When I was younger, I used to draw tattoo designs for other people just for fun. Mostly they were tribal tattoos, which people brought with them to a tattoo shop then and tattooed on their skin. At some point, someone asked whether I should purchase my own tattooing equipment. As a result, I ended up buying my first own tattooing machine, my father paying half of it.
I’ve been working with all kinds of machines and vehicles as long as I can remember. My father, however, has always said I should never choose the same path as he did. Maybe that’s why he helped me buying the tattooing machine in the first place. It’s better to be a tattooist than a machine driver!
Well, I still worked as a digger driver for many years before starting my own tattoo business. I’ve been tattooing since I was 16 or 17 years old, but the first years were just practicing every now and then. The first time I used a tattooing machine was on my own skin, and the second time on my sister’s husband, to whom I made a tribal tattoo on the chest. It was an awful experience – it got me three hours just to tattoo the lines. I’m quite sure I was way more nervous than the one who actually got tattooed.
I’ve been working as a tattoo artist for three or four years now. I began tattooing more seriously right after my military service, and I tattooed at my home for maybe six years until I went working in a tattoo shop. I must say that working in a professional tattoo studio certainly beats home tattooing – one year in a tattoo shop teaches you way more than six years home.
Originally, I was educated as a carpenter, but I’ve done that work only for a few weeks. I wouldn’t go back to that sort of job anymore. I was interested in working with real wood, but these days carpenter’s work is more or less just working with laminated timber and that sort of stuff. I’m not interested in earning my living making some fucking Ikea-style kitchen tables.
A friend of mine actually gave me this chainsaw as a return service for tattooing him.
I’m fond of old school, and my own tattooing style used to be somewhat old school as well. Nowadays I’ve been developing my style into more new traditional. I like colors, but on the other hand, I’m interested in realistic black and gray as well. Good stencil plays a big part in my tattooing.
I currently do lots of tattoos based on photographs, too. At this point, colored realistic tattoos are still quite Greek to me, but I’d like to practice that style as well.
I got my own first tattoo as a present after my confirmation. My mother paid the other half of the tattoo, and I went to a local tattoo shop under my parent’s permission. The tattoo artist was probably one of the first professional tattooists in Finland and a very grumpy guy. You really didn’t want to start whining in front of him!
The tattoo itself was a tribal that covered half of my back, and I’ve already begun to cover it up by another tattoo. At first, I thought about getting just an ordinary angel figure, but I’m planning to edit the design so that we will add there corpse paint and stuff like that.
I began to have more tattoos right after I got a full-time job and started to have some more money to spend. Most of my own tattoos are made by Samppa Pinola from Oulu. At the very beginning, I used to get tattooed by a friend of mine at his home, but later I started to get tattoos made by Samppa. Samppa was also the one who helped me a lot in finding my own style and learning to use the tattoo equipment at the beginning of my own career, so my hat goes off for him.
My intention is to have my other leg filled with realistic tattoos, so many of my tattoos are from Late. I really like his style. He’s also a super gentle tattooist– I hardly feel any pain when getting a tattoo from him.
I have a tattoo of my son on my thigh. This tattoo is made by Ravi-Lassi (link). This is such an amazing work, I must say.
The portrait of my father is made by Kaitsu from Red & White Ink. This tattoo is already five years old at least.
For me, head has been the most painful place to get a tattoo. When I got my first head tattoo, I didn’t tell anyone about it at first, but then Samppa posted a photo of the fresh tattoo on the internet. Of course, my mom ended up seeing it and soon she called me, completely shocked, and asked if it’s true that I have tattooed my head. I just answered yes, that may have happened. After that, she burst into tears and said Roope, haven’t I told you that you should never get a tattoo on your head or face! I can’t deny it really crossing my mind at that particular moment, whether I had made a right choice after all. I guess I was 23 years old then.
The other painful one was my throat tattoo. It hurt so much that when the tattooing finally ended, I was already completely pissed off. I was going to see a gig on the same evening, and of course, I managed to forget my tattoo cream at home. I asked my friend’s girlfriend to lend me some lotion, and the only lotion she had was some kind of turbo-scented cream that smelled like lavender. I tried it on my skin nevertheless, and it felt like I’d fall to the ground as a result. It burned like hell, and my skin was so irritated it turned bright red. So, the lesson is: always remember to buy proper tattoo cream from your tattoo shop and to use it as well!
At first, my plan was to cover up other tattoos on my arm with black ink. The white ink was added in Denmark on the spur of the moment. It’s not completely healed yet.
Eat shit is a necessary tattoo at a military refresher course, haha! It’s just in the right spot when I have to salute. I’ve been to a refresher course once, but at that time I had zero interest in participating and so I wasn’t very eager to salute anyone. Back in the days when I was on the actual military service, I had maybe two or three tattoos, so people weren’t offended by them at that point.
I used to work at Tattoo Nation in Pori for some time. No huhhuh is connected to that, it’s mainly a friend tattoo.
My wife and I share the same kind of banana tattoos. Maybe this isn’t the best place for a tattoo, but I don’t mind.
Earlier I got new tattoos just to get more ink on my skin, but later I’ve begun to think more of the meaning of my tattoos. I don’t know what happened – maybe I just grew up in some way. Many of my smaller tattoos may have more significant meanings than the large pieces. I guess bigger tattoos are more focused on the artwork and what they look like, and the smaller ones may have different kinds of meanings – some stupid things also.
I’d almost say stupid tattoos are actually the best ones – if they make someone laugh, I think that’s a good thing. No matter what kind of tattoo it is, but if it makes you happy and perhaps someone else too, I find that as a successful piece of art.