On the other side of my head, I have a card of spades with the number six six six in it. And then, there’s a burning woman’s hand and a text Nothing is over. It’s my own metaphor for remembering that nothing is over unless you decide it’s over. Don’t do anything stupid, focus on what you love to do. As long as you want to do it, it’s not over. You can decide. I think people who shoot or kill themselves, the game is over for them. You must live fully and try to enjoy. This head tattoo is one of my favourite ones, its location and how it shows… The whole combo is just perfect. The tattoo wouldn’t fit anywhere else than this spot.
I have a text Hated and Proud on my collarbones. I have never experienced that there would be something wrong on how I look, I’ve always been taught at home that we are all equal and all the same. My parents are entrepreneurs and we moved a lot when I was little, and I went to fourteen different elementary schools, in nine classes. In every school I always faced the same problem: other kids bullied me and called me by names.
It was an odd thing, it happened in every school. “Fuck, you are an ugly looking guy”, or something like that. I don’t know where that came from, I never thought I was somehow ugly or weird looking. When I graduated as a car painter at the age of eighteen, I took a memorial tattoo for my younger years to the collarbone: Hated and Proud. Nowadays when I see the same guys and girls who used to come to tell me how ugly I was, they are suddenly scared of me. They come to shake my hand and try to offer me a beer, they ask me not to hit them and say how big I am nowadays and everything like this.
You have to be proud of yourself. I’m really an outspoken person and I do my things in my own way. If I want to do something, I do it as I want to do it. You get loads of shit when you say your opinions out loud and straight, even in a country like Finland. So like that, I feel hated but proud. Not everyone can like you.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be more like a robber than police, and I guess the roots of this thought came from my father’s friend. He was a member of a motorcycle club and he had old prison tattoos, arms full of them, neck and everything. I thought those tattoos were fucking awesome. I got my first tattoo to the upper part of my back when I got a permission from my parents at the age of seventeen. I promised them I would never take tattoos to my neck, face or fingers, so they were fine with that. But when my arm was ready, I thought, fuck, let’s do everything. No mercy anymore. When I turned eighteen I had my right hand filled, tattoos on both of my chest muscles, both eye corners and my cheekbones, both sides of my neck, fingers, both back of my hands and a little bit of my legs. Yes, when I was eighteen.
Then I had tattoos on my face and on my arms, all from different tattooists. It looked pretty messy and the only options were either laser or brutally cover up everything with new ones. My arms, chest, throat and face are all cover ups. It took two years to hide all the old tattoos.
Some of the cover ups
When I was younger, I was a little bit of a hooligan and used to fight a lot in bars because of that. So that’s where I had the idea for this Pinhead from the movie Hellraiser. In the second movie, one guy goes to the hell and the Pinhead just stares at him in his leather outfit and says: “Do I look like someone who cares what God thinks?”. So, I have the same thing, haha.
Then I have this Count Dracula, Christopher Lee. I was around twenty years old when they had to reset my heartbeat, they stopped it and restarted it again. Later, I thought about the exact feeling that I got in those frightening horror moments. What represents horror the most? I see Dracula as a symbol. In the hospital, everything was started from the zero and they restored the man back to the living.
Of course I had to get a little memory of it. The Dracula’s face is like he’s about to get hit by a car, and I had the same face when I was in the operating room. They put red things on my chest and said “we are going to put some electricity on you, but don’t worry, you will be asleep and it doesn’t hurt you”. My face was like this, eyes open and little bit frightened and in my mind I was only thinking, huh? Before me, there was around 80-year-old guy in the operating room. I have a malformation in my artery but it doesn’t affect my life anymore.
Then I have these traditional finger tattoos, but below them, I have Donald Duck’s swearing symbols. It’s like a statement, don’t fuck with me. A bomb, lighting, cross and a crisscross. At the time I got this crisscross, we didn’t yet have any hashtags around. So now I’m suddenly really fashionable. I have a hashtag on my little finger!
Then one of my favourite tattoos, which has some kind of idea behind it, is my self-portrait on my thigh. But I’m a rat in that. A gentleman rat. It has my face tattoos. Together with my tattoo artist, we started to generate an idea of a gentleman rat, old-fashioned, a Victorian-gentleman-like lord who has a self-portrait over his fireplace. We still have to do more of it, it needs colour and some roses. A week after we made this I was in the shower and I looked at my other, empty thigh and thought, fuck, I want the Greek woman with snakes on her head, I thought it would suit there. It would be an opposite part of the gentleman rat, his girlfriend. Both are fucking evil. But this became a really funny project, I love how the rat has my famous crisscross on it’s face. The crisscross face-tattoo is my trademark and one of my very first face tattoos. I’m the guy with fish scales on my face, I hear this now and then in bars. Or “what is that chessboard you have on your face”? It’s geometry!
On my ankle, I have a fat sparrow. It represents the saddest song in the world: Varpunen jouluaamuna (Sparrow in the Christmas morning). Every Christmas I listen to it when I’m really drunk and I try to cry. This tattoo is for my childhood friend who died at the age of seventeen to a drug overdose. I always have my friend with me, as a sparrow. He also had a little bit more mass than he should have, so that’s why the sparrow is fat. It also has a sad peak, its face looks likes it’s pouting.
This white shark which has a gingivitis is here because I have a horrible shark phobia. I don’t usually swim, but three years ago when I was drunk I went to water till my neck and I was so horrified that I panicked. After I told this to my tattoo artist, Tomppa, we decided to tattoo a white shark in a neo-traditional way on my leg. Half an hour later, I had this tattoo. He had an idea that every time I go to shower, I see this shark and get more used to them. I still remember how he asked if I wanted blood in its mouth, so it would look like it has a gingivitis. The whole idea still makes me laugh.
