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AdelheidWinkler Tattoo01 by AxelJusseitThe working year is started, and our project is back too after all celebrations. And we want to start with an interview with wonderful woman Adelheid Winkler from RANDOLPH’S GRIN. At November 16 the band has released a new EP, ‘Vampire Mode’, produced by Chris Harms (LORD OF THE LOST). And we are very thankful that during all these preparations prior the release Heidi found the time to answer our questions. So please enjoy.

Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: When did you get your first tattoo and what was it? Did it take much time until you decided to get it done?
Adelheid Winkler [Heidi]: I got my first tattoo a day after I turned 18 and it was legal. I had thought about it for quite a while and chose a black star/flower motive that I still love, for my shoulder blade.

RoD: How many tattoos do you have? Could you please tell us their story?
Heidi: I tried counting and stopped after well over 25 “pieces”. It is hard to really count at this point because many of them blend into each other. Each tattoo has a meaning or at least a story. My favourite tattoo is on my stomach to the right of my belly button, goes like a strip all the way to my back and is of 5 monsters holding hands - which fits Randolph Grin’s new EP Vampire Mode perfectly! They look like a 5-year old drew them with coloured crayons.

RoD: Have you already got all the tattoos that you wanted or will you get some new ones in the future?
Heidi: I am having work done of my left shoulder by Soe Sezuki, who is based in Hamburg, Bremen and Japan - we have done two sittings so far. I don’t plan on using much more space on my body at this point, but I do plan to develop and tweak the ones I already have.

AdelheidWinkler Tattoo02 by AxelJusseit

RoD: Have all your tattoos been done by one tattoo artist or by different ones? How do you choose the tattoo artist? In addition, who draws your sketches?
Heidi: Almost all the work I’ve had done has been made by female tattoo artists, which I think is pretty cool. Nikki Vasquez has tattooed me a lot - her own original designs and also often working with my own ideas - when I met her we did a lot of sittings because I felt like I had met my tattoo soul mate. Daniela Sagel has a very cool style and has done a lot of tattoos on me, as well. Simone Pfaff did my right arm, which is original artwork of hers. Boldi Balla did two small tattoos on my left ankle - he is an old friend of mine from my teenage years.

RoD: Getting tattooed hurts, how do you cope with the pain during the sessions?
Heidi: It is not always easy, but I try to breathe through it. I think that it always takes a few minutes for my hormones to kick in and then the pain ebbs and flows, is in the centre of my thoughts and then fades in the background again. I usually get cold and shaky after a while, so I need to dress warmly. I also try to keep sittings under four hours.

RoD: Do you regret getting tattooed sometimes?
Heidi: I have made a couple decisions that I wish I would have taken more time with, but no, I don’t regret any of my tattoos. Nikki has done cover-ups for a couple of tattoos that I got when I was 18 - 20 years old, and I was way happier after that.

AdelheidWinkler Tattoo05 by AxelJusseitAdelheidWinkler Tattoo03 by AxelJusseit

RoD: What is your taboo in terms of tattoos? What kind of tattoo would you never get done and don’t like to see on other people?
Heidi: I think badly done tattoos are taboo. Unfortunately, I have seen a lot of examples of bad tattoo work, like needled too deep, badly designed or badly placed.

RoD: Some people say that the drive to acquire body art is addictive while others say it fails to meet the true definition of an addiction, simply calling it a passion. Is it really impossible to stop?
Heidi: Well, I don’t plan to stop, but I have noticed that I have slowed down. I have never felt like I was done with tattooing.

RoD: Currently tattoos are a new trend; many people do not care about the meaning, they just want to have something coloured on the skin, to be in trend. Those people often just go into a tattoo salon and ask which drafts they have. Tattoo artists are not artists any more, they produce consumer goods. Not all of them, of course. How do you feel about this situation?
Heidi: I think it is kind of silly, but people should just do what they want. Generally, you can tell if someone is really into the art part or not by their tattoos. I’m sure it is good for tattoo artists to have more than enough clients, so that is a plus point. Also, I find it more pleasant to not be a total exception in society.

AdelheidWinkler Tattoo04 by AxelJusseit

RoD: I would like to talk about the social aspect of tattoos, too. Previously, many people believed that if you have a tattoo, you will be never be successful and will not find a “good” job. Have this state of mind and people's perceptions changed or are these prejudices still alive?
Heidi: I think that tattoos becoming more and more common makes it easier to destroy clichés. I do encounter prejudiced people once in a while, but then I can choose to avoid them. I definitely see a good tendency of tolerance regarding tattoos and people feeling freer to make their own choices about what they wear or decorate their bodies with.

RoD: Which advice would you give to people who are going to get their first tattoo? How to choose a tattoo artist? Colour or black and white? Any practical advice?
Heidi: My advice would be to do your research. The most important thing is to have a good tattoo artist, who is good at and has a lot of experience with whatever style you prefer. Don’t be stingy about the cost - it is worth it to save up for it and do it right. You will have this tattoo on your body your whole life and it is awful to have to look at a bad tattoo all the time, especially when it is your own!

Project by Daria Tessa and Daniela Vorndran, Interview by Daria Tessa
Pictures by Axel Jusseit (Krefeld)

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