Carina Schmidt has been a self-employed vegan tattoo artist for 8 years. She fulfilled her dream of having her own creative workspace 5 years ago with her own studio in Griesheim in the Black Forest. In the interview she tells us why she lives vegan and what you should pay special attention to when tattooing vegan.
Hi Carina, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. What's your connection to the vegan lifestyle?
Veganism is the only way for me and my small family to live. For me, living vegan means peace, love, appreciation, gratitude, compassion – it just feels good.
You yourself also live vegan. How long has it been and what was the trigger for it?
I became a vegetarian as early as elementary school. I have always loved animals.
I have been vegan for 5 years now – the trigger was the birth of my son.
The love for one’s own child, the miracle of nature to be able to breastfeed one’s child with breast milk. So then I realized that cow’s milk is also mother’s milk intended for the calf and not for humans. The thought of taking this away from a mother and her child (which I was privileged to experience) is not fair – it is infinitely sad! Being very sensitive, I knew I had to change my life.
How did you come to be a tattoo artist?
I have been drawing since I was little. Unusual has always fascinated me so also tattooed people.
Since I drew tattoo templates for my friends and acquaintances for a long time, my friend came up with the idea that I would certainly have fun not only to design the tattoo but also to stab myself. I was not so convinced of the idea, because I had too much respect for it because it is something for eternity. My friend Felix surprised me with a tattoo machine – then I had to try it and I really wanted to learn.
Are there any tattoo artists who inspired you or still inspire you?
There are many artists I admire: Sven von Kratz, Dillon Forte, Gerhard Wiesbeck, Alvin Chong and especially the duo Herakut. Hera and Akut are not tattoo artists, but one of my biggest inspirations – just wonderful artists.
What do you have to pay special attention to as a vegan with your tattoo?
Actually, as with everything else – the tattoo artist should use only materials that are free of animal testing and animal content open. It starts with drawing the design and ends with maintaining the tattoo. There are great vegan tattoo inks on the market. Even after the tattoo appointment, you should pay attention to the right care products – unfortunately, these are also not always vegan and animal-free.
Basically, each tattoo must be cared for differently. That’s why you will get individual care tips from me after your appointment.
Before your appointment:
- You should come to your tattoo appointment well-rested, fit and healthy
- Alcohol and drugs are absolutely taboo
- Take drinks or snacks with you for refreshment
- It is best to avoid blood thinning agents such as painkillers, etc.
It is important that you take great care the first few days after you get tattooed.
- Your new tattoo must be touched only with clean hands
- The foil (with which your tattoo will be wrapped after your appointment) can be removed after 5 to 6 hours.
- After that, you can use warm running water and a pH neutral soap to gently hand wash (but not soak) the affected area of your body and then gently dab it with a disposable paper towel (Zewa).
- The first day and the first night you should continue to wrap your tattoo with cling film, in addition you can apply a very thin layer of wound and healing ointment or a special tattoo ointment, which you can get from us.
- The next 3 days you should wash your tattoo 3 times a day as described above and additionally apply a wound and healing ointment or the tattoo ointment.
- From the 4th day you should wash the area once a day for another two weeks and apply cream several times
- Once the tattoo is completely healed and the skin has regenerated, you should continue to apply cream to the tattoo.
- Your tattoo should not be exposed to direct sunlight (including solarium) for the first 6 to 8 weeks. You should also avoid chlorinated water.
- The first week you should also not do any sports.
- Bathing is taboo until the tattoo is completely healed.
- Itching can be quite normal, please do not scratch. The crust should fall off by itself
So nothing can go wrong with the healing of your beloved tattoo!
What vegan tattoo care products can you recommend?
How would you describe your tattoo style?
I would say that I have a very flexible style. I like to combine opposites, like to form contrasts and love it but despite disparity to create a harmony that then also fits the one who then wears it on his skin for life.
Sketchy meets realism, adorned by ornamental or geometric patterns. As you can see, it’s more of a recipe than a specific style.
Are there any tattoos that you would definitely not get?
Bloodthirsty, violence glorifying and racist motives are taboo for me. Otherwise, I am open to creative and crazy suggestions.
Do people come to you explicitly because they know that you use vegan colors and also live vegan yourself?
Yes, some! A large part of my customers live vegan themselves and trust my knowledge in this area. Even some celebrities are now customers. Here, however, I will not mention any names.
What was your most beautiful tattoo experience so far?
Oh, there’s no one in particular. There are so many wonderful things that I get to experience in my work as a tattoo artist. That fills me anew every day.
What have you always wanted to get rid of?
Thank you to all the people who contribute a part to fight against the suffering of animals.
Every living being has a right to live and you should not put yourself above others, but live together in peace.