Artists: Mario Hartmann
Illustration in Skin
10115 Berlin, Germany
What year did you start tattooing?
I gained my first tattooing experience in 2007 and became a professional in 2008.
How did you get into tattooing?
Like probably most artists, I fell in love with the art when I had the first color added to my body. From that
moment on, I could not think of anything but tattoos anymore.
Where did you apprentice?
I started off as a shopkeeper in a small studio in Berlin. My mentor is Robby Welke; he did some work on me and we started chatting away. He gave me helpful pieces of advice and one day asked me whether I wanted to work with him—a dream came true!
Have you gone through any special tattoo training?
I do not have any special training, but all my life I have been into arts, graffiti, airbrush etc., and before becoming a tattooist, I had the pleasure of professional education as a craftsman painter and varnisher. Before
taking up my dream job in 2008, I worked as airport security staff for couple of years, but this rather noncreative, dull work never filled me with any joy. My passion always lay in
What conventions have you worked at? Have you won any awards?
The largest conventions I have yet been to are certainly Milan and Frankfurt, plus I did work at some smaller ones in Germany. I did win some awards, and of course it is nice if your work is honored by such—but in the end, winning awards is not really important to me. I am happy when my clients like the tattoos I did on them. That is all the appreciation I need.
How do you describe your style?
Color realistic is what I love most and do best.
What inspires you as an artist?
A combination of many movies and other artists.
What other media do you enjoy working in?
I still do graffiti, canvas paintings, and paper drawings.
What tattoo artists do you admire most?
Boris from Hungary, with whom I even had the chance to work together. Nobody masters colors like he does!
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
My favorite kind of work is realistic portraits, preferably in color. I just find it amazing how color gives you the opportunity to emphasize details and bring the picture to life.
Is there anyone you would like to tattoo?
I have already worked on Robby and Boris—we will see who knocks on my door next!
Before someone gets a tattoo, what advice do you give them?
“Don’t make the tattoo too small!” I want my clients to enjoy their tattoos for years on end, so we don’t want it to get blurry at some point just because it contains too much detail in too little space, right?
Is there a tattoo that you haven’t done yet that you are dying to do?
Many, many full-size back tattoos.