We met this Leipzig born tattoo artist (and future guest spotter in Berlin) and talked about how “overloading” isn’t a very good idea…

You’ve been a full time tattoo artist since 2015. What did you get up to before that in your life?
Before I started tattooing in general, I worked full time as a chef in several gourmet restaurants. I would say that a very strong artistic aspect can be found in both fields. Nonetheless, in my opinion, the salary as a chef isn’t that good and the working hours are hard.

Friedrich Übler, on the road, Germany
Friedrich Übler, on the road, Germany

A chef who at some point became a tattoo artist? There’s a thought!
Yeah, I decided to go back to school to finish my Abitur highschool diploma and during this time I started to rediscover my passion for drawing.

From there on I went straight from school to the tattoo studio twice a week and started tattooing my friends.

I now realized quite fast that tattooing was what I really wanted to do.

Are you German or Austrian? Because I have seen that you work both in Germany (Berlin and Giessen) and Austria (Vienna).
I was born in Germany, Leipzig. I do have a lot friends in Vienna and that’s why I travel there a lot. I was playing the drums in Harm Shelter and helped out with a lot of things for the gigs, as well as designing stuff like band t-shirts. Playing in a hardcore band definitely played a big role in my getting such a lot of requests when I first started tattooing as so many hardcore fans like to get tattooed.

Friedrich Übler, on the road, Germany
Friedrich Übler, on the road, Germany

It’s far from easy to categorise your style because you use New School elements for sure, but you are very focused on surrealist subjects and natural things like flowers, sea animals, woodland animals, insects etc.
I never try to label my style. When I look back I always see this process of my work that I never consciously influenced though. I started out with more Traditional designs. Then it increasingly turned into a playful and rather realistic style.

Friedrich Übler, on the road, Germany
Friedrich Übler, on the road, Germany

Might we say that “face tattoos” are a sort of Friedrich Ubler trademark?
I would say that, when it comes to face tattoos, you really need a lot of trust in the artist.

Without any doubt every face tattoo is an honour and needs precise planning.

Not only the shape and design, but the placement and the way it fits the individual person plays a very important role.

Friedrich Übler, on the road, Germany
Friedrich Übler, on the road, Germany

Tell us your secret for a good “tattoo face”.
I think the main parts are the combination of knowledge of anatomy and aesthetic design.

Plus I would say that it is very important not to overload face tattoos so that they still look good after several years.

You use necks, cheeks, heads and ears of your customers to create amazing pieces of art, don’t you?
I try to create the maximum out of the idea my customers have. I think tattoos around the head area are very special as this is probably one of the first things you recognize when you see a person. On the one hand, I like to create pieces in this area, that are quite simple and – like I said before – not too overloaded. On the other hand, I want the tattoo to stand out.

A branch that goes up to the ear is something that adds a little spice to the face tattoo.

How much surrealism do you like to inject into your “dreamy” tattoos?
Surrealism adds a little something for sure, and also creates deeper meanings. For instance, a whale I done had a view of a fabric blended into his body. This points to the impact industries and plastic has on the ocean.

I have noticed a Freddie Mercury portrait on your Instagram page. Have you seen the “Bohemian Rhapsody” biopic?
This tattoo was an homage to the mother of my customer as she was a very big fan of Queen. It was a lot of fun doing this and I like the result. I think tattooing a particular person is a little challenge each time as you have to create a unique expression.

I have to admit that I am not a big Queen fan myself but there’s no doubt that he was a very inspiring and talented person.

Have you booked any international tattoo conventions or guest spots for the coming summer?
I don’t have anything booked right now. I will be tattooing a lot in Berlin, at the studio “DerGrimmTattoo” which has just moved to a way bigger and amazing new spot in the city.

Friedrich Übler, on the road, Germany