Do not consume alcohol or take any mind-altering drugs for at least 24h before the tattoo, since this will make the process more painful, the healing harder and your body will most likely be exhausted.
Please don’t smoke cannabis before or during the session.
It is best if you can have a good night sleep before the session day. Depending on your system, if you know that you feel weak when you don’t eat, you definitely want to have a good meal before the session. Bring some snacks like nuts, juice, water, candy and bigger snacks if it’s a long session.
Oh!! And if you could cream the area that will be getting tattooed every day for a week it would be great!
If you wish, you may also shave the area the night before or on the day of the session to save me some work. 🙂
Q: AFTERCARE and HEALING - How do I look after my fresh tattoo?
I always send a document with Aftercare instructions once we book the appointment. And because the protection film that I apply on the tattoo lasts for two days, you will have all that time to read through it and get the after care products.
If you still want to know how it works:
– You will leave the studio with the tattoo covered in a special transparent film (Second Skin) which you can leave for up to 48h (2 days). You can shower with it, you can move with it (although sometimes it might restrict some movement), you can even touch it.
– Avoid direct sun, avoid sweating a lot with it and clothes that are too tight.
– To remove this cover, first wash your hands, then, in the shower or under warm running water, peel it off slowly. Wash the tattooed skin with warm water to open up the pores and a neutral, natural antibacterial soap, removing any extra ink and plasma-type residue. Then, you can pass it through cold water to close the pores again.
– Dry the tattoo with a paper towel, tapping on it gently, do not wipe or just let it air dry. Once it’s dry, you may apply a little bit of tattoo cream or coconut oil, just enough to cover it, not too much.
– After that, you may leave the tattoo uncovered for the rest of the healing. Try to use clean, good fabric clothes.
– Repeat this process of washing, drying and applying cream 2 to 3 times a day. Morning, afternoon and before bed.
– Avoid heavy exercising for a week. If you exercise and sweat, make sure to wash it afterwards. Avoid direct sun, swimming pool, sauna, steam room, beach, direct contact of the tattoo with your pets and scratching it for two weeks.
– The tattoo will continue healing during the next weeks, sometimes months, but you can resume all your normal activities after the two weeks. It is very helpful if you can apply sun cream whenever you are exposed to sun for long periods of time.
– For the cream, I do not recommend Bepanthene as it’s too oily. I would recommend something natural that is specific for fresh tattoos, which you can usually buy directly at the studio or organic coconut oil.
Please keep in mind that each tattoo artist will probably give you different directions, so feel free to do what works for you. Just please take good care of it, remember that a fresh tattoo is an open wound, so please keep it clean and know that your body knows how to heal itself.
Q: Do you tattoo queer people, trans people, black people, people with scars?
I am careful in choosing studios that are open minded, inclusive, where everybody can feel safe.
LGBTQ+ are welcome! I love making designs that support this community, that explore and question gender, sexual orientation, identity and self-expression.
Because I have worked mostly in Germany until recent years when I began to travel to the US, I’ve mostly tattooed white people. However in my early years, living in Portugal and these last few years in the US I have tattooed darker skin and I welcome people of any complexion.
My tattoo style works well on darker skin since it’s only black and mostly lines. My recommendation is: the darker the skin, the bolder and simpler the tattoo should be, so that it stands out and ages well, so I usually prefer to avoid tiny details (something I’m also avoiding in general).
If you do have a darker complexion, I ask you to please inform me in your tattoo application, for me to keep that in mind during the design making/ selection.
When it comes to tattooing over scars (self-harm or other) I am also open to do it and have done it in the past. It’s important to keep in mind that some scars work better with my style than others. Because I only use lines, sometimes the scars make the lines wobbly and can distort the tattoo.
So it’s a matter of finding the right design and placing it well, wither to make the scars less noticeable or to work with them.
I am of course still and always learning and educating myself on how to best welcome and be supportive of all people, from different backgrounds, cultures and genders. If there is something that feels uncomfortable or disrespectful to you as my client, I welcome you to voice it to me and express your needs and concerns.
Q: Do you still do realistic work, portraits, sacred geometry, mandalas?
I used to do a lot of realistic projects and have done plenty of mandalas, but at the moment that’s not the most inspiring thing for me and I think it’s important that the artist does what really makes them tick.
I will most likely not accept a realistic project at the moment, unless I can combine it with more abstract lines or add make it more painting-like.
I might accept doing a mandala, if it’s just a simple, clear mandala with lines, no extra elements like lotus flowers, symbols, letters and only if I can have a lot of creative freedom with it.
Q: I like a tattoo you already did, can I tattoo it as well?
The designs that I have made specifically for my clients or flash designs that my clients picked are meant only for them and I will not tattoo the same design again.
I am happy to make a drawing inspired by another design, to make something similar, but still unique.
Maybe you have seen that for some time I was tattooing flash designs that could be tattooed several times on several people and I’ve stopped doing that since it didn’t push my creativity and became not-so-exciting.
Q: If I can't come to you, can I tattoo one of your designs with another artist?
Most of the tattoo designs that you see on my Instagram and Website are unique, they were made specifically for only one client, so I kindly ask you to respect and honour that and not copy it or take those designs to another artist.
I can not control or guarantee the quality of another artist tattooing a design of mine. The ones that I’ve seen that were taken without my permission did not turn out well in my opinion.
Besides the technique, cleanliness of lines and body placement, I really value the connection and collaboration between my clients and I.
So at the moment I’m NOT giving permission for my designs to be tattooed by other artists and I’m not making commissioned pieces nor selling my tattoo designs.
Thank you for understanding.
Q: I want to learn to tattoo, I want to learn to draw like you, can you help me, do you teach?
I am super excited about sharing my knowledge and techniques with curious artists and I have been working on two online courses for the past 2 years.
My intention is to create a tattoo course sharing my personal techniques.
For now I’m gathering information for that, filming my work process, editing, writing the content, etc.
And I’m also creating an online course that is designed to guide beginner and more advanced artists to find their own style and stand out in the art scene.
If you would like to know more about this course, sign up here.