interview with Todirica Dumitru | Mirel Tattoo- germany 16/02/2015

Hello Todirica Dumitru! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions for our magazine. It's a great pleasure to have the chance to share some of my thoughts with you. To me, you're a great artist with some unusual vision when it comes to creating tattoo designs. Your style really sets you apart from many artists out there, just trying to get some money and get their names out... I guess the great result comes with great passion and not just hard work but as well as talent...

Let's start with some basic info about you.

Q: How old were you when you first got interested in art? What kind of art inspired you to become a tattoo artist?
A: My story is a little bit different then others... I started tattooing when I was 15, I tattooed myself with a self made machine, I liked it and I wanted to have some tattoos on me. This was 15 years ago, so in that time I never thought that this will be the road of my life. My first ,,customer’’ was a friend of mine that insisted to tattoo him something... about the result... I don’t wanna talk about hahah

Q: Having a talent is not enough, it takes lot of hard work and dedication in order to become a successful tattoo artist. How did you learn the basic skill of tattooing? Did you apprentice?
A: In the beginning I learned by myself, simply by doing tattoos, because in that time in Romania, there was no tattoo industry. I think there were 2 or 3 shops in all the country and no suppliers. So everything that I used was self-made, with sewing needles and rotary machines that my father helped me to build. After many years when this was only a hobby, I decided to apply for working in a small shop. This was my opening door for professional tattooing.

Q: As a beginner, did you afraid to put some inks on someone's skin? How was the first experience with tattooing? Do you remember?
A: The first skin I inked was mine :) and the only thing I was afraid was that my mother will catches me! :) On other person's skin I don’t remember how was the feeling, I think I was too young to realize.

Q: Looking at your portfolio, makes me wanna get tattooed right now! haha Seriously, every piece looks stunning! How long took you to get your skills on this level?
A: Thanks! I think the last 2 years helped me to reach this level, because 2 years ago. I started to work in Germany and I had more access to conventions where I had the chance to meet many artists and more open minded people.

Q: I won't say that you're good at one style, seems like you mix them all and try to make a custom piece for each client, am I right? haha Tell me more about the creative process of tattooing.
A: In this time I think it is difficult to find my own style and to come out with something new. Like I said I’m new in professional business so till now I hadn’t so much time to take a break and to focus on this. I just try to learn more and more and do my works as well as I can. The creative process of my works started to be easier after I learned to use Photoshop, that helped me so much in preparing my designs.

Q: The horror pieces are definitely my favorite. I love the fact that you pay special attention to the details. How long usually takes to finish one tattoo? Do you take some more sessions or?
A: Sometimes I prefer to finish a tattoo in one session, this means 6 or 7 hours, but many times it is better for the customer to finish in 2 or more sessions.

- Tell me about the longest session ever. haha I would love to hear about the brave client. hahah

My longest session ever was 12 hours inclusive breaks, and the customer was a girl 21- 22 years old. We stopped because I was too tired, not because of her. :)

Q: Being a tattoo artist is fun, because you meet lots of people every day. They bring up some cool, weird stories, some are even crazy, some are scared of the pain...
A: Being a tattoo artist is fun, yes, but sometimes you are a psychologist also. You have to listen their stories that are crazy, funny or sometimes sad. I think you have always interesting experiences with your customer from the beginning when you start his/her design, till you finish.

Q: Tattoo artists also travel a lot. Do you visit tattoo conventions? If so, which one left you the most memorable impression?
A: I go to many conventions and I also do guest spots. I have lots of great memories, and the most impressive ones for me were where I succeeded to win a prize. The most important thing is that you always meet other artists and every time you learn new things. The last convention was Milano this year, where I felt like in a fairytale surrounded by so many great artists, some of them legends in the industry.

Q: Doing guest spots is a fun way to spend your time aboard. Any on your schedule?
A: Guest spots were, are and will be very important for me, so I think it will be hard for me to stop doing it.

People can find me always at :
Nadelspiel - Stuttgart Germany
Nadelwerk - Wels Austria
Iron & Ink - Vejle Denmark
Kaos Tattoo – Zurich Switzerland
NH Ink – Neheim Germany
Rock N Roll – Wroclaw Poland, etc

- My readers would be definitely interested in getting in touch with you, so please add your contact info here, such as email, online profile, studio address etc.
And all the time in Mirel Tattoo – Mannheim Germany.
For contact I use Facebook and Instagram : @mireltattoo (Todirica Dumitru)

Q: Do you have any sketchbook in your studio with some ready-made designs by you, so clients can immediately choose a design or it will take some time for you to draw the final design?
A: Yes, I have already prepared designs with stuff that I wanna do, but most of my works are from designs made together with my clients.

Q: Is there anything that you most hate when it comes to tattoos and popular media?
A: I can’t say I hate the reality shows that involve tattoo shops or other stuff like this, because my opinion is that these shows have opened the mind of many persons that till these days they thought tattoos are only for outlaws. My idea is that these shows have helped the tattoo industry to develop. What I hate about these shows is that is no art involved in them and people who do this are not so professional as they seem to be.

Q: Any motivational words for the new artists?
A: I don’t know which are the best motivational words... I can say only mine:
- work, don’t stop learning, keep the feet on the ground, be humble, be thankful and dedicated to this job, never stop!

Thank you very much for this!
Todirica Dumitru (Mirel)

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