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ennlfrdeitrues
kirak yoto introOur guest today presents two bands: the Post-Hardcore band VENUES and the Rock band BOUNCING BETTY. VENUES released their record ‘Aspire’ on the 27 June 2018, and they are a very rare example of good Hardcore with female voice. But let’s get back to our topic: Kira is one of the exceptional cases where, as soon as I saw his tattoos, I knew exactly what I need in our project! We need to pay attention to this art. I hope you agree with us...

Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: When did you get your first tattoo and what was it? Did it take much time to decide to get it done?
Kira: Tattoos were something special for me since I was a child. In my youth I always wanted to have some cool skulls with bones on my skin. At the age of 15, a friend came up to me and said he had a tattoo machine. A joke to make a smiley face on the back of the earlobe became a reality. A short time later, we sat in his room and he tattooed a smiley behind my earlobe. My first tattoo from a tattoo artist was then classic at 18 years. I had the spontaneous idea to imprint my childhood memories on right leg. The first thing that came to mind was a Toad from Super Mario in an 8-bit style.

RoD: How many tattoos do you have? Could you please tell us their story?
Kira: I have 13 tattoos so far and have a story for each of them. Nevertheless, the stories are relatively unimportant to me. A tattoo should look good, even if I have some that are not so good. In these cases, these are more about the story. My right leg has memories of my childhood. The self-made tattoos remind me of certain moments in my life and certain principles. My left leg is more likely to become a work of art, as the meaning is irrelevant, but also gives a smaller transition to my past. My upper body, which has been tattooed by a very good friend of mine so far, refers to my family in the past, present and future. Niko is my absolute favourite tattoo artist. He is so good and understands me in many ways that I go to him and say, “Bro, I need a tattoo for my mom, I want to express something protective and loving”. That’s the story behind my sleeve tattoo.

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RoD: Have you already got all the tattoos that you wanted, or will you get some new ones in the future?
Kira: Unfortunately, not yet. I have too many ideas and too good tattoo artist who can ink me everything what he wants. It does not always have a story behind it if it looks good. But from the classic “tattoo addiction” is slowly becoming something like “no wish to feel pain”. In the beginning, I needed the pain and this art - forever, which never leaves me - with which I have compensated things. But now I think that I should go on, just because I do not have everything. My sister is still missing, I still have my left leg. Unfortunately, I still need my back tattoo to be finished.

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?
Kira: I did my tattoos by different tattoo artists. The tattoos that do not need a big sketch were from Walk-In stores. My “childhood” leg consists of templates from the internet and can be made by anyone. Niko designed and tattooed everything else on me. (Needles & Pins Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Needles-And-Pins-Tattoo-Ludwigsburg-165025460343915/).

RoD: Getting tattooed hurts, how do you cope with the pain during the sessions?
Kira: I think it all depends on the person and on his age. On the legs as well as on my arm I got along well with the pain. But it was almost unbearable on my chest and ribs. Moreover, I do not need the pain anymore, so that’s additional reason that it hurts a bit more.

RoD: Do you regret getting tattooed sometimes?
Kira: No. I would never regret anything that I have decided for myself. I stand by what I do and what I have done, because usually you cannot change it anyway. In addition, a tattoo remains forever. That’s the case with the rarest things in life. A tattoo comes with you and goes with you again.

kirakyoto2kirakyoto4

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?
Kira: I do not worry much about that. Everyone should get tattooed whatever they want. I only rarely like the “mainstream”. Also, I dislike all that “dirt” on Instagram, for likes and recognition. But I will not let any skulls or blood, big monsters or something disgusting will be tattooed on me. I worked for five years in social work, nursery and at school, so that was a taboo personally for me.

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?
Kira: Yes, that’s right. However, it always depends on the criteria of the individual. I do not have that classic addiction anymore. I do not think about being empty or wanting more. My picture is not finished yet, how big it will be, I do not know. Only the pain is too stupid for me now. But maybe that will happen again, that I will want the pain.

RoD: Nowadays tattoos are a new trend; many people do not care about the meaning, they just want to have something inked on the skin, to be in trend. Those people often just go to a tattoo parlour 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?
Kira: Luckily, I do not think about it. It’s not my body. And this topic goes far out of the “tattoo hype”. It has more to do with people who may wake up at the age of 28 and realize that they have lived their lives in a lie. People no longer reflect and will eventually regret it. Since I have already made so many experiences. Let people lie to themselves and everyone else. Someone will regret it and the other one has not made it in life anyway and may never wake up. Just do not think about such people, we have other problems in this world. Make yourself a tattoo, because you are in the mood and have fun in life, because everyone has a problem anyway, then it would be better if you have fun with it.

kirakyoto3

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?
Kira: If we think that Hercules or Napoleon had tattoos and only the rich made it in the baroque age, we are standing pretty stupid now. People should just google or ask a tattoo artist about the history of the tattoos. If we look at the primitive people who tattooed themselves hundreds of years ago, then we should also reflect on the fact that we are as always very superficial. Only because the first electric machine was invented and tattoos are popular in prisons, we think in such way about it. And now it’s “fashion” again after a good few years. The prejudice will remain for a while and more than half of the tattooed will remain superficial. I have never had a problem with a job or anything else. On the contrary, all my bosses and acquaintances say that my tattoo artist has done a good job. Can it be because I do what I like and what makes me complete. This is called authenticity.

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?
Kira: Take something you like and what makes you special. Then maybe start with a place on body not everyone sees. Do it for yourself, then you will notice if you like it or not. You must be sure about a tattoo artist. Trust him, if not, leave. Look at his pictures and his art. Get into a personal exchange with him and ask him for his opinion. But if something does not suit you, then let it be, backing off is really not bad, because you will carry it on your skin.

Project by Daria Tessa and Daniela Vorndran, Interview by Daria Tessa, Ira Titova
Title Picture by Sascha Richter, Picture 2,3 by Pia Böhl, Picture 4 by Niko (https://www.facebook.com/Needles-And-Pins-Tattoo-Ludwigsburg-165025460343915/)