Berlin-based tattooist Mo Ganji has built an impressive following through his distinctive and striking single-line tattoos.
Coming up with an original concept in the competitive world of tattoo artistry is no easy feat. Ganji discovered his design niche when a client spotted an early drawing of a three-headed deer in his tattoo portfolio. The customer preferred the doodle over the finished design, and returned with friends who also got similar tattoo patterns. This style developed into striking single-line tattoos, becoming Ganji’s signature work.
The Iranian-born artist is relatively new to the tattoo scene, committing full-time to the craft in 2014. He told Akita that his art career was born from creative frustration: “Don’t you ever question what you do for a living? What’s the purpose behind it? I asked myself and my answer was quite sad. Money.
“I got to a point where I realised that the time that I spent working [in my previous career] was a waste of time … It was a simple trade: 240 hours per month for amount ‘X’. But once you realise that time is more worth than gold it’s hard to ignore that fact that you are wasting time on someone else’s dream. You can buy all the stuff in the world but there won’t be lasting satisfaction.
“I wanted to learn the craft of tattooing and I believe in the law of cause and effect: Whatever you send into the universe comes back.”
When Ganji’s clients book an appointment they tell him what body part they want tattooed, and the tattoo size and desired design. The rest is all up to Ganji, he asks for total freedom over his work, believing that the more creative control an artist has, the better the outcome.
“Some people don’t like the way I work because they say they are the ones who have to love the tattoo, not me. I think it is the opposite; It’s my work [so] I have to love it, and if they [also love it] then we have a date.
“That’s why I always put ‘artist’ in my job description. The difference between an artist and a tattooist is the attitude.”
Take a look at more of Ganji’s extraordinary single-line tattoo creations:
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Akita was granted permission to use images by Mo Ganji.