interview with Raimo Marti | Black Mirror tattoo denmark | 21/09/2016

Q: Please start by telling us something about yourself, how did you start working as a tattoo artist?
A: Hi there, My name is Raimo Marti and I work out of my own studio Black Mirror tattoo in Copenhagen Denmark. I started tattooing about a little more than 3 years ago. I have been creating art, oil paintings I particular since I was little, and even though I?ve been doing a lot of different things, the art almost always seemed like it was something that I could rely on. Both as a form of relaxation but also when times were hard financially. I am a former pro athlete ( ice hockey and later on mma ) so I never really gave education any serious though…besides I always had a hard time sitting still for long periods of time. When I quit the sports, this resulted in me jumping back and forth between a lot of different jobs having a hard time to settle and really find my passion..until i started tattooing!

First time I gave it any real thought was when I saw some tattoo show on tv. Guess I could se myself living this lifestyle, and thought that my painting, drawing skills and creativity would be an advantage in the tattoo business.

So I decided to get an apprenticeship at a local studio and they quickly opened their doors for me, since then I been working hard to become better every single day and have been working in several big studio ending up opening my own studio this year.

Q: What kind of art interested you at the beginning? Do you have any influences?
A: Painting artist has always fascinated me. The great Flemish oil painters in particular. In the tattoo business I very much influenced by the eastern style of tattooing so to speak.

Q: Tattoo realism seem to be your specialty! Every portrait tattoo is absolutely breathtaking! I love the fact that you put some extra energy on capturing the human's emotions, very detailed composition, technically, perfect shading and great use of white ink. Would you say that tattoo realism is something you most enjoy working on?
A: Thx! Yes realism tattooing is definitely my passion. To me it's the ultimate one can achieve in tattooing, being able to create a portrait that just captures the spirit of a person. It's difficult, challenging and very rewarding if you can pull it off.

Q: People always have some special reason why they want that particular person to be on their skin... Has anyone revealed their story while the tattoo session?
A: People usually have some personal reason for wanting that particular tattoo and they do like to share their thoughts and feelings during the process. Sometimes it might even be a very emotional experience for the customer when the see the final result. That's when I know I've done a great job.

Q: Some say, people are the most mysterious creatures on this planet, everyone seem like they have some hidden story unleashed, some of them are know for some deeds and so on... Are humans enough inspiring for an eternal mark?
A: Yes some human might be, if they inspire others, but I do not thing that humans are any more inspiring that animals. We are all creatures under the same sky, the spirit is a universal thing. There are dogs that have more personality and spirit than some humans and there are humans that seem to have charisma and spirit that transcends time... inspiring others long after they left this earth. Usually a portrait tattoo is more than just a's a statement.

Q: Your paintings are also breathtaking. I guess painting is your hobby and a perfect way to "escape" from the daily routine. What kind of supplies do you use?
A: Painting has always been a hobby of mine and in periods has been what kept food on my table. I still sell my paintings for the right price. It is also the engine behind my tattooing. I primarily use oil colors on canvas. Sometimes I like to use charcoal and graphite creating hyper realistic drawings, this is very time-consuming though and sadly we only have 24 hours a day :)

Q: Located in beautiful Copenhagen, I can only imagine how much Denmark is inspiring as well as the Danish culture. Tell me a bit about the tattoo lifestyle in Denmark.
A: The tattoo scene in Denmark is very old, dating back to the sailor getting inked at Nyhavn (Old harbour district in the old part of Copenhagen) when they hit the shore back in the days. As a result traditional tattoos are still very much the biggest focus here in Denmark. People are starting to open their eyes to the realistic style of tattooing though. This is not something that I pay to much attention to since I primarily fair on the international scene and 70 pct of my clients travel to my studio from abroad. The people who get tattooed range from the age of 20-50 and many of my customers come to me to get their very first tattoo. I guess this shows that people are opening up to the fact that great tattoos are truly a piece of art being created by artist taking great pride in perfecting their craft. Just like any other good craftsman in their respective field.

My studio adress is Viborggade 23. 2100 Copenhagen. Black Mirror Tattoo.

Q: Having the talent you have, I bet you're always booked, what's the procedure of getting an appointment?
A: I'm booked pretty far ahead yes. But I still try to keep my calendar manageable and not overwork myself. If people wanna book a session with me they should write to me on my official mail Here I need some basic info on the tattoo and placement before we take the process further.

Q: What's the biggest mistake when it comes to art progress?
A: The biggest mistake is with out question biting off more that you can chew. It's important to work hard, being critical with oneself and having a lot of patience. I think it's a shame when you see an artist starting something out of ambition only to realize that the skill level doesn't match midway in the process. The result will be something that looks like it is rushed. Art has no time limit, and especially not tattoos. If an artist feel like they are being pushed by the client timeframe/economy its important to lay down the rules and how the process work before starting in order to work freely and avoid any misunderstandings.

Q: Some of your plans for the near feature?
A: My plans for the future. Travel a lot more to conventions, guest spots etc. Just to get a lot more input and inspiration and become better. Then in the future I will expand my studio here in Copenhagen or maybe even bring my family with me to California to start a studio there. I have a huge fan base in Cali and the weather is warm and sunny!