In the back of my head, I have a tattoo that could easily help me to find new friends. Like when I walk on the streets without any beanie, people probably look at me and go oh, that’s a guy I want to add on my Facebook! The tattoo is a Stiletto with a word Viha (hatred). I’m a really eager guy but I never lose my temper, I deliver my words in a really evil way if I’m pissed. I can talk one hour straight about a topic I’m really irritated about. Still, I may look like I’m aggressive, even if I was just walking with my normal facial expression, feeling quite happy and listening to some Celine Dion on my headphones. Those who don’t know me say I look kind of scary. Well, last time I saw my mom, she said that I have a really beautifully shaped head.
I have my groin tattooed as well. They were all bruised after tattooing. I had tattooed my thighs and coxal bones, but my groin still looked empty. Whenever I was in the shower, I was annoyed with how empty they looked. When I was thinking about what the hell I’d be going to tattoo there… Think Twice! You know, when girls are looking for a dangerous looking man, the kind who isn’t quite normal, the kind who is a bit of an evil… Then by the end of the evening, I can just say, are you really sure, do you know where you are going? I’m not going to pet you.
Me and my best friend Juho met at work and became really good friends. It doesn’t matter what I tell him, he always has this one response. I could tell him something like yeah, I have been working out at the gym, playing games with my Xbox… Still, every time his response is the same: Älä saatana! (in English: Hell, really! Literally Don’t satan!). I’ve known him for like eight years, so about a year ago I thought I wanted to get a tattoo just for him. He is a really good friend of mine, so I thought I’d have to get at least a horseshoe tattoo, because I feel like I’ve been really lucky to get to know him. He is a lovely friend to whom I trust, we are like two peas in a pod. We look alike but Juho doesn’t have any tattoos, and people sometimes think we are brothers. We have been going around with a good-brother, bad-brother mentality. And of course, when I showed this to him, his response was: Älä saatana!
I’ve always been a really anti-drug person, and also anti-doping, as I work out quite a bit. Beer is okay every now and then, but all of my childhood friends have died in overdoses, so I don’t really care about that kind of business. I’m also from the neighborhood where most of the people use drugs, do crime or something else stupid.
One autumn I had an insane flu. I went to the occupational health and got myself a recipe for a cough syrup. Usually my flu goes away by itself without any medication, but this time my cough was so bad I didn’t sleep for two days, so I thought fuck, I’m going to get the syrup. I took a dosimeter of it, went to sleep and woke up at 3 AM to a massive cough. I noted that I had lost the dosimeter, so I just took the bottle and sipped some medicine straight into my mouth. And because I was still sleepy, I gulped a half bottle of it by accident. After that, I laid myself on the couch, took my laptop and started to watch Youtube videos and listen to some piano music. And suddenly, I felt like some kind of brick was hanging loose on my head, my stomach went upside down and I started to feel absolutely amazing. Codeine overdose.
I had the feeling for two days but didn’t mind, because everything was beautiful. I remembered some really cool stuff about my first love and what we used to do, I could go back to my childhood and because of that I felt like, no, I don’t want this to ever end. Everything was so beautiful and amazing. After the feeling passed, I felt so exhausted. My voice was like an old door creaking and I sounded like a junkie. I went back to the doctor, and he just said I had taken too much of it. Afterwards, I needed a filler tattoo on the other side of my body and thought I’d take a poison bottle with a text: Everything was beautiful. I used the rest of the bottle, even though I wasn’t coughing anymore. It felt so good. Haven’t cared to try it again, though, I got so sick after all. I felt like I want to vomit, dizzy and basically really drunk.
Still, it was odd, I remembered so many things I had forgotten and felt so inspired. It felt like I didn’t want to get away from that feeling. In a way I now understand drug users, as they really don’t want their good feeling to end. It was the time I actually listened to Celine Dion and dreamed about everything. It was a really sensitive feeling, and that’s what I want to remember.
Then the left side of my chest. How would you cover a name, your ex’s name? I’ve been a big fan of Batman since I was a kid, and the funny part is, I have the same birthday as the Joker has. My tattoo artist Tomppa also loves Batman, so we decided to tattoo laughter to hide all the love stuff underneath it. And there is also this little detail: Hä? (Huh?). It’s like, well fuck what I did, but what can you do anymore? It’s only a laughable situation, so laugh, life goes on.
My back piece is an Indian Goddess of Destruction. The idea of it is, because it’s on my back, all the death, destruction and evil is behind me, in the past.
It really pisses me off how people put everybody on the boxes because of their tattoos or looks. I just don’t get it, this world is so shallow and shitty nowadays. I once had an occupational nurse checking me when I had a flu. She looked at me for a couple of seconds, took a box of rubber gloves right beside her, started to wear one pair of them and asked: “Well, do I actually need these rubber gloves, do you have any blood diseases?” Well, I just told her to check the details because I wouldn’t really know myself. After checking my details, she was like “yeah”, took the rubber gloves away and said: “So, I heard you have a flu?”
People often ask me why do I have so many tattoos and why do I look like this. In my opinion, that’s quite a stupid question. It’s almost the same as to go and ask a golf player “why do you play”? What do you think he will answer? He does it because he loves it. He thinks it’s the best thing in the world. Why would somebody have a blue hair? Because he thinks it’s cool. I think people focus too much on what other people are doing.