Home Tattoo talk Tattoo Talk with Sebastian Domaschke: My beginnings were loud, shrill and disrespectful

Tattoo Talk with Sebastian Domaschke: My beginnings were loud, shrill and disrespectful

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Dieser Beitrag ist auch verfügbar auf: German

Von Mimi Erhardt

Sebastian Domaschke is something like my trusted tattooist. I let him tattoo my throat, hands, shoulders, thighs, a knee, parts of my shin and calf, my butt cheeks and the back of my thighs is currently in progress. Sebastian was born in 1979, according to his own statement born in the plattenbau ghetto of Cottbus. The father of two teenage daughters lives with his wife in Berlin-Friedrichshain and likes to relax on forest walks, doing Ecstatic Dance and Contact Improvisation, in the sauna and by reading and painting. His fans recognize his characteristic works from afar. Seeing him warms my heart. Sebastian has become a good friend of mine and is part of my Berlin tattoo family. Time to get that boy onto the KinKats’ Tattoo Talk.

Hi Sebastian. You’re something like a silent star of the Berlin tattoo scene. I always have the feeling that you refrain from advertising your work, yet everybody knows you. One time, somebody even approached me in the Ringbahn asking whether my throat tattoos are made by you. How do you perceive yourself?

Sebastian Domaschke: “Reactions like these are true appreciation for me. Better than hearts and clicks on social media. The connections between people are a beautiful side effect.
After 20 years of tattooing, I’m starting to perceive myself as a senior. Which is reinforced by my current one-on-one Tattoo Mentoring Offer. It’s fulfilling to help younger tattooists with my experience. At the same time, there is some fear of not being in the zeitgeist anymore and to sink into occupational irrelevance.”

Sebastian Domaschke
Ein Backpiece von Sebastian Domaschke

Please describe your tattoo style and if you want, the way it has changed over the years. How were your beginnings as a tattooist?

Sebastian Domaschke: “My stylistic beginnings were loud, shrill, wild, disrespectful, innovative and each tattoo consisted of at least 20 colours and effects. Somewhere on Facebook, there’s a folder with old tattoos of mine. Throughout the years, my works have gained substantial depth, the designs have become simpler, straight, calm and also tidier.”

Were you afraid before doing your first tattoo?

Sebastian Domaschke: “I wasn’t afraid because my first client was my friend Kevin. But my two trainers Lutz Lehmann and Matthias Boettcher were with us and celebrating, which didn’t really ease my nerves.”

How did your first tries look?

Sebastian Domaschke: “Measly. The lines were thin and shaky, and they took an eternity. I had to redo the entire tattoo. But now the anchor looks quite good.”

Der Berliner Tätowierer Sebastian Domaschke
Der Berliner Tätowierer Sebastian Domaschke

Today, your name stands for holistic tattoos. What does that mean – for you and your clients?

Sebastian Domaschke: Holistic tattoos are about the idea of investigating and practicing the depths of tattooing. My aim is to experience all the parts of this ritual with my opposite and bring consciousness to all the subconscious or hidden aspects. For me personally, it means to prepare my work and the room which I’m offering as a host as best as possible. When I’m well prepared and free from unnecessary stress and tension, I have the capacity to fully perceive and dive into my opposite and their needs. My goal is to bring the challenging, painful process into balance with counterweight. This counterweight consists of mindfulness, empathy, and a pleasant and safe environment. From my clients, I need reliability, openness, and their presence for that. The more they bring of these things, the bigger becomes the mutual experience.”

Looking at your work, I get the feeling that you like to subordinate it to a theme. In my earlier tattoos by you, it was horoscopes, later tarot, my current tattoos are dedicated to the topic of Greek mythology. Why these emphases? And would you tattoo me something without any connection to a theme, for example a fork or a soccer ball?

Sebastian Domaschke:“A fork, yes. A soccer ball, no. I always need to have a personal connection to the topic, or else I can’t begin with my part of the shared artistic process. Nutrition is interesting to me; soccer is outside of my perception. The areas of investigation for which I’m burning always change. Now, it’s actually tarot and mythology. These subjects are tools to understand and describe myself and my fellows better. But if somebody knows themselves well and can just talk about that, I don’t necessarily need these tools.”

Der Berliner Tätowierer Sebastian Domaschke hat seinen ganz eigenen Stil gefunden
Der Berliner Tätowierer Sebastian Domaschke hat seinen ganz eigenen Stil gefunden

What makes you unique as a human being?

Sebastian Domaschke: “My karma, which I carry with me and work off.”

My older tattoos by you are really colourful, but a few years ago you swore off using certain colours like red. Today, your characteristic colour palette consists of earth tones, very natural. How did that change take place? And why especially have you stopped using red?

Sebastian Domaschke: “That surely comes from my pursuit of tranquilness. Brown and ochre are the colours closest to the skin tone. I can make colourful tattoos with these which at the same time are calm and withdrawn. Black or black-grey tattoos are only for people who already have or want a colourful collection. Red seems very aggressive and exciting to me, it’s the colour of blood, passion, and fight. That’s the exact opposite of what I’m striving for in life and of what I want to mirror in my work.”

You’ve got a podcast together with Polly Rausch „Augen zu und durch“. Why should I listen to it?

Sebastian Domaschke: “You should listen to it if you’re interested in the life and growth of artists. If you’d like to get tattooed, it’s a great opportunity to get to know a female or male tattooist before arranging an appointment. You can look at the works of artists in Instagram, but the question if the human being behind the art really is a good fit for you can be better answered in our podcast. If you’re a tattooist yourself, there are tips and important background information that will improve your work and accelerate and alleviate your professional advancement. And all that for free. It’s my way of giving something back to the tattoo world, because back in the day, I took a lot from it.”

Der Berliner Tätowierer Sebastian Domaschke hat seinen ganz eigenen Stil gefunden
Der Berliner Tätowierer setzt auf natürliche, erdige Farben und – unter anderem – Motive aus der Welt des Tarots oder der Mythologie

What’s important to you during sessions with your clients?

Sebastian Domaschke: “Reliability. Since I’m not really a spontaneous person, I prefer to plan and prepare everything calmly and upfront. I think in general, a calm, connecting, productive togetherness in good atmosphere is important to me.”

Do you sometimes refuse requests if you can’t agree on something or if you don’t like the client’s plans?

Sebastian Domaschke: “Yes. But before that, I always offer alternatives, and if we don’t find a common ground, I put them in contact with other colleagues.”

Do you have any tattoo plans for yourself?

Sebastian Domaschke: “Yes, I want to complete my bodysuit. The most beautiful parts are still missing. Stomach, ribs, and armpits. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Do you feel more secure with tattoos? You once told me that many people who are heavily tattooed perceive it as a type of protection. You too?

Sebastian Domaschke: “It used to be an important tool for the differentiation from and assertion towards other people. Today, I receive confidence from within myself. Body psychotherapy, meditation, yoga and breath work are the techniques which helped me with that in the last years. Tattoos were my first tool.”

Der Berliner Tätowierer Sebastian Domaschke hat seinen ganz eigenen Stil gefunden
Ein Herz für Tätowierungen

If your life would be a nineties’ high school movie – which role would be yours?

Sebastian Domaschke: “In no way one of the leaders or the athlete. So probably a healthy mix of cute cheerleader, outlaw, and nerd.”

Sebastian Domaschke auf Instagram.

Hier geht es zu seinem Podcast „Augen zu und durch“.