Inked Mag Staff
April 5th, 2023
Artist Spotlight: Patrick Fumfar
German tattoo artist Patrick Fumfar is ready to take on every challenge tattooing can offer
Tattooing is constantly evolving—what was cutting edge on Monday is often out of style by Friday. It can be difficult for an artist to stay on top of their craft, but it’s a challenge Patrick Fumfar embraces with all of his soul. Fumfar is currently specializing in black-and-grey realism, and every day he tattoos he learns something new. The quest for knowledge is just one of the things he loves about this art form. We caught up with him to discuss when he fell in love with art, why he finds black-and-grey so appealing and much more.
Do you remember the first time you were interested in art?
I have been interested in art since my childhood. My mom always inspired me in drawing and painting. I had started with simple things such as manga, and in school I did a lot of sketching as I continued to learn more.
How long have you been tattooing for and what first drew you to the art form?
I started tattooing about seven, eight years ago from home and learned everything by myself. To be able to bring my art to life, on my own skin, and successfully learning quickly really pushed me into tattooing. After 3 years of working from home, I was fortunate enough to have met my now former boss. He runs a studio here in Bremen, and happened to have had a free chair. He invited me to work full time in the studio and I started learning in a professional way. This made it a lot of fun, and I was happy to earn my money by creating. Every tattoo I got better, which pushed me to learn quickly since I started later than others in this industry. In 2021 during COVID, I opened my own studio. It didn’t seem like perfect timing, but surprisingly everything went awesome. From this I have to thank my lovely customers.
Did you always think tattooing was going to become your career?
To be honest, I never thought about it. For me it was just a way of creating something and expressing my type of art in this form.
What were your family and friends’ reactions to you becoming a tattoo artist?
I have had absolutely positive reactions. My mom was actually one of my first customers. Did lettering on her and she still loves it.
What are the differences between tattoo culture in Germany and the United States?
Well, in my opinion there is not a huge difference. From what I have experienced so far is that people in the US are a bit more patient in the process of getting artwork done and appreciate it more.
What made you want to focus on black-and-grey realism? Was that always the goal or did it take you a while to find your style?
I am actually still in the process of finding my type of unique style. There are so many amazing artists all over the world that influence me. This always gets my interest in doing some thing different and to try something I never tried before. For now, I would say that black-and-grey realism in general is the most attractive style to me, because I feel it’s one of the hardest to master and that pushes me.
What are some of the most important elements to consider when working in black-and-grey?
For me the most important things are making the piece dynamic: being readable from afar while also having plenty of details when looking closely. Working high contrast in most cases to ensure that even in a few years it still holds up. I love to give artwork a special story or theme, like something meaningful for the client. It may not be apparent for anyone, but to the people the client is telling about it.
Do you have specific characters or motifs you like to tattoo the most?
In my childhood I was always interested in the “nerdy” kind of stuff—like ancient mythology, fantasy stories or even Magic the Gathering cards. That influence still inspires my artwork. I love playing with characters from this time period or giving my designs a special mystic theme.
How do you take a portrait that has been done countless times, like the Michael Jordan 3-peat tattoo you did for example, and make it your own?
The Michael Jordan piece I did is actually more of an art study. I had the chance to work with one of my favorite artists, Inal Bersekov, during a guest spot and it inspired me so much. I had to prove to myself that I am able to bring something like that artwork on the table and tried to get it as realistic as I could. This is a bit of a contrast to most of my work, because in my artwork I am not trying to be as photorealistic. I try to bring my own type of mood in my artwork, same as my kind of handwriting and special signatures which represent my more as an artist in my work.
What is your favorite thing about being part of the tattoo community?
I love that it’s so inspiring and refreshing. It’s recreating itself in every moment. In my opinion, you can’t just stick with one thing for years because if you do so you will get lost. You have to always be learning and I love learning.
What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t a tattoo artist?
A superhero for sure. Some kind of batman, roaming through the night. Joking aside, I guess I would try to find a way to express my personality through a different way of creating. Whether it could be fashion or building something digital or other creative outlets.
Are there any other tattoo styles you’d like to explore in the future? Do you ever consider working in color?
I love color work so much! It looks so fresh if it’s done in the right way. For me, it’s a completely different thing. I’ve tried it a couple of times but it’s not the thing I’m naturally flowing with. That is something I would leave for other artists.
Where do you hope tattooing will take you a few years from now?
Since I am planning to work with Inked NYC in the future, that is my biggest goal for now. To move over to the wonderful Big Apple, work with this amazing team and build a life over there. I am not really planning anything further past this year since things are constantly changing, and I want to be open to everything happening.
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