E: What kind of people come to you?

Tom: All kind of people. It used to be rockers, skins, punks and a lot of nice characters and brave hearts. Now it´s businessmen and women sometimes in high positions as well. For me it’s a nice change of pace now that almost half of my clients are women. Many housewives and young mothers, too.

E: So the circle of people who are getting tattoos has changed? You even have some real fans of your skin-art. And it is getting more and more popular.

Tom: That’s for sure. I like that people are hearing about me by talking from mouth to mouth, just like in the old days. I do almost no advertising. Of course, If you do bad work, word gets around just as quickly. I find thats more honest.

E: What do you think about cover-ups?

Tom: I’m a specialist in doing cover-ups. In all these years I’ve repaired and changed countless tattoos. It makes me happy every time again if I see a satisfied lucky when I’m finished. Who likes to walk around for all life with some messed-up junk on the body? The art of cover-ups is to do them without making them too dark.

E: What kind of cover-ups do you do?

Tom: Mostly own ideas. The problem is, everybody seems to think that he or she has to be an artist. They go out and buy a machine and mess up people who themselves are inexperienced with any tattoos. It´s horrible sometimes.

E: Does the health department control the tattoo studios in Germany?

Tom: As soon as you register your studio, the health department visits you automatically. But the real problem are the beginners who think they can draw alright and think that’s all they need to be a tattooist. The results are the people that come to me for cover-ups. For example there was this woman who wants notes done. The guy took a copy of the notes and transmitted it on her skin sideinvert. She didn’t notice it until it was too late. Later she came to me and had it redone. So much for that topic.