My name is Maria Berggren. I’m 31 years old and I live in the middle of Sweden. I’m an assistant nurse, and I love it! Working with people with special needs make me feel like I’m doing something really meaningful with my life. I have a big family that means everything for me. My boyfriend is Henry, we have been over 6 years together, we share the love of traveling, art and good food!
What first drew your attention to tattoo art?
When I was about 12 years old my big brother brought home some tattoo magazines, I fell head over heals in love! I remember that the first one I wanted was a big blue killer demon. After 6 long years of waiting I finally got my first one when I was 18. It is a small rose on my ankle. I was hooked!
Tell me about your first tattoo and your last tattoo project.
Right now I’m working on a cover-up on my upper left arm. We are doing roses and crows, the tattoo artist is Marcus Holmberg at Ekersgatan13 in Örebro. I absolutely love his work and he has done several of my tattoos. I’m already thinking of what I want him to do after the arm is finished (a wolf on my right arm).
How is the tattoo community seen in Sweden?
Tattoos in Sweden are very popular, lots of conventions, lots of tattoo shows on tv, all the ink masters (we even had our own Swedish version) LA ink, Miami ink, can’t even name them all!
I live in Örebro (translated as Pennybridge) and I’ve heard that this is the city with most tattoo shops per capita in Sweden. People of all stages in life have tattoos here.
Sometimes you can still meet people with preconceptions, especially in my line of work, but I enjoy proving them wrong 😉
Which artists did you get tattooed by?
Well… Guen Douglas made the rose on my hand. Henry made the rose on my neck, the baby skull on my right arm and the big piece on my left thigh.
David Lindgren at Waterproof Tattoos in Örebro was my go to guy for years, new school style.
Marcus Holmberg at Ekersgatan13 made a lot of my tattoos, and he is still the guy I go to, I’m in love with everything he does.
Henrik Gallon at Gallon Tattoo in Stockholm tattooed the back of my legs, I really love his unique style.
Daniel at Crooked Moon Tattoo made my -love kills- (in Swedish) lettering tattoo.
I’ve got some lyrics on my stomach, ‘mommy, daddy and heavy metal’ (always in Swedish). Henry’s coworkers at Big Slick Tattoos in Örebro, Gaby And Mogge, made them.
You are a great tattoo collector but you also love collecting fabulous rings and jewels, as we can see from your Instagram. What is your own concept of beauty?
For me beauty is the uniqueness, a personal factor or in those hidden details. But most of all it’s about the imperfections. Nobody and nothing is perfect and we shouldn’t strive for it either.
What’s it like to be in a relationship with a tattoo artist? Did he help you with your own tattoo decisions? Did he ever tattoo you (if yes, what)?
Well, it’s different haha. His passion is his job, so it takes up a lot of his time. He draws all of the sketches before he tattoos them, I don’t think people realize how much work goes in to every tattoo and the pressure to always be creative, to always come up with new designs, to stay on top of your game. He travels a lot, both to conventions and to guest spot at other tattoo shops. Sometimes I travel with him, so it’s a lot of fun! I’ve met some amazing people along the road. But it also means that he is away, a lot. He had only been tattooing for a year when we met, I love to see him grow and evolve. I’m so proud of him.
Actually he never says anything when I’m getting a new tattoo, I have to drag it out of him haha. The only thing he has ever said to me is that he doesn’t want me to get any tattoos on my face.
He has done some of my tattoos, and even if he mostly does black and grey realistic style, I’ve got some colors 🙂 He did the rose on my neck, the baby skull/roses on my right forearm and my left thigh.
Did tattoos enhance the love for your body?
I’ve made the decision to alter my body after my love for it, I have “shaped” it after what I find beautiful, so in some ways, yes, it has enhanced the love for my body.
What do you think about nowadays tattoo society?
I love the fact that now when it’s so many tattoo artists around and (almost) everyone got their own style. You aren’t kind of good at everything, you are really good at one thing. I love that.
You know, I think it’s an exciting time for the tattoo society, everything is evolving.