Jessica Mach, article and photo gallery in Tattoo.1 Tribal #65
Find Jessica Mach tattoos, visit the tattoo gallery
How long have you been doing this work?
I started tattooing about three years ago.
I have my own shop in Berlin now, together with Peter Aurisch. The name of the shop is Nevada Johnny.
Who taught you?
I learned mostly by myself.
Are there any tattoo artists that you consider as your mentors or major influences?
There are a lot of great tattoo artists all over the world, but it’s important to create your own style and take ideas from everything around you instead of copying other colleagues.
You can learn a lot by watching other tattooists while they work – that improves your own technical skills. That’s why I had a great time working at AKA Berlin as a resident for two years.
I got to know a lot of individual tattoo artists from all over the world, everybody with his unique special style and way of tattooing. Having a big network in the world of skin art is the best way not to get stuck at just one level, it’s the best to reach a higher and higher level.
And also for getting invited to great tattoo shops in other countries, where you can tattoo very different customers too. By the way, customers can also teach you a lot
The most important thing is to keep alive some old and basic rules for creating works on skin, so they stay pretty for a long time. For example a good and balanced contrast with bright and dark colours or using a bold outline for the most important parts of the picture is what I find necessary.
What inspires your art?
There is at first my love for all that is given by mother nature, I mean all the animals on the planet with all the art in their ways of living. Everything that grows out of the ground, the weather… And another point is the way you look at things when you go out for a walk in the city where you live.
Living in Berlin is sometimes more than inspiring. All the interesting people, buildings, street art, the whole feeling makes my brain create ideas nearly by itself.
Can you briefly describe your technique?
The most mentionable thing about my technique is the way I do the design I think. It can arise in many different ways. I use all the materials I find in my workroom; all kind of pencils, brushes, spraycans, scraps of paper, my computer, my own photographs, even the rest of the coffee in my cup.
The picture grows in the process, most of the time I don’t have a complete picture in my head before. I always try not to stop myself by thinking too much about what I do, I do it intuitively. Like others maybe love to work with the science of machines, building them or using only special stuff, I have my passion totally in the creation process.
What relationship is there between your art of painting and tattooing?
After this procedure I only ‘copy’ myself by doing the design again on someone’s skin. I can totally concentrate on the handcraft of tattooing. I learned to draw in a tattooable way, so most of the time I think already how I will tattoo the piece when I do the flash. I can use the needle like a brush or a thin pen
I want parts of the tattoo to look like I worked directly on the skin without preparing anything.
How much does the person who asks for the tattoo influence your creation?
A lot, in most cases. I want the customer to work his head a little bit for something that will always be visual part of himself. So I try to figure out the character of the person, the feelings they want to put into the tattoo. One customer has a story to tell or a personal background, another one just wants to get a nice piece of art. I like both kinds of reason.
What was the first tattoo you created?
It was a panther’s head on my father’s upper arm.
And what was the first that you got on your own skin?
I was 14 years old and I got one of those ugly baby-devil-designs from the 80s
What are you working on now?
Currently I’ve started to cooperate with Peter Aurisch, we do designs together and tattoo them also together on the same customer. We had a lot of emails, where people wrote us that they would love to get a tattoo done created by both of us. We thought it was a good idea
What is your philosophy?
Not all the tattoos you get in your life will you love forever, as much as you did in the moment you got them done. But tattoos have a special talent; tattoos are like scars, they remind us, that the past was once reality
Jessica Mach – Nevada Johnny