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Sasa Stubbs Our guest today is Sasa Stubbs, a musician who can do whatever he wants. His music is like him: emotional, thoughtful and sometimes abstract and experimental. On 15th February 2019, his album ‘Dream Of California’ ( was released. The album is very strong Trap & Rock oriented. We are very happy that Sasa has found the time in the whole preparation stress to talk with us about his numerous tattoos.

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?
Sasa: I got my first tattoo when I was 16. That was super spontaneous and my mother accompanied me hahaha. I got a heart, which was nailed to a cross. Over time, I have had the cross covered, but the heart is still there.

RoD: How many tattoos do you have? Could you please tell us their story?
Sasa: I see tattoos as an integral piece of art and cannot even tell you an exact number. A lot of people ask me why I make so many flowers as a man. I really do not like this stereotypical man-woman thought pattern. Flowers always remind me how short the life is. Our lives may seem long, but it is actually a short gust of wind in a vast universe. I always want to keep this thought in mind to remind myself that I have to dare to live. Above all, to live my life as I like it and not always to postpone things for tomorrow. Because who knows what will happen tomorrow. My first facial tattoo also means a lot to me. The “Fade Away” on my forehead is similar to the flowers. The place is really special. It’s harder to find a “normal” job if you have a tattoo on your face, and I wanted to prevent myself from making the mistake in the future to go back to a 9 till 5 job.


RoD: Have you already got all the tattoos that you wanted or will you get some new ones in the future?
Sasa: My plan is to be completely inked someday (except the face). I also have many incomplete motives that I still have to finish. But honestly, I’m too lazy hahaha. My front and my back are completely in Japanese style. For the most part, there are only outlines. There is still plenty of space on my legs. I would like to save something for my mature age. Because on tour you want to capture many little moments. My next tattoo will probably be the word “Commitment” because right now I think a lot about how important it is to commit oneself to life. Whether it's at work, in friendships, in love, in tattoos or in the smallest situations in life. Uncertainty often just sets you back. And “the right thing” often does not exist anyway. So you just have to commit yourself. Most of my tattoo ideas are created by such philosophies.

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?
Sasa: Well, finding the right tattoo artist was not that hard. My wife Aline Petunia is a tattoo artist and she has made and designed most tattoos on me as well. Her development is even visible on me, because when she started to made tattoos, we were already together. I was, so to speak, the guinea pig - hahaha - from the beginning. Her twin sister Alena Petunia is also a tattoo artist and has already done many things on me. This two are really “one of a kind” and great people. I always say that they will eventually come out big. Together, they model for alternative street wear and are very active on Instagram. @Petunia Twins.

RoD: Getting tattooed hurts, how do you cope with the pain during the sessions?
Sasa: This may come unexpectedly, but I think that distraction is the wrong way to endure the pain. I hate the pain, really. But I always try to focus on it and allow the pain. Somehow this sounds pretty Buddhist, but when I understand the pain, it does not scare me anymore and makes me tolerate it much better. Sometimes I wonder how I could do so many tattoos at all. I find pain terrible.


RoD: Do you regret getting tattooed sometimes?
Sasa: To regret a tattoo is similar to denying your former “me”. Each tattoo had its reason at the time. And just because the reason is no longer relevant, it does not mean that the tattoo has lost its legitimacy. Just the opposite, actually. It reminds you how you changed. And even if I do not like a tattoo anymore. If that was my biggest problem, then I’d be fine hahaha.

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?
Sasa: Things which has to do with football. I hate football. Tribal tattoos and endless loops. Thanks to my wife, I know which tattoos are really no-gos. I think that affects me a lot.

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?
Sasa: That’s definitely right. It’s probably simple in my view, because I tend to be addicted to general addictions. But I also have friends who just wanted to get one tattoo and in retrospect it was the whole arm. You also lose respect for it, frankly speaking. However, I would not call it an addiction. It’s kind of an expression that allows people to make a statement. That’s how I see it. Honestly, who would get tattooed if you lived on a desert island? And do not lie now...!!


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?
Sasa: Tattooing has always been a culture in itself. For many years, that has seized power somehow and it became a norm for society. Which probably depends on the culture of the country where you live. People who just want to get some tattoos are basically good canvases for artists. If a customer knows exactly what he wants, then in this case the tattoo artist is just the “producer”. But someone who has no clue, the tattoo artist may be more likely to show what he can. I see that with Aline and Alena. They are happy about every customer who has no opinion hahaha. Ok, that sounds bad now, but it’s not meant that way. I’m probably more of a bad customer because I know exactly what I want most of the time.

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?
Sasa: In the meantime, I think tattooed people are often preferred to make a place more “modern”. That’s kind of unfair, though. Actually, you should completely conceal the appearance, which is almost impossible. In everyday life, however, people can look at you askance and treat you differently. But I no longer react badly to that. Often this is more of a surprise than a rejection. I mean, I would probably wonder about myself, hahaha. Quite often, however, you also get compliments. You really have to be ready for everything if you decide to get tattoos.

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?
Sasa: I recommend you one thing... Do not think about it for too long!!!

Project by Daria Tessa and Daniela Vorndran, Interview by Daria Tessa, Ira Titova
Title picture by Ylva Sommer, all other pictures Sasa Stubbs

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