Feeling Inspired? Share this Artist
What we think, we create. What we feel, we attract. What we imagine, we become.Ela Berger
Ela Berger: I was 15 — much too young. I went to a local tattoo studio in Switzerland where I got a gargoyle design between my shoulders. It’s hard to remember exactly how I felt afterward because it was so long ago… but years later I started my back-piece with artist Tim Pausinger and we covered the old gargoyle, haha. Funny thing is, the tattooer who did it is now a guest in my shop! 🙂
LT: Ha, life is full of fun antics!
LT: So how much of your body is tattooed now?
Ela: Almost everything… except the head and a few spots on the legs and fingers. and for little fillers is always a place to find! I plan on getting more, of course! The more you get the more you want to cover blank skin!
LT: What’s your favorite tattoo on your body and why?
Ela: Definitely my neck and my hands made by Lars-Uwe. He is a great artist with such a good soul and I’m thankful every day that I can wear his art on my body. I didn’t realize it at the time but now I see that I received so much from his positive energy and spirit. It was a magical experience.
LT: So what did you do before tattooing?
Ela: I was living in Grabs, a small village in Switzerland near the Austrian boarder.
After primary school I finished my apprenticeship as a car mechanic! After that I had manufacturing jobs just to earn a living.
When I began my tattoo apprenticeship I still worked at a manufacturing job form 5am till 1pm — I’d then be at the tattoo shop from 2pm till 8pm.
LT: So what were your parents reaction to your new career goals?
Ela: To be honest unfortunately I have never got any support from my parents. I moved out and had to learn to be self-sufficient when I was pretty young. There were 3-4 years that were super hard and I struggled a lot but I always liked this saying: the hard work puts you where the good luck can find you!
LT: Seems like you’re not afraid to work hard. Kudos! What was the atmosphere like at the first shop you tattooed?
Ela: The first year of my apprenticeship was spent working in a Hells Angels run shop… so the clientele wasn’t always so glamorous. My first real client was a actually a junky. I tattooed a Chinese symbol on his calf and I used a heavy old brass coil machine… Hmmm, and maybe that’s why I have such a unconventional style of holding a machine! Anyway, the tattoo felt like a moment of infinity and I kind of thought… I could never do this craft!
LT: Obviously your first not-so-pleasant tattooing experience didn’t stop you. So where do you draw your art inspiration?
Ela: I’d say I’m subconsciously seeking inspiration from everything around me. I’m especially inspired when I sit quietly in my cozy drawing room in the evenings after work. I reflect on the goings-on of my day and start creating.
LT: Sounds peaceful and relaxing.
LT: Are there any current tattooers or artists who are particularly inspiring?
Ela: My absolute favorites are Justin Hartman, Emily Rose Murray and Jeff Gogue! I love the way these artists illustrate women in so many different ways. When I compare my work to these artists it encourages me to work hard and continue to grow!
LT: Do you do anything for fun besides tattooing?
Ela: I have 3 dogs so there’s not too much free time but in general I love nature walks with my pups. And to be fair almost all of my free is spent at my studio — it’s my first shop and I think of it like my baby.
LT: Here at LT we love animals and obviously you do too!
Ela: Yeeeeees, I love animals! I’ve had dogs now for 12 years, ever since I moved out on my won! I currently have one dog now and a cat… and I don’t want to be without them anymore! Unfortunately I had to sell my horse because I don’t have time to care for it 🙁 I love animals more than some human beings!
LT: What are your feelings about the accessibility of reference on Google, Instagram, etc?
Ela: I use references like I think everybody does, but always only just for reference!!! I try to be respectful of other artists work and look at their designs for inspiration only. No copying!
LT: Has social media affected your career?
Ela: The online hype is temporary and a successful career is for much longer! 🙂 It’s nice that people take notice of your work… so I think in this social media era it affects are positive. One great part of social media are the friendships that blossom.
LT: Do you have a style of tattooing you prefer? How about painting?Ela: My preferred style is neo-traditional. I especially like drawing ladies and feminine detail work. I also love doing animals, mandalas and patterns in all kind of variations. After a few years of hard work I now have the privilege of tattooing my own art and things that I love – which makes me think I did something right because I have so many clients who want what I do. I feel blessed and grateful that I can tattoo the things I like and that there are so many clients who ask for that.
LT: If you could tattoo anyone past or present, who would it be?
Ela: Because of tattooing I was able to meet the most precious people in my life. I trust in the timing of my life who I met already and who i will meet in the future. I will meet the people I have to and also the people will meet me if it’s important for them – we will find each other. I don’t have any people I wish to tattoo, all my clients are special for me!
LT: Will you describe your best tattoo experience.
Ela: Actually I have good experiences with my clients everyday and I’m fortunate that there’s hardly any bad ones! It’s hard to choose the best experience because they are all special in a way. However it’s always an extra special experience when I tattoo my friends or family in private sessions. I can think of one person in particular that has a big impact on me emotionally when I am tattooing them. It’s one of my best girl friends, who is also my colleague, I always feel bad for hurting her because I know she is extra sensitive to the pain of the needle. For me it’s hard to hurt the people in my inner circle but that’s the way it is.
LT: WE’RE REALLY HAPPY YOU WERE ABLE TO SHARE YOUR STORY WITH US. THANKS ELA!