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Thiago Kerzer

I’m from Campos dos Goytacazes, a medium sized city of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. I have been tattooing since the end of 2015, and started hand-poking in 2016. 

Have you always been a tattoo artist/ How did you get into it?

Throughout all my life I’ve been a molecular biology researcher however i've always wanted make art than work with biology.
After getting tired of the academic world, I decided to dive a little deeper into art as a way of earning a living in the end of 2015. I started with hand-poke tattooing in 2016. Initially I was discouraged by people that knew me because hand-poke tattooing was something uncommon not very commercial. However, in 2017 I could see mentalities changing around me and I felt proud to have my work recognised.
During this time, I also released an album that was well received and was fairly successful on my country’s underground scene ( That became one  of the most important things to seal the deal with the connection that I have with art: The concern with details, the aesthetics, science, all at the same time.

Do you have any memorable stories you can tell?

At the end of every tattoo, I often joke saying that 'we' shouldn’t go to beaches, pools, waterfalls or take a golden shower until the tattoo heals. Once, a girl called me on the next day, desperately, saying that she’s the kind of girl the pees in the shower. She had just got out of the bathroom screaming that she gave herself a golden shower and wanted to know if she had messed up her tattoo.

When I started tattooing I was thinking about focusing on black works and heavier themes like skulls, snakes, etc. Nowadays, most of the compliments I receive are something like “cute”, “soft organic tattoo” and “natural tattoo”. It’s kind of funny how my orientation changed gradually and I could find myself increasingly in a style of my own.

Why do you prefer hand-poking to machine tattooing?

I love all tattoo styles. Every form of putting ink on skin, manual or with machines, interest me. I started with hand-poke because I identified myself with the silence, the unique pointillism of its textures and for not being a fan of causing people pain. With hand-poke I can tattoo causing less harm to the skin.
But there’s more to it than just that. With my band Barney, I chose to go down less obvious paths to write songs, I also take this journey with tattoos, often going to go to places less explored, creating my own techniques and my own aesthetics. I was lucky enough to meet wonderful people on my way that helped me and still help to make this work experience better every day.

Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to hand-poke tattooing?

I always like to take a break halfway, so the skin can rest a bit, also to make the process less tiring. Since I want to make bigger tattoos, I make sure to schedule these breaks beforehand.
It’s also a great time to eat something, get something to dirnk and talk a little bit more (I really enjoy getting to know and exchange experiences with everyone I tattoo).

So Single Needle Tattoo Kits, I believe that home tattooing is inherently risky, but people have, and will continue to tattoo themselves, therefore making a safe and affordable kit is the way forward... What's your take on this?

I tattoo in my home studio, however, it’s a place completely prepared to do so, as much as any studio in a commercial area. But that’ll be only until the second half of 2018, when I’ll be going to Black Sand Tattoo Studio with other artists with authorial work.


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