My name is Raphaela, I’m 27 years old and I live in the south of Germany.
I’m a social pedagogue and I work with mentally ill people. In 2014 I married the love of my life, we are together since almost nine years now and we have two adorable cats. My two passions are travelling and tattoos.
What drew your attention to tattoo art?
I think there was no special situation or particular moment, but since my childhood I have always been fascinated by tattooed skin. I always loved the idea of having art on my body, using my skin as a canvas.
Tell me about your first and your latest tattoo experience.
I got my first tattoo (the fawn on my right foot) in 2012, when I was 23. I wanted to be sure that I was going to choose a really good tattooer, so I browsed through the internet a lot and I compared many different artists. I finally decided that Susanne König was the right one for me and since then she knows she won’t get rid of me anymore 😉 She is also doing my full sleeve, which is still in progress.
My latest tattoo is the grey parrot with pomegranates on my left knee. I got it done in August by Lorena Morato. It was my third tattoo by her, I really admire her work, she’s so talented! But getting your knee done is really awful!!
Which artists did you get tattooed by?
I got tattooed by Susanne König (7 tattoos on my legs and my fullsleeve), Eva Schatz (11 tattoos), Lorena Morato (3 tattoos), Guen Douglas (2 tattoos), Angelique Houtkamp (2 tattoos), and 1 tattoo by each of these great tattooers: Tiny Miss Becca, Cassandra Frances, Amy Savage, Toby Gawler and Kevin Berger.
What’s it like to be a heavily tattooed person?
I guess I will never get used to being stared at, people pointing a finger at me or whispering about me. When I travelled through Vietnam and Cambodia last year it was really extreme! People took photos of me every day, mostly without asking for permission. Often they also touched me. But an elderly woman exceeded everything: she spat in her hands and tried to rub off my tattoos.
There are also many nice experiences!
Total strangers speak to me at the train station, at the supermarket, at the hand luggage control…to compliment me. That’s just great!
I also have to say that my tattoos make me feel more comfortable in my skin and I’ve become way more self-confident!
Do your parents and family appreciate your tattoos?
No, not really! Especially my mom…she never gets tired of telling me that I’m defacing my body.
Fortunately my husband loves tattoos and he understands my addiction. But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what other people think, because it’s my body and my choice.
What do you think about nowadays tattoo society?
I think it’s amazing to see so many awesome female tattooers and so many tattooed women! It’s also amazing to have a high-class tattoo magazine that embraces female tattoo culture between all the other magazines that sexualize tattooed women. The society’s view of tattoos is changing, but I think there is still a long way to go…
Would you define yourself as a tattoo collector?
Yes, absolutely! It’s my passion and a honour to collect tattoos by different amazing artists on my body. I love to browse through Instagram and discover new tattooers from all over the world, read my favourite tattoo magazine “Things&Ink”, develop new tattoo ideas, make appointments and travel plans.
Tell me more about your life and tattoo choices. Do you also have some vegan themed tattoos?
My tattoo choices? Well, I love animals, so I got a lot of animal tattoos: a fawn, a hare, a deer, a fennec, a hazel dormouse, a horse, butterflies, a sloth, a pig, a cat, different birds, a squirrel, a flamingo, a grey parrot and a stag beetle. I love to drink tea, so Guen tattooed me a beautiful tea cup. I love to travel, so I got the world map in an anatomical heart. I love Matryoshka nesting dolls, so I got one tattooed. I love field flowers, so Cassandra Frances tattooed me a bouquet of field flowers. Oh, and I could not live without donuts, so I got a donut tattoo of course!!
Yes, I also have a vegan themed tattoo. Apart from all my animal tattoos, I’ve got a carrot tattoo with the word “vegan” in it, on my shin. I got it by Eva Schatz who is, besides an amazing woman and artist, also a vegan.
Is there a special and meaningful tattoo you would like to talk about?
Yes, indeed! It’s one of my smallest tattoos: the “love till death” symbol on my Achilles’ heel that I got from Kevin Berger.
He tattooed this symbol (a heart, a diagonal slash and a skull) dozens of times, but to me it’s special because my husband decided to get the same one as his first tattoo (at a time when he wasn’t sure about getting tattooed at all!).
Who are your favourite artists?
All the artists I got tattooed by, of course! And many more: Sophia Baughan, Jeff Small, Emily Rose Murray, Alix Ge, Max Rathbone, Jake Danielson and so many more.