Karl Berringer’s stunning realistic tattoo work is what earned him the title of Featured Artist: March.
Karl was first interested in tattoos when he saw his father’s. His father got his tattoos in the military, “I couldn’t even tell you what they were,” Karl said in an email, “but just the idea that you could draw something on someone and it would stay forever was such a crazy idea when I was young.”
He first interned at a shop called Dinoz State of the Art Tattooz in Akron, Ohio. He’s now been tattooing for about 15-years.
Karl is inspired by several tattoo artists such as Jeff Gogue, Cecil Porter, Paul Acker, Frank LaNatra, Victor Chil, and Steve Wimmer. He says, “There are so many great artists out there but Jeff Gogue is without a doubt my favorite tattoo artist. Everything he does is perfect in my opinion. Excellent layouts and great color choices. I love the way Cecil Porter uses crazy colors where they wouldn’t seem to fit but they somehow do.”
He continued, “I could go on and on. One artist whos work I admire inspires me in a different way and that would be Dave Tevenal. Not only do I really love his tattoos, paintings and drawings but is work ethic is insane. He’s always drawing, painting, tattooing etc, etc. I really don’t think he sleeps.”
Currently, Karl works at 252 in Cleveland, Ohio. Tattoo artist, Tom Muron recommended Karl to the shop and the rest is history; and he really loves it there:
“[I started there] around the same time I had a son due to be born and figured this is a good time for a change. I was kind of burnt out on tattooing in Akron because it always seemed to be the same type of thing there. People were always bargain shopping and most of the time they didn’t know the difference between a good tattoo and a bad one so they would go with the cheapest shop. There were always lots of cover ups and “re-dos” which I never really liked doing. It had gotten to me so bad that I actually tried finding a good “regular” job but those were hard to find as well.
252 Tattoo always had a reputation as one of the best shops in N.E. Ohio so it was definitely a good change for me and I’m so glad I took it. Thanks again to Tom for suggesting me and Rodney Rose for letting me work there!!”
Karl’s advice for someone looking to get a tattoo:
“Besides having a clear idea of what they want, I would tell them to look around at artists in their area and really pay attention to their portfolios before getting tattooed by them. Of course they don’t have to get their first tattoo from someone in their area either. There are so many tattoo conventions nowadays that it’s easier than ever before to get a tattoo from an artist whos work they admire that lives across the country. Don’t bargain shop or look for deals either. That tattoo is going to be on you forever so don’t skimp.”
Karl’s advice for someone just getting started tattooing:
“Hone your art skills. Draw, draw, draw. Find a reputable artist that you can get an apprenticeship from. It’s easy to buy the things you need to tattoo from ebay but that’s not the right way to go about it. There’s a lot more to tattooing than just the act of tattooing. You’ll need to learn not only the technical aspects of tattooing but also cleanliness in your work environment and ways to prevent cross contamination so your clients aren’t getting infections or diseases.”
4/16-4/18 Big Show, Denver Co.
6/6-6/8 Hustler’s Parlour, NYC
7/4-7/6 Tattoolapalooza, Miami
8/22-8/24 NEPA Tattoo & Arts Fest, Wilkes Barre, Pa
9/12-9/14 Jacksonville Tattoo Convention, Jacksonville, Fl.
Images © Karl Berringer