This is Jesper, been a tattoo artist since 2004
and still love to make tattoos.
If you are a fan of horror movies and dark music, we think you will be a fan of him.
Where are you from?
I’m pretty much born and raised here in Stockholm, my dad used to live just a few blocks from my shop, my first apartment when I moved out was on the same block as Stockholm Classic etc. I grew up in these streets. Only time I spent away from Stockholm was when I lived in Sundsvall for 4 years but let’s not talk about that haha!
How long have you been tattooing? And how did you get started? Did you have a mentor?
I got into this, like most of us, from just getting a lot of tattoos. This was in the late 90’s and I started to hang around the legendary East Street Tattoo, getting tattooed by Matti (Senju Horimatsu) and before I knew it I was working there as shop assistant. I started my apprenticeship in January 2004 so I’ve been tattooing now for.. 13 years. I did indeed have a mentor, a great one: Hans “Isak” Isaksson, East Street Tattoos owner and founder, still one of my best friends. I stayed at East Street Tattoo for 10 years (!) before i moved on.
Do you have a special style of tattoos that you like too do? And are they called something?
As a street shop tattooer I was encouraged to be versatile and to be able to do pretty much everything. For about a decade I did mostly old school stuff but that progressed into something more minimalistic over time. I was struggling to find ways to simplify everything, using less color etc… Eventually I gave up color almost completely and these days I do black tattoos. I guess you’d call it “Blackwork” or “Black traditional”? I don’t care too much about labels though…
What is your best memory from being a tattoo artist?
It’s every day man!! 13 years in and I feel I’ve only just gotten started! And these days, shit…. Tattooing still feels more fun, more important, more rewarding and more interesting every day I’m at work! Every day is full of new best memories.
What’s your worst?
Hmmmmm…. Tattooing is so hard. When I got started, for years every tattoo was a struggle. I really mean it. It was hard labor, and I was only happy with maybe one tattoo out of ten. That feeling, the feeling of not really knowing what you were doing, constant fear of fucking up and falling asleep every night thinking “I suck”- it really was like that for at least the first 4 years. But it needs to be like that though. Still does occasionally, but not very often these days. But it’s the only way you’ll get better.
Do you have any favorite tattoo convention in Sweden?
I’m not a big fan of conventions, but Stockholm Ink bash always used to be a lot of fun! And Mardo’s Tattoo Meltdown in Trollhättan!
Do you have any tattoo artists that you look up too?
I don’t look up to people, I look up to talent. But yes of course! But really, these days there are too many to mention…. I follow about 700 really great tattooers on Instagram and I find new ones every day… there are so many amazing tattooers around these days. it’s inspiring!
is there any Swedish tattoo artist you would like me too interview?
I can’t promise you he’ll do an interview but: John Green. That guy… He is so good it’s not even funny! Hands down my favorite swedish tattoo artist.
Where do you get your creativity from?
Drugs of course! Haha no…. I don’t know man, it’s just there. Most of the time… I’ve come to realize lately that I’ve always been very inspired by cartoons. Still is a big source of inspiration. And pornography of course!! Occultism, horror movies and above else: MUSIC! Music is the lube of creativity.
If your style was a band what would it be called? And what kind of music would it play?
I can’t think of a super smart band name right now… Probably “Fast and painless”- just like my tattooing! It would be slow and heavy as fuck! Real doom.
What would you say is some do’s and don’ts in the studio?
It’s really simple really.
Do’s: just be nice, that’ll take you a long way. Be polite and nice. Pay attention. And bring your dogs!!!
Don’ts: There are so many things you don’t do at a tattoo shop that people do all the time: Don’t be talking on your phone real loud, don’t bring all your friends to take up the whole shop, don’t think you know every fucking thing about tattooing just because you saw an episode of Ink Master on TV etc… Have some sense. Don’t be a dick is what it all comes down to: Be nice, don’t be a dick. and don’t EVER complain about the music hahaha!
Whats the best of being a tattoo artist?
Everything!!! It’s a great privilege to me to be able to make my living doing what I love the most- that, right there, is the dream! And the bonus is you’re making people happy!! Sure, some clients are morons, and some just aren’t nice- but they all leave the shop happy! You’ve made their day! And every day is like that! it just beautiful.
Thank you for being apart of the Swedish tattoo society.
Bondegatan 82 – Stockholm