The artist known for his Neo Traditional works has been very busy in recent months with the opening of his personal tattoo shop ‘Old Atlas Tattoo’ in Witten.
Hi Robin, would you like to tell me a little bit about yourself?
My name is Robin Kemper. I’m 30 years old and I started tattooing in early 2015. I started in a small shop near Dortmund as some kind of a “shopguy”. I was promised to get teached how to tattoo but I had to learn everything by myself.
What happened later?
I had many appointments in other shops. I think I was a very annoying customer because I always asked many questions. “Why do you do this and why do that” was my motto. So I started tattooing myself and some friends. Later I changed the shop several times and practiced a lot to become better til now.
The subjects of your tattoos owe a lot to both the Neo Traditional and the animal world. Do you think there is also a small surrealist influence or do you stick to reality?
Yes! I guess while drawing tattoo-designs everything around you influences the work you do. I try to stick to reality with some small details which are surrealistic. Often I also try to mix some things together to see how they fit together.
Will you name some of your teachers if you ever had any?
I never had that “one” teacher. But many artists who influcened me a lot and who helped me with some issues.
At some point I learned important things by Sebastian Brade and Marco Schmidgunst.
Or artists I’ve never met but whose work I always study. Like Karlos Lloyd, Primm and many others.
Tell me the truth: how exciting was it to complete these two backpieces?
(laughs) These two were very exciting. Because both of them include huge cover ups. Normally every backpiece excites me.
Because I know the pain and how many hours a person has to go through to get a backpiece or other huge tattoos done. I’m always honored when someone decides to get a backpiece done by me.
Would you like to reveal your biggest artistic challenge going into this 2022?
My biggest artistic challenge in 2022 is opening my own shop between Dortmund and Bochum. So many important decisions. So many questions and a lot of work to do.
Can you describe the working environment at ‘Greyhound Tattoo’ in Essen?
Well, the working environment is very special! (laughs) It’s always some kind of familiar and very honest. We do a lot of jokes and fun. Sometimes it can be a bit stressful trying not to get pranked. But I always loved it there.
These guys are the best colleagues I’ve ever had. I think you won’t find anybody more loyal.
Now it’s time for your own tattoo shop though, isn’t it?
Yeah! I just opened my very own shop closer to my home to have more time for my wife and my children. It’s called ‘Old Atlas’ (IG: @old.atlas.tattoo) and we can’t wait for you to come visit us!