interview with Myra Brodsky | Black Mirror Parlor | Berlin 20/10/2015

Hello Myra Brodsky! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our magazine.

Q: What made you to become a tattoo artist? Did you feel inspired by someone?
A: When I was 19 I got to meet my friend Sonja who was actually starting to tattoo professionally at that time. We hung out together and soon she offered me to teach me all about tattooing she already knew. It began as a harmless random hobby but soon we tattooed each other and she was borrowing all the material and all the gear I needed to move on. I still remember we spent a lot of time together practicing and learning from each other, both tattooing and drawing.

Q: Tattooing is not an easy job, being talented is not enough, actually it takes a lot more than just have some drawing skills. How did you learn the basic skills of tattooing? Did you apprentice?
A: Well I can tell that I already had a lot of artistic skills to offer. But I never took a proper apprenticeship. It was totally impossible to learn tattooing as a girl in a city like Berlin at that point. So I decided to practice on my own body. I also tattooed a few people I knew from university in my own flat.

Q: There are lots of tattoo styles nowadays, but I like the fact that you seem to be specialized in one particular. Reminds me a bit of the old school-traditional style, how would you describe it?
A: I wish I could put a proper name on my style. I only can tell that it's somewhere between all the great eras that always inspire me, such as the baroque, the Victorian age or the art nouveau, combined with a touch of modern taste. There are a few elements from new realism and a few American traditional details I love to use quite often.

Q: You love color tattooing, do you have any special reason? Do you find color tattoos as a bit more challenging?
A: I find colored tattoos more elaborate. As a tattoo artist, I always want to give people something they would always love and never regret. I find it a wonderful idea to give them extensive colorful motives which are inspired by all the great eras I use as a reference. I'm convinced they will be happy to watch themselves in the mirror forever. I also chose to use quite the same color palette on several tattoos so people can always recognize it's done by me.

Q: Being a tattoo artist means being creative every day. How do you get inspired, especially during a busy schedule?
A: For me it's quite easy to focus on my work and forget everything around me. I am alone, I don't have any people in my life distracting me from what I do, I barely go out at night and I don't need to eat much. I am very disciplined when it comes to work. Moreover drawing and tattooing gives me so much more than every interpersonal contact.

Q: You look so beautiful, I guess some potential clients are overwhelmed by your appearance, not just your work. haha What are some of the funniest experiences with the customers. :)) No namesss ;)
A: Thank you, I feel flattered. But I am a bluff package. I need tons of make up and artificial hair to look like the Myra from the photographs. Anyway I never really had any clients who were personally interested in me and wanted to take me out. I never made those kind of experiences. Too bad, right? (haha)

- Speaking of experiences, sometimes... While a long tattoo session, people can get more open with their tattoo artist, they tell their life stories... Have you ever heard some life-meaning story from a client, maybe something you learned about life, while tattooing?
I heard a lot of breathtaking, smashing stories which were actually beyond belief. Especially during the longer sessions on full backs and full arms. I love listening to other people stories and also to their problems and everything that concerns them. Since I don't see many people in my spare time this really replaces all the interpersonal contact I need.

There was a time span of 2 months when I had a few new female clients. And each one of them had the same story to tell. They all were together with the man of their dreams, empathetic, good-looking, highly-skilled, simply a perfect Mr. Darcy. But all of a sudden a new man popped into their lives. A guy they never thought they could like or love. But it all came together and they soon all cheated on poor Mr. Darcy. It still scares me a little when I think of that time. Like fate wanted to teach me something about life it did not know yet...

Q: Where are you located now?
A: I now work at the Black Mirror Parlor in Berlin Kreuzberg.
Fichtestra?e 25
10967 Berlin

- What is the procedure of getting an appointment?
I prefer getting inquiries via mail. ( )
I can always offer you a consultation call and we can talk about different ideas and designs. I also can show you designs from my flash book.

Q: You can proudly announce your first tattoo book “Myra Brodsky Tattoos”, coming very soon. How did you come up with this idea? Any special features, including your personal stories etc. Give me more info about this project.
A: Well, as far as I am a big fan of printed media I always had the wish to publish my own book. You can see that my work is re-blogged far and wide all over the internet. There's a lot of paintings and tattoos you can see on instagram, on facebook or on my official website. But unfortunately there's only low-resolved pictures. I wanted to the people something they can touch and hold in their hands. Something they can keep in their bookshelf among many other art-related books. I just like to see people getting inspired by all the things I create and I love to see that the magic of printed media still remains.

Q: Berlin is (with no doubt) one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, with lot of fashion, art and style. You're also doing a solo exhibition during the fashion week. Now tell me more about this. Sounds very exciting!
- Usually tattoo artists are very busy in their studio, working non-stop, they don't have time for any other stuffs than just tattooing, and now look at you, getting even in the fashion industry! I love the fact that bringing tattoo art in those fields is super exciting and something new, like unusual as well as great representation of something different and personal. Love it! What are your thoughts on this? Would you say that tattoos need to be represented more on various occasions? What kind of reactions from the audience do you expect?

A: Oh yeah, isn't it a beautiful thing to have many other interests besides tattooing? I couldn't think of a time when I was not interested in all the things that are and were happening in this world. I have a lot of role models from all kinds of genres and I still look up to them. The fashion industry always had a special meaning for me. I know a lot about costume history and I admire people like Diana Vreeland who had the honor to experience the fashion of every single decade of the last century. I still wish I could be her. But my time is now and so I have to use the media which are given at that point. I always had a specific idea of how I wanted to look like. You know style always wins out in the end. Never underestimate the power of fashion! I really want my tattoo style and the way I dress myself to go together. I gives me a lot of satisfaction to combine those two important things. If I could just live for 100 or 200 more years I would even start more projects.

Q: Having a creative mind is a blast. What are some of your plans for the near feature? Would you experiment with different type of work?
A: I promised myself to never be shy of starting something new. Anything that seems attractive to me could be my new project. I will always come up with new ideas...

Q: The most rewarding aspect of your work?
A: You may well ask! I feel lucky to have the privilege to never finish learning. I learn from the research I have to do every day, from all the great clients I get to know who tell me their stories or from travelling to many different countries as a guest artist. All these things truly satisfy me.

Q: What would you recommend to a beginner?
A: I can only recommend you to keep your eyes wide open. Whatever you see and whatever you experience just soak up all the things which might interest you and turn them into art.