Poesis' Garden of the Mind
Step into the enchanting and intriguing 'Garden of Mind' with Poesis, as we open its gates for you in our exclusive interview. Poesis, an established global tattoo artist, has traversed the journey from novice to a worldwide sensation in just 2.5 years. We will immerse ourselves in Poesis' artistic odyssey, exploring the roots and evolution of her technique, the inspiration behind her unique style, and the emotional depth that infuses her creations.
Let's start with our traditional questions: tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what were you doing before tattooing, and how did your career actually begin? Who was your teacher?
- Hi! My name is Poesis; I’m an artist from Israel, currently based in Hamburg. I’ve always been certain I’ll grow up to be an artist. Practicing art my whole life, I was so eager to make what I love my full-time job. I just got my second tattoo from Kozo and have been contemplating the direction I’d like to focus on in arts. While admiring my new tattoo, I suddenly realized how amazing tattooing is. It’s the perfect combination between making art and experiencing life to the fullest. Later on, in the middle of the COVID time, I had the most incredible opportunity to start my tattooing journey. For a month, I was able to sit side by side and learn from Kozo himself! After this short time frame, I started to work and learned on my own. I’m so grateful for having such a start.
Were there any difficulties in the beginning?
- The biggest difficulty was working and learning on my own right away. I made a conscious decision to pave my own path. It made my beginning very independent, which can be stressful at times but very rewarding. It allowed me to keep my mind open, explore outside of my comfort zones, making it so easy to jump again and again into deep waters. It let me tune in with myself and my art. Not having anyone to push me in any specific directions allowed me to find the ones that fit me most, ultimately resulting in the tattoos you see today and the process I built for my clients to experience.
You're relatively new to the world of tattooing, yet your work and its surrealistic nature are truly striking! Tell us more about them. Where do you draw inspiration from?
- It’s important to remember that tattooing can be expanded to be a true form of creative art and self-expression. When I entered the tattoo scene, it was important for me to make sure to look at it from a wider perspective - as just another great form of art, a continuation of my journey as an artist. All I had to do was to find a way to bring my creative universe along with me. In my eyes, time doesn’t play a role in the achievements we or society set; your sense of being in touch with your creativity and inner self does.
My art is a direct extension of myself and my clients; it’s a form of self-expression or, in a way, a portrait. I draw most of my inspiration from my clients, their experiences, stories, and from my own personal world and perspectives. I love symbolism, mystery, and dark aesthetics. I’m naturally drawn to the unconventional, dreamy, and bizarre concepts. It’s where I feel most comfortable expressing myself.
How do your tattoos come to life? Is it usually your own ideas at the core, or do you often collaborate with your clients? Could you walk us through your creative process?
- My tattoos are my own ideas and concepts. It is a kind of collaboration; it’s the message that stands behind it that makes it so, rather than the visual itself. My clients are gifting me a glimpse into their soul, trusting me to create a unique design to represent it. Once this process is happening, an action of true vulnerability and active listening occurs; we connect. Through processing all the emotions and thoughts of both the client’s and mine, a brainstorm appears. I let my creativity flow and take full control. The ideas are being almost spilled out from me, then slowly molded, sometimes with intention, sometimes subconsciously, resulting in the design. Pure creativity happens when you let go, when you lift the pressure off, when you open your eyes and mind, when you realize that the main thing that inspires you is you.
You skillfully blend different styles in your artwork. Can you share how you arrived at this distinctive style?
- I believe that our emotions are the base of our existence. They are shaped by different events in our lives and eventually lead us with every step. It is crucial to attend to what we experience inside, to allow ourselves to feel things to the fullest. Only then can we understand who we are. With that philosophy, I created my style. Growing up, I often found myself more interested in surrealism and realism art. I used to draw in that style, usually focusing on the emotions I’d like to express and the viewer’s experience.
Naturally, when I fell in love with tattoos, I first admired the delicate and colorful realistic works. I started with pop culture tattoos and micro-realism, always doing my best to design them in a creative way. I slowly started suggesting my clients integrate more artistic freedom. I began to explore my creativity again, the motifs that I enjoyed and the messages that were important for me to bring into my art. Since then, with every piece I make, I always try to express the essence of the worlds that are coming together for each tattoo. I aspire to only make art that goes side by side with who I am.
What is the most important aspect of tattooing for you?
- I would definitely say that the most important aspect is giving my clients and viewers a safe space. A space where they can feel comfortable, not only to share their experiences but to be with themselves, even for a moment, to feel and look inside without fear or shame. My goal is to create more nonjudgmental approaches, to create tattoos for people as a reminder of the importance of vulnerability.
Do you have favorite tattoos, projects, or perhaps some unique stories from your career?
- It’s hard to choose one; I see each of my works as equally important. The piece ‘The Garden of Mind’ is definitely close to my heart, though. It’s a flash design, a pure idea from my heart and mind. Apart from being very satisfied with its execution, it has great significance to me. It was created in a time of self-realization, a path of exploring my own mind and consciousness. I often felt that I have no idea what’s going on inside my head. What do I believe in? What do I stand by? Who am I? Which thoughts and feelings do I keep? Which do I let go of? I tried to look deeper, why certain things in us stay hidden while others are ready to be dealt with? Why do we have to live in a world where, in these moments of vulnerability, we have to shelter and build walls to protect ourselves? Even with all the messiness and questions, this garden is beautiful, flourishing, and colorful.
Do you follow any other tattoo artists? Could you name your top 3 favorites?
- Wow, I follow so many outstanding tattoo artists. There are many tattooers and artists I absolutely love and appreciate. Each one has an admirable specialty, whether it’s in technique, creativity, mindset, or social media skills. To name 3… There’re so many! Hard to choose! I would say that recently I’ve been really digging Servadio, Sinsa, and Travis Fountain. They have very unique styles.
Judging by your Instagram, you have an active schedule of traveling to studios around the world. Could you tell us where you've had the opportunity to work so far, and where you feel most comfortable?
- Thanks to the high demand for my art around the world, I was lucky enough to be able to travel and see many places in the past two years. The studios I feel most comfortable in are the studios that put the artists and clients first. I would prefer studios that make the workspace efficient and relaxing, making sure the artist has whatever they need to create the best work possible while also making sure the client is well taken care of. It’s crucial for me to tattoo in a space that gives me the freedom to create my art in the way I see fit. It’s important to treat every artist equally and professionally.
In just 2.5 years in the industry, you've garnered a substantial following on social media. How do you assess your popularity? In your opinion, how can it be measured?
- Like most people, I hope for my work to be more well-recognized and liked. It will allow me to keep doing what I love and explore new ways to bring my ideas to life. My top priority is the well-being and development of my mind, my art, and my creativity. Popularity is not at the top of that list, and I definitely don’t assess it by social media. I like to believe that the difference in my art and the way it stands out makes it well-known in the tattoo industry. Popularity is a tricky thing to measure and assess. It can change according to the group or individual and is directly linked with the mainstream. If we look at popularity in the sense of social media, the general consensus will probably say that popularity is measured by one set of numbers: the one next to your profile picture. If we take a look at the meaning of ‘popularity,’ it means being well-liked and supported.
It’s difficult to understand how, as a society, we can decide who should be supported only based on social media, where most of the content is fake and altered to attract the eye. Many times what’s popular is what's easy and simple. There is no harm in that; many of us, including myself, in many aspects, want to just enjoy, not to put in the extra effort. Life is difficult enough. However, is everything we like and support necessarily good, efficient, or contributing to our lives? How will our world look if the popular things encouraged us to think beyond and look inside ourselves?
What is the most important thing in your career as a tattoo artist? What goals have you set for yourself? Please share your creative plans for the near future.
- The most important thing in my career is to stay true to myself and my creativity. Those are two things I would never give up on. Find what’s best for you and your abilities. Self-awareness, reflection, and believing in yourself are key. I hope to keep traveling, see new places, and meet interesting people! I would also love to keep doing my art, to find more mediums to express my creativity